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Berlioz : “Symphonie Fantastique” (LIVE)

Berlioz : Symphonie Fantastique (LIVE)

The Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Myung-Whun Chung performs Hector Berlioz’s ‘Symphonie Fantastique’.

Recorded September 13, 2013 at Salle Pleyel (Paris).

00:35 1er mouvement: Rêveries – Passions. Largo – Allegro agitato e appassionato assai – Religiosamente 15:08 2eme mouvement: Un bal. Valse. Allegro non troppo 22:09 3eme mouvement: Scène aux champs. Adagio 39:53 4eme mouvement: Marche au supplice. Allegretto non troppo 00:00 5eme mouvement: Songe d’une nuit de sabbat. Larghetto – Allegro

The Symphonie Fantastique was premiered in 1830, in the midst of Romanticism, the year of the Battle of Hernani. The first “program music”, which shattered the strictly classical framework of the symphony, it is a masterpiece ahead of its time, influencing many romantic composers, Liszt, Wagner or Mahler. Both autobiographical and fantasized narration of his love for actress Harriet Smithson, the work revolves around a “fixed idea” that returns obsessively in the different movements.

After a slow and uncertain Introduction, the fixed idea is exposed and then developed in the first Allegro movement.

berlioz sheet music

A light and famous waltz sounds in the second movement, “Un bal”, which ends in a frantic coda. The Adagio de la Scène aux champs begins with an oboe/cor anglais duet depicting a rural landscape, before a series of variations reminiscent of Beethoven. The Torture March, of short duration, is a vision of horror where the hero imagines having killed his beloved.

The last movement, Dream of a Sabbath Night is undoubtedly the one that goes the furthest in musical innovation, the announcement of the Dies Irae by two bells ringing in the void is undoubtedly the most frightening passage.

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