BERLIOZ SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE
An early Romantic masterpiece ablaze with brilliant new orchestral touches
The musical high point of every London summer is the Proms concert series. With approximately 100 concerts held mostly at the Royal Albert Hall, the series is one of the most important musical institutions in Britain. In this concert recorded at the Proms, Mariss Jansons leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in a dazzling performance of Hector Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique,” a monument of musical Romanticism.
The audience was spellbound as “the widely adored Mariss Jansons delivered an expansive yet fiery and clean-toned account of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique,” wrote The Guardian. The work, premiered in 1830, is a feverish, autobiographically tinged composition that reflects Berlioz’s tormented love for the actress Harriet Smithson, who hardly took notice of him. Thus an actress no longer remembered today inadvertently helped give rise to one of the seminal works of European Romanticism.
Mariss Jansons revels in the myriad instrumental colors and innovative orchestration that Berlioz called for in this work. Only a truly outstanding orchestra can successfully tackle this symphonic giant. And the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra “is one of the world’s great ensembles [...] their playing, immaculate in its warmth and subtlety, was incomparable.” (The Guardian)