Berlioz is the greatest musical figure in the French Romantic movement. His Requiem (1837) - La Grande Messe des Morts - was written for the soldiers killed in the Algerian campaign.
The Requiem was the only work Berlioz permitted to be published without any revision. His own account of the first performance was as follows: "The effect on people of contrasting sensibility and disposition was overwhelming. The priest wept for a quarter of an hour at the altar after the ceremony and embraced me in tears in the sacristy; the impact of the five orchestras and eight pairs of timpani in the "Tuba mirum" was indescribable. A female member of the choir had a nervous breakdown. It was a truly awesome experience."
The magnificent cathedral of Regensburg is a perfect setting for this recording of Colin Davis conducting the Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphony Chorus and Orchestra in a splendid, moving performance of Berlioz¿s monumental work, with tenor Keith Lewis as soloist. The performance is completed by the pealing of the cathedral bells