The Music Plays On, Beyond the Stage

By Donato Cabrera│medium.com/@donatocabrera
December 17, 2020

The Flight into Egypt – Giotto di Bondone

1850 portrait of Hector Berlioz — Gustave Courbet

While it takes a little digging, André Cluytens’ first recording, in mono, is the one to hear. With Hélène Bouvier, Jean Giraudeau, Michel Roux, Louis Noguéra, the Choeurs Raymond Saint-Paul and the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, it is a collection of unparalleled French singing and orchestral playing that has since disappeared. The sound is glorious and it won the Grand Prix du Disque in 1952. It begins on track 66 of this playlist.

For a modern recording, I’d recommend the Charles Dutoit and Choeur et Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, released in 2000.

In 2013, James Conlon stepped in to conduct a performance of L’Enfance du Christ, dedicated to the memory of Sir Colin Davis, who had recently passed away. It’s a beautifully filmed and exciting performance.