Sir Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), Edward Elgar, Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette

Gavin Borchert

By Gavin Borchert

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette

Sir Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), Edward Elgar
A clear reading of a shifting work.

Berlioz called this piece a symphony only for lack of a better term. He idiosyncratically translated Shakespeare's romance into a unique musical form: part opera, part oratorio, part tone-poem, part incidental music. As he does with any Berlioz score he encounters, Sir Colin Davis clarifies and captures the shifting moods of this hybrid work — from the aristocratic wistfulness of the "Romeo Alone" section (segueing into the resplendence and pomp of the "Ball Scene") to the gossamer tang of the "Queen Mab" scherzo to the thrilling choral proclamations of the tragic finale.