This is a delightful recording from a conductor more closely allied than any other to Berlioz's music. With Berlioz the devil is always in the detail; he was an extraordinary orchestrator and capable of writing unidiomatically for instruments–especially the woodwinds–in order to get exactly the sound he wanted. Or rather, sounds, for the whole texture is made up of many layers. Davis understands this as if by instinct, and draws some beautiful playing from the instrumentalists without ever losing sight of the whole picture. It has been said that the French style of phrasing is all foreplay and no climax: the singers bring this teasing quality to their long, flowing lines but with a charmingly English home-counties blush too. Elsie Moris's light tone is a perfect match for Peter Pears' cool, silvery voice in this respect - and the choir too makes a good full sound without ever getting too heavy. The two discs also include some other gems from the pen of this most idiosyncratic of composers.
Ticciati cements his reputation as an outstanding Berliozian with his latest recording, L’enfance du Christ, featuring the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Ticciati is a regular guest conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, widely considered to be one of Europe’s leading orchestras. The SRSO has won many Swedish and international awards including a GRAMMY and has made several GRAMMY-nominated recordings.
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Off the Rak: The Singles 1975-1979 collects all of the singles released by the British glitter/glam rock outfit for Private Stock and RCA Records after their split from Rak. Fans looking for early classics like "Tiger Feet," "Cat Crept In," "Dyna-Mite," and "Rocket" may be disappointed (2005's Rak anthology A's B's & Rarities would complement this set nicely), but the late-'70s were kind to Mud, producing enough quality material like "Show Me You're a Woman," "Shake It Down," "L'L'Lucy," and "Lean on Me" to warrant such a thorough overview…