Immensely influential, the remarkable Symphonie fantastique was composed while Hector Berlioz was suffering an intense and unreciprocated passion for the Irish actress Harriet Smithson. Its autobiographical tale describes a young musician’s opium-poisoned nightmares of jealous despair and fatal justice following the murder of his beloved. Berlioz wrote a second movement cornet solo into a subsequent revision of the score, here included as an optional extra. He wed his sweetheart actress but, recuperating in Nice, wrote Le corsaire after the final breakup of their marriage.
24-bit, 96 kHz Stereo and Surround recordings
“There is stylish playing in both the Symphonie fantastique and the Overture. The problem is that the symphony remains too unruffled in the nightmarish extremes of Berlioz's vision.”
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