Berlioz 'Grande symphonie funèbre et triomphale'
To mark the bicentenary of the French Revolution of 1789 this disc presents a vivid collection of revolutionary music. Culminating in the ceremonial setting by Gossec of La Marseillaise the works capture the heady atmosphere of idealism and fervour characteristic of the period. The main work is the Grande Symphonie which Berlioz wrote to mark the 10th anniversary of the Revolution, scored for massed winds, brass and percussion. Wagner commented that 'this symphony will last and exalt the hearts of men as long as there lives a nation called France.'
"The Wallace Collection - a starry assembly of leading London brass and woodwind players - fields for the Berlioz a team of 70 strong, whose intonation and precision are immaculate and who are capable of delicacy as well as of massive power ... anyone whose spine fails to tingle at the huge chords at the end of the relentless funeral march is probably clinically dead. Dudley Bright plays the trombone solo of the funeral oration (salvaged from Les francs-juges) with the utmost sensitivity and beauty of tone."
Lionel Salter, Gramophone