Berlioz: Harold en Italie & Cléopâtre

Violist Antoine Tamestit and mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill join forces with the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev in the latest instalment of their Berlioz exploration.

Harold en Italie was composed in 1834 at the suggestion of Paganini (he wanted a showcase for his new viola). Inspired by Lord Byron's poetic oddessy Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage Berlioz wrote of it that he 'wanted to make the viola a kind of melancholy dreamer'. The cantata Cléopâtre was written for the 1829 Prix de Rome, and remains among Berlioz' most neglected works.

LSO0760  63 minutes 9 seconds
'Karen Cargill gives a gripping account of The Death of Cleopatra, clearly relishing the music's graphic portrayal of a woman in a state of mental torment … while Berlioz's extraordinary ending i ...
BBC Music Magazine
'These are vividly coloured, gripping live performances. Antoine Tamestit's viola offers silky sound in the Byron-inspired symphony Harold en Italie … [in La mort de Cléopâtre] Karen Cargill is d ...