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The most notable aspect of this CD is McCreesh’s use of French Latin – the first such recording – which significantly affects vowel sounds and the overall vocal colour of the work. Logistically, this is a huge work and sometimes sheer weight of sound overpowers subtlety and spirituality. It’s said that at the premiere in 1837, the conductor put down his baton to take snuff just before the big tempo change for the Tuba Mirum, prompting Berlioz himself to leap up and signal the beats. No danger of that here. McCreesh, launching his own label and looking forward to Wrocław’s year as European City of Culture in 2016, is in command throughout.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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