Robin Ticciati - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Berlioz: Les nuits d'ete - The Guardian
Berlioz has been a feature of Robin Ticciati's programmes since he took over as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's principal conductor three seasons ago. A series of recordings for Linn has followed in the wake of the concerts - the first release was an impressive performance of the Symphonie Fantastique, and the latest is, if anything, even better. Karen Cargill is the mezzo soloist, and her account of Les Nuits d'Été, wonderfully controlled and exquisitely shaded, seems to me one of the finest to appear on disc in recent years. Her performance of the Cleopatra cantata is equally subtle and meticulous, even when Berlioz's orchestral effects are at their most graphic. There and in Nuits d'Été, Ticciati defines the accompanying detail immaculately, and between them he places a beautifully shaped account of the Love Scene from Berlioz's dramatic symphony Roméo et Juliette, even though its effusive expressiveness ideally needs a rather larger body of strings than the SCO's.