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The harmonically rich, intricately woven timbres of Berlioz’s distinctive orchestrations provide fertile ground for this enterprising and engaging set of transcriptions by Loïc Mallié. Originally prompted by Paganini, Harold en Italie is realised with agreeable concern for texture, Karsten Dobers’s viola by turns lightly graceful (especially so in the Serenade) and nimbly pirouet- ting, with nuanced accompaniment, resplendent in variegated character on a symphonic-sounding 2009 Daldosso organ from Mallié. His own Hommage à Berlioz is a colourful, freewheeling improvisation on themes from Harold, and Altissimo! for solo viola is elegantly melancholic. A pity that Benjamin François’s interesting, if generalised, notes have been mangled by poor translation.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica

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