- the death of Cleopatra -
It's difficult to apprehend this "scène tragique" as Berlioz wrote it, because the singer also has to convey all the drama of a woman put to slavery and resulting to death in about 20 minutes and 3 different pieces. The first one and my favorite is the moment where Cleopatra remembers all of her glorious past, how she appeared on the rivers, triomphant in beauty and power, and how far those moments seem to be. Susan Graham manages quite well to build the crescendo at the end even though she pauses too long, the voice is light and clear. Of course, one would remember Janet Baker... but Graham really is royal.
- D'amour l'ardente flamme -
Again Berlioz, less at ease while acting, Graham definitely uses all the colour of her voice to sing this piece. Very different from romatic arias of the time, the song finds interest in the different tempos you can hear throughout the song and the acceleration right in the middle of it. While certain singers do find this comfortable, Graham makes the most of it.
- Autrefois, un roi de Thulé -
- les Troyens -
Difficult to talk of Berlioz gigantic opera (4 hours) without this song, one of the finest duo in it, it requires a well harmony of the two voice , which is somtimes quite difficult to achieve since the tenor is often a loud one for this piece since he has to be able to stand the 4 hours. But there the result is actually a success. Souriez à l'amour.