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Musical notes

Berlioz was so good that I left before the Beethoven. St John Passion would have been better with a proper interval instead of a poetry reading

By Stephen Everson   November 2005

A truly great Berlioz

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) launched its “Listening in Paris” series at the Queen Elizabeth Hall by inviting the French conductor Marc Minkowski to conduct a 19th-century programme. It moved backwards from Fauré’s music for Maeterlinck’s Pelléas et Mélisande, through Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été and finished with Beethoven’s 4th symphony, composed in 1806 and given its Paris première in 1830, two years after the first French performances of the Eroica and 5th symphonies had electrified the Parisian musical scene. This was a welcome opportunity to hear Minkowski—particularly since the Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie…

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