Recording Review

Title of Recording: Music Of Hector Berlioz

Conductor: Colonel John Bourgeois

Recording Label (e.g., Angel): United States Marine Corps.

Recording Type (i.e., CD, LP, Tape, Video): LP

Recording Number if available (e.g., MCD-2160):PH 13076

Pieces:Symphonie Funebre et Triomphale, Op. 15; Overture to "Les francs-juges," Op. 3

"The President's Own" United States Marine Band is lead by Col. John Bourgeois in this presentation of music for band by Hector Berlioz. The composer favored band timbres so much that he used 15 bass trombones, 18 alto and tenor trombones, 12 tubas, and a trumpet choir for the featured overture. Based on the Vehmic courts of medieval Germany, this recording exalts the brass sections as was meant to be. Contrasting the clarinets nicely, the brass blend nicely into the texture only to erupt into beautifully majestic fanfares. Needless to say, this recording of the 1826 composition is flawless in intonation. I'm more than satisfied with this U.S. military band rendition. The symphony is refreshing and quite comparable to most any symphonic recording of Berlioz. The interpretation is nice with independent and enthusiastic playing where it is needed the most. Berlioz was commissioned to write this work for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the July Revolution of 1830 and was performed in front of a crowd of soldiers.

Reviewer:Tim Morris

Source: Grand Forks Public Library

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