Berlioz Symphony Fantastique

Symphonie fantastique: Épisode de la vie d'un artiste ... en cinq parties (Fantastical Symphony: An Episode in the Life of an Artist, in Five Parts) Op. 14 is a program symphony written by the French composer Hector Berlioz in 1830. It is an important piece of the early Romantic period, and is popular with concert audiences worldwide. The first performance was at the Paris Conservatoire in December 1830. The work was repeatedly revived after 1831 and subsequently became a favourite in Paris. Leonard Bernstein described the symphony as the first musical expedition into psychedelia because of its hallucinatory and dream-like nature, and because history suggests Berlioz composed at least a portion of it under the influence of opium. According to Bernstein, 'Berlioz tells it like it is. You take a trip, you wind up screaming at your own funeral.' In 1831, Berlioz wrote a lesser known sequel to the work, Lélio, for actor, orchestra and chorus. Franz Liszt made a piano transcription of the symphony in 1833. (S.470)


VIDEO: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique (complete performance) Chicago Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Stephane Deneve Rec. at Orchestra Hall, 06-12-2013

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