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Herald Scotland
'...the orchestra brings fresh style and insight...a real ear-opener...The sound engineers at Linn capture every shimmering hue.'
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The Times
4 Stars
'This is Berlioz up close and personal, and wonderful to behold.'
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Limelight
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The Arts Desk
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Berlioz Les nuits d'ete - SCO & Ticciati - SA-CD.net


05 May 2013
SA-CD.net
Polly Nomial
5 Stars

As in Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique - Ticciati, Robin Ticciati showed that he fully has the measure of Berlioz, that a small orchestra adopting HIP manners (such as antiphonal violins, vibrato as an expressive device not a coat of aural paint etc) can sound thrilling in this repertoire and he repeats this successful recipe here.

Unlike the only other rival account on SACD, Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Ticciati and Karen Cargill offer the complete version of Les nuits d'été. The added attraction of modern sound should be enough for most Berlioz lovers to jump at the chance of hearing this music so wonderfully played and sung. The emotional level is high - despite the relatively tame orchestral score the SCO are clearly on the top of their game and match their soloist in every inflection of the mood.

The emotional core of the disc is the Scene d'amour from Romeo & Juliette (orchestral only); the strength and vision of the playing and conducting is such that one dearly wishes for a complete version from these forces. The way these forces tackle the music, even with appropriate HIP habits applied, makes one think of a French foreshadowing of Tristan & Isolde. Very potent indeed.

To complete this entrancing disc, Karen Cargill returns to join the orchestra in La Mort de Cléopâtre. Once again, performers and listener alike are spellbound by Berlioz's score. One does not need to have heard this work before (or to understand French) to appreciate the stopping of the beating heart rhythm to know what this symbolises. The sadness and pathos that Berlioz intended is clearly reflected in the performances; this is most moving and the dying, ebbing away from life is hard to put out of ones mind when heard as it is here.

The only (very minor) criticism that can be levelled at the sound is that one can occasionally hear some of Ticciati's emoting to his players (but nowhere near his former mentor Sir Colin Davis). Other than that, every note is audible and the dynamic range is not in the least compressed.

Very strongly recommended.


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Karen CargillKaren Cargill
Robin TicciatiRobin Ticciati
Scottish Chamber OrchestraScottish Chamber Orchestra
Berlioz: Les nuits d'eteBerlioz: Les nuits d'ete