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Berlioz: Béatrice et Bénédict
Béatrice et Bénédict was borne of Berlioz’s lifelong fascination with Shakespeare. A performance by the Shakespearean actress Harriet Smithson as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet reportedly inspired him to commence work on his own Roméo et Juliette, a large-scale dramatic symphony. He had fallen headlong in love with her after seeing her as Ophelia in 1827 and later wrote, ‘I came out of Hamlet shaken to the core.’He also contemplated setting Antony and Cleopatra to music, but it was not until many years later (1860) that he settled on Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing. Although had considered the idea of an opera on this play as early as 1833, it turned out to be his final opera. Berlioz produced his own libretto – a much revised version of the story, with several of the original characters absent. It nonetheless remains faithful to Shakespeare’s play. Berlioz claimed he wrote this opera to relax after the stress of completing the vast Les Troyens – and said it was ‘a caprice written with the point of a needle’. Indeed, it is scored lightly, and has a warm and gentle wit to it, ideally suited to the subject.
‘Minton’s beautiful voice and her warm understanding of Berlioz’s style are again evident … Daniel Barenboim conducts with enthusiasm.’ Gramophone
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Berlioz - Edition du bicentenaire
Ben Heppner (Enée), Michelle DeYoung (Didon), Petra Lang (Cassandre), Sara Mingardo (Anna), Peter Mattei (Chorèbe), Stephen Milling (Narbal), Kenneth Tarver (Iopas), Toby Spence (Hylas), Alan Ewing (Priam), Guang Yang (Hécube), Isabelle Cals (Ascagne), Tigran Martirossian (Panthée), Bülent Bezdüz (Helenus), Mark Stone (Un chef grec), Leigh Melrose (Un soldat troyen/Mercure), Orlin Annastassov (L'Ombre d'Hector), Andrew Greenan (Premier Sentinelle), Roderick Earle (Deuxieme Sentinelle)
La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24
Giuseppe Sabbatini (Faust ), Enkelejda Shkosa (Marguerite), Michele Pertusi (Méphistophélès), David Wilson-Johnson (Brander)
Béatrice et Bénédict
Enkelejda Shkosa (Béatrice), Kenneth Tarver (Bénédict), Susan Gritton (Héro), Sara Mingardo (Ursule), Laurent Naouri (Claudio), David Wilson-Johnson (Somarone), Dean Robinson (Don Pedro)
Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17
Daniela Barcellona (mezzo), Kenneth Tarver (tenor), Orliin Anastassov (bass)
Harold en Italie, Op. 16
Tabea Zimmermann (viola)
Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
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