LSO: Les Troyens

Berlioz, Conduced by Sir Colin Davis

Dec 2000

The first LSO recording to use DSD


The definitive recording of this epic opera combines a fabulous orchestra with state of the art recording technology to tremendous effect.

A sprightly 73-year old Sir Colin Davis steps up to the conductor’s podium at London’s Barbican Theatre and takes his fresh-faced London Symphony Orchestra into the first of many musical adventures. And on the evidence of the sound presented here – it’s no wonder a slew of awards followed.

This sumptuous LSO live performance has become the benchmark recording for the five-part Berlioz Opera Les Troyens (The Trojans) – an epic work based on Virgil’s Aeneid and the Greek siege of Troy followed by the love story of Dido and Aeneas.

Aided by an array of brilliant soloists – tenor Ben Heppner, mezzo sopranos Michelle DeYoung and Petra Lang, baritone Peter Mattei and a young Alison Balsom on Trumpet (to name but a few). The LSO took the opera to new heights. It helped that this release was also one of the first to use DSD recording technology (now a well regarded streaming format) giving it amazing presence and life.

A cacophony of voices explode into your room as Act 1 unfolds – your senses assaulted with the sheer exuberance of the singing. The beauty of Pantomime and Cybele is articulate – peaceful – and deeply moving. Heppner (as Énée) lifts proceedings on Soldats and duets so sweetly on Chatiment.

It’s hard to isolate moments in a paean to love that stretches to nearly four hours – but the beauty of the ensemble on Tout N’est Que Paix Et Charme would melt a heart of stone. Opera News described it as having “the glowing sheen of perfection”, they weren’t wrong.