BBC Music Magazine
Complete Berlioz? Not quite…
It looks as though the sesquicentenary of Berlioz’s death will pass without a recording of the last remaining piece of the Berlioz puzzle. The Hector Berlioz Complete Works on Warner Classics actually omitted a few of his minor works and one major work: the unfinished opera Les francs-juges, which he worked on from 1826-29. According to the Hector Berlioz website (www.hberlioz.com), at least a half-hour’s worth of fragments from this work survive, and were put into performable condition and broadcast by the
BBC in 1970, but that recording remains in the BBC vault. The Warner box included the world premiere recording of music from Berlioz’s other incomplete opera, La nonne sanglante, so I was surprised at the nonappearance of Les francs-juges. Is there someone at the BBC who could bring about the release of that 1970 recording?
John Fowler, Illinois, US