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L’enfance du Christ

Sir Andrew Davis conducts BBC NOW and NCW in Berlioz's L'enfance du Christ, beginning a weekend-long celebration of the composer's music.

Live from Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff

Presented by Nicola Heywood Thomas

Beginning a weekend of commemorating the 150th anniversary of the death of Berlioz, the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales open proceedings with a performance of Berlioz's monumental oratorio L'enfance du Christ, the first concert of a host of performances from all of the BBC Orchestras and Choirs across the country. L'enfance du Christ marked a change for Berlioz, not necessarily in his writing but in the extremely favourable reception of the French public - which tended towards frosty. This reaction was probably due to the music, which Berlioz himself called 'naive and gentle', although he insisted that it was stylistically no different from any of his previous work. Although not himself a man of faith, the oratorio is steeped in his love of religious music, telling the story in three parts of the massacre of the innocents following the birth of Christ, the flight of Jesus, Mary and Joseph into Egypt, and finally their arrival and refuge in the town of Sais, all heard here without an interval.

Berlioz: L'enfance du Christ, Op 25

Sarah Connolly (Marie)
Andrew Staples (narrator)
Roderick Williams (Joseph)
Matthew Brook (Herod & Father)
BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales
Sir Andrew Davis (conductor)

Part of the Radio 3 celebration
Berlioz - The Ultimate Romantic

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2 hours, 28 minutes

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