Hector Berlioz – Symphonie fantastique – Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle (2008/2014) [HDTracks 24-44.1]

Hector Berlioz – Symphonie fantastique – Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle (2008/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 1:15:59 minutes | 628 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | @ Warner Classics International
Recorded: 30.V–1.VI.2008, Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem

Any mention of the name Hector Berlioz inevitably brings to mind his most famous work, theSymphonie fantastique. Written in 1830, the year of the ‘July Revolution’ that defeated the post-Napoleonic monarchy in France, this symphony (Berlioz’s first) is itself a revolution in sound and concept. Here we see the 27-year-old composer taking a bold step into the future, rejecting the symphonic canon of the past, and creating in its place a new hybrid genre that blended elements drawn from the world of opera with more traditional forms and compositional devices belonging to the world of instrumental concert music. Berlioz referred to this unique genre – part symphony, part opera – as the ‘dramatic symphony’.

The programme depicts a lovesick artist (by implication, Berlioz), who, in a fit of unrequited love, tries to end his suffering by taking an overdose of opium. But instead of killing him, the drug sends him into a wild, hallucinatory dream, the subject of which is a series of episodes in his tormented relationship with the object of his affections (by implication, Harriet Smithson). Throughout the symphony Harriet is represented by a single theme, which Berlioz called the idée fixe (fixed idea). It is first heard as the primary theme of the sonata-form first movement, and then reappears in each of the following movements, effectively unifying the various episodes of the hero’s life.

Tracklist:
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)
Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
1. I. Rêveries – Passions 15:38
2. II. Un bal 06:27
3. III. Scène aux champs 16:10
4. IV. Marche au supplice 07:11
5. V. Songe d’une nuit du Sabbat 10:05
La Mort de Cléopâtre (Scène lyrique)*
6. I. Scène lyrique 10:09
7. II. Méditation 10:19

Personnel:
Susan Graham – Mezzo-Soprano*
Berliner Philharmoniker – Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle – Conductor

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