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Robin Ticciati’s previous Berlioz recordings with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra have established him as a sympathetic interpreter of this maverick but endlessly fascinating composer. It’s slightly unexpected therefore, given that L’enfance du Christ is probably Berlioz’s most ‘chamber’ orchestral-choral piece, that Ticciati opts for the altogether larger forces of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Nevertheless, he obtains excellent results from them, and his phenomenal chorus, in idiomatic French, catch much of Berlioz’s tender response to the narrative of Christ’s early childhood. Their delivery of the celebrated ‘Shepherd’s Farewell’ is exceptionally lovely. The soloists make fine contributions too, with Yann Beuron and Alistair Miles the most compelling. Véronique Gens as Mary and Stephane Loges as Joseph are perhaps a shade less engaging.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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