Jean-Philippe Lafont, bass-baritone
Sune Hjerrild, tenor
Gert-Henning Jensen, tenor
Danish National Choir/DR
Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR
Thomas Dausgaard, conductor
June 2007
CHANDOS

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Berlioz: Le carnaval romain Overture, Op. 9

Of all the major works of Hector Berlioz, the monodrama Lélio, part II of the Symphonie Fantastique is surprisingly one of the least known works. Yet during Berlioz’ lifetime, Lélio was the greatest popular success he had with the Parisian public. Here the Danish National Symphony Orchestra performs the only available recording of this rare, yet extraordinary and seductive piece. This semi-theatrical work combines music and monologues to express the idea of returning to life after a profound traumatic experience. The link between Symphonie Fantastique was clearly inextricable in Berlioz’s mind, showing the progression from despair to hope which the pieces signified. The work consists of six separate compositions interspersed with dramatic monologues, and they reflect Berlioz’s most passionate concerns – friendship, love, Shakespeare, and the healing power of music. Where Symphonie fantastique was driven by the traumas Miss Smithson, a famous actress of the time (who would become his wife), Lélio was inspired by the dawning of a new love with Camille Moke, after he had finally broken with Harriet. Berlioz worked on the text of the work, which was full of quotations from various letters he had written as well as influenced by literary giants such as Goethe and Shakespeare. Lélio embodies the whole Romantic Movement in one work of art, and is one of the earliest attempts to fuse drama and music and is a testimony to the trials and tribulations, crises and renewals of the Romantic hero in general and is a very important work to be added to the catalogue.

Tracklisting

Hector Berlioz

1. Le Carnaval romain, Op. 9 9:18

2. Hélène, Op. 2 No. 2 3:34

Lélio, ou Le Retour à la vie, Op. 14bis

3. Lélio: ‘Dieu! je vis encore’ 2:53
4. I. Le Pêcheur. Ballade de Goethe. Andantino 5:14
5. Lélio: Étrange persistance d’un souvenir!’ – 2:39
6. 2. Chœur d’ombres. Largo misterioso 5:52
7. Lélio: Ô Shakespeare! Shakespeare!’ 3:38
8. 3. Chanson de brigands. Allegro marcato con impeto 4:10
9. Lélio: ‘Comme mon esprit flotte incertain!’ 1:49
10. 4. Chant de bonheur – Hymne. Larghetto un poco lento 5:02
11. Lélio: ‘Oh! que ne puis-je la trouver’ 1:28
12 5. La Harpe éolienne – Souvenirs. Larghetto 2:55
13

Lélio: ‘Mais pourquoi m’abandonner à ces dangereuses illusions?’
6 Fantaisie sue la tempête de Shakespeare
14. Introduction. Andante non troppo lento 3:15
15. La Tempête. Allegro assai, un peu retenu en commençant 2:34
16. L’Action. Un peu moins vite 6:54
17. Le Dénoument. Tempo I più animato con fuoco – Presto 1:50
18. Lélio: ‘Assez pour aujourd’hui’ 0:32
19. Coda. Allegro meno mosso 0:46

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