L’Enfance du Christ
The wind of freedom that blows through this sacred work by Berlioz makes it one of the great masterpieces of French Romanticism.
Stéphanie D’Oustrac Marie
Bernard Richter A centurion, narrator
Edwin Crossley-Mercer Joseph, Polydorus
Nicolas Testé Hérode, Father of the family
Emmanuel Krivine direction
Orchestre National de France
Chœur de Radio France direction Maria Försström
Approximate running time : 1h35
Sung in French with French and English subtitles
Unlike his two other sacred works - the Requiem and Te Deum - L’Enfance du Christ (The Childhood of Christ) does not draw on the liturgy and is more reminiscent of the 18th century conception of the oratorio. With the exception of the character of Herod, interventions by the other protagonists Mary, Joseph, and of course the choir, provide an opportunity for recitative, arias and ensembles imbued with biblical sensitivity conveyed by masterly orchestral passages of great beauty. Berlioz referred to this piece as “a work written in the manner of old illuminated missals”, a consciously intimate view of a composition with a universal reach.
Coproduction Théâtre des Champs-Elysées / Radio France
France Musique broadcasts this concert