‘Wine, blood, joy and rage mingle in mutual intoxication and make music together’ was Berlioz’s (impractical) description of the finale of ‘Harold’: he would surely have rejoiced in this impassioned performance from Lawrence Power, Andrew Manze and the Bergen Philharmonic.
Manze’s background as a period string player might be expected to give him some particular feeling for this curious quasi-concerto, and so it proves…Altogether it’s an exciting, intriguing reading, not least because of Lawrence Power’s notably lyrical, eloquent playing; you really feel this is an individual voice. But Manze’s sheer dynamism won’t suit everyone. BBC ****
Power’s mellow tone makes for a poetic reading as the Byronic brooder, his echo of the opening theme as delicate as gossamer… Andrew Manze leads Power and the Bergen Philharmonic on a swift hike across the Alps, keeping meandering to a minimum. Gramophone