Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique (1985)


Daniel Barenboim conducting the Berlin Philharmonic.

This work, which premiered in Paris in 1930, is a program symphony which, in the words of the composer, develops "various episodes in the life of an artist, in so far as they lend themselves to musical treatment." This symphony has five movements, instead of the four movements which were conventional for symphonies at the time:
  1. Rêveries - Passions (Daydreams - Passions)
  2. Un bal (A ball)
  3. Scène aux champs (Scene in the Meadows)
  4. Marche au supplice (March to the Scaffold)
  5. Songe d'une nuit de Sabbat (Dream of a Witches' Sabbath)
The composer offers two slightly different versions of program notes. Those can be found here.

I can't really comment on the interpretation on this album because it is the one I've been listening to for 25 years. I think the tempos may be a little quick, but I think that suits the final movement perfectly. The orchestra has a nice warm sound throughout, but particularly in the first and third movements.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: One of the first CD's I ever purchased and the first classical CD I ever purchased. I bought this disc on the same day I bought my first CD player. While the first movements are good, I've had a long love affair with the last two morbid movements.

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