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LSO and Sir Colin Davis St Paul's Berlioz recording available on CD

A recording of Berlioz's huge masterpiece, Grande Messe des morts, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Sir Colin Davis, is now available on CD.

Watch a video of the Agnus Dei from the St Paul's concert

Performed as part of the City of London Festival in 2012, the grand requiem is sung by London Symphony Chorus and London Philharmonic Choir, with English lyric tenor Barry Banks.

Sir Colin Davis is a revered Berlioz expert and his LSO live Berlioz recordings have been widely acclaimed. The release of the monumental Grande Messe des morts marks the completion of this cycle and further confirms Sir Colin’s status as one of the greatest living conductors of Berlioz’s music.

Grand Messe des morts is a popular Berlioz creation, yet remains a rare and special treat. A requiem whose text derives from the traditional Latin Requiem Mass, it was composed, uniquely, by a man with no firm religious belief. Throughout the piece there is an extreme variation of dynamics. Poignant, reflective music is contrasted with four blazing brass ensembles, ensuring a very powerful and grand listening experience.

The disc is released in March, but you can pre-order a copy from the LSO for £12.99.

‘The London Symphony Orchestra played with the kind of brilliant concentration only loyalty and love can command, and the 150-strong choir, drawn from the London Symphony Chorus and the London Philharmonic Choir, sang with controlled power and beauty. Whomever you chose to thank and praise for it, this was an awesome night.’
The Guardian

‘Opening and closing sections displayed unusually concentrated gravity and a sculptural poise. Davis respected the echo, gave it space and cherished the austere as much as the dramatic, like those woodwind chords intoned in the Agnus Dei – so solemnly gorgeous that my spine tingled.’
The Times

‘In an evening full of arresting otherworldly sounds, the most striking were the quiet ones toward the end, especially the high solo strings and delicate brushed cymbals of the Sanctus, with Barry Banks’s fervently high tenor coming as from afar. Presiding over all this was the wise, benevolent presence of Sir Colin Davis, who conducted the piece in this same space nearly 50 years ago. He showed an unerring sense of pacing, and revealed the pathos and restrained dignity underlying the music’s noisy tumult.’
The Telegraph