These composers are well-coupled united by the chameleon conducting of Gennadi Rozhdestvensky (1931-2018), first in the five orchestral movements from Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet (a Dramatic Symphony), given on April the First, 1981, in the Royal Albert Hall, not I think extracted from a complete performance, although the BBC Symphony Chorus is heard in the ‘Love Scene’, something of a luxury outside of doing the whole score. Rozhdestvensky relishes the music’s description, expression and orchestration in what is a fine showing of exciting, heartfelt and colourful music and the BBC Symphony Orchestra plays excellently for him in an illuminating and rewarding hour-long sequence, whether depicting the passion of the doomed lovers, the agility of ‘Queen Mab (Scherzo)’ – one of music’s gossamer miracles – or the tension and distress of ‘Romeo at Juliet’s tomb’, Berlioz at his most musically advanced. No applause, which makes me wonder if this was in fact a total rendition; if so, what we have remains desirable. Very good sound, too, courtesy of Paul Baily’s remastering. Equally so for Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy (London Symphony Orchestra, January 24, 1976, Royal Festival Hall) a volatile and compelling account that grabs the senses and doesn’t let go in its rapture, eroticism and consummation through uninhibited and heroic playing (might the trumpet solos be Maurice Murphy, the voluptuous violin contributions John Brown who led between John Georgiadis’s two stints as LSO Leader?). The closing orgiastic peroration and long-held fortissimo final chord are thrilling, probably roof-raising on the night. ICA Classics ICAC 5172.