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Gustave Charpentier won the premier grand prix de Rome in 1887 and this lavishly produced double CD features his prize-winning cantata Didon along with works inspired by his subsequent Italian experience. Lush, richly layered, flavoured and coloured stuff, this gripping anthology is a fine advocate for a composer who deserves greater renown. Berlioz, Massenet and Wagner are clear influences, his vocal writing is eloquent and his talent for joyfully expansive scoring apparent at every turn, especially in the vividly dramatic gestures of La vie du poète that would hardly be out of place in a film-score.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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