Classical Voice Staff
MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS AND THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY RELEASE BERLIOZ’S ROMÉO ET JULIETTE ON SFS MEDIA NOVEMBER 30, 2018
Recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall in June 2017, the album presents Hector Berlioz’s musical adaption of Shakespeare’s classic story of love and tragedy in a performance featuring Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, tenor Nicholas Phan, and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, as well as the San Francisco Symphony Chorus under the direction of Ragnar Bohlin.
Released in 5.1 surround-capable SACD set, this double-disc album is also available for download in 24-bit/192kHz through digital outlets: iTunes, Amazon, AppleMusic, Spotify, Primephonic, HDTracks and Qobuz.
Michael Tilson Thomas explains: “Roméo et Juliette is one of a trio of works Berlioz wrote in his mid-30s inspired by his relationship with the Irish Shakespearean actress Harriet Smithson. Roméo et Juliette represents the years of bliss that they shared together. Even though the story is a tragic one, it gave Berlioz the opportunity to write some of the most impassioned love music of his life. He interweaves the chorus and soloists with the large orchestra in an utterly original way that sets up various scenes with his own words, and then produces music which describes what is taking place in that scene in a very cinematic way.”
SFS Media is the San Francisco Symphony’s award-winning in-house label, launched in 2001. SFS Media releases reflect MTT and the SFS’s artistic vision of showcasing music by American composers as well as core classical masterworks