Author Topic: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14  (Read 27483 times)

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Mark

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #80 on: November 20, 2007, 01:27:05 AM »
I think the Gardiner could use much remastering as well - the acoustics were a bit hazy (the same on DVD), even if Berlioz premiered the piece in the same space.

Interesting comment. I shall have to listen to this again today, as I remember the opposite - the acoustic seemed almost over-bright and a shade brittle in places. We're talking about the one on Philips, right?

Offline FideLeo

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #81 on: November 20, 2007, 01:33:18 AM »
Interesting comment. I shall have to listen to this again today, as I remember the opposite - the acoustic seemed almost over-bright and a shade brittle in places. We're talking about the one on Philips, right?

It's the Philips.  But maybe I was wrong to describe it as 'hazy' - lacking a sense of space is more like it I think.
I do understand that it is a VERY crowded stage.
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #82 on: November 20, 2007, 02:04:02 AM »
Here's Mitropoulos's recording with the New York Philharmonic, I'm guessing from the late 1950s.  Very good stereo sound (but from an Odyssey LP, I don't have the 6-eye Lp).  VBR mp3 ~ 192K.

I'm informed that this was recorded on February 24, 1957 in Columbia's 30th Street Studios.

If the mydatabus link doesn't work because I'm over my bandwidth limit, please try

http://www.bestsharing.com/f/klIfVQe369036

Mark

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #83 on: November 20, 2007, 02:36:42 AM »
It's the Philips.  But maybe I was wrong to describe it as 'hazy' - lacking a sense of space is more like it I think.
I do understand that it is a VERY crowded stage.

Hmm ... this recording isn't as I recalled. A fresh listen is revealing a sonic picture that's cramped at the outer edges, and an overall sound that's a little flat. That's not to say there isn't clarity across the majority of the stereo image, mind you. I have to say this really isn't a very inspiring performance, and given the choice, I'd take Colin Davis with the VPO, also on Philips. He seems to make a much more compelling argument for this wonderful work; JEG just makes it sound like a moderately attractively run-through with the occasional lucid touch.

Drasko

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #84 on: November 20, 2007, 03:31:43 AM »
I'm informed that this was recorded on February 24, 1957 in Columbia's 30th Street Studios.

If the mydatabus link doesn't work because I'm over my bandwidth limit, please try

http://www.bestsharing.com/f/klIfVQe369036

Many thanks!

Mark

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #85 on: November 20, 2007, 03:40:14 AM »
I'm informed that this was recorded on February 24, 1957 in Columbia's 30th Street Studios.

If the mydatabus link doesn't work because I'm over my bandwidth limit, please try

http://www.bestsharing.com/f/klIfVQe369036

Excellent! Thanks for this. Always up for hearing alternatives of this work. :)

Oh, and to follow up on my less-than-praiseworthy 'review' (above) on the JEG version, his interpretation seems to work far more convincingly in the final two movements than in the first three. So not all doom and gloom. :) But I stand by the comment about the whole thing feeling flat. It strikes me that the recording venue must have a super-dry acoustic.

Drasko

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #86 on: November 21, 2007, 07:49:22 AM »
I'm considering getting these two, any opinions?




Mark

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #87 on: November 21, 2007, 03:23:30 PM »
Sampled Norrington's version over at eMusic, and very much liked what I heard. Will download it this month and report back. ;)

Offline FideLeo

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #88 on: November 22, 2007, 12:21:12 AM »
I'm considering getting these two, any opinions?

The Minkowski is a Mixed Bag unfortunately.  The first two movements are a bit flat, as if the conductor were having an off day.  But the last two movements are pure Minkowski - wham, bang, all hell let loose.  A satisfactory ending.  Mahler Chamber Orchestra do not play period instruments but they are HIP influenced to be sure. 
HIP for all and all for HIP! Harpsichord for Bach, fortepiano for Beethoven and pianoforte for Brahms!

Offline Marcel

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #89 on: November 22, 2007, 12:25:09 AM »
I'm considering getting these two, any opinions?

I have P. Boulez's cd. It's very good performance, but in some moments it sounds rather "steril". It can be caused by recording quality.. The sound isn't so fresh especially in the first movement. I can compare it only with Davis and Concertgebouw Orchestra where sonics and performance are much better in my opinion.

Offline FideLeo

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #90 on: November 22, 2007, 12:27:22 AM »
Sampled Norrington's version over at eMusic, and very much liked what I heard. Will download it this month and report back. ;)

It's a "LTMSFI" (let the music speak for itself) kind of Berlioz performance to me.  Some will no doubt use it as further proof of what they perceive as Snorrington- or Borringtonism.  But like you I am fond of it and return to it every now and then to get some fresh air.  It's worth at least as much to me.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2007, 12:31:31 AM by fl.traverso »
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Hector

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #91 on: November 22, 2007, 06:56:53 AM »
Hmm ... this recording isn't as I recalled. A fresh listen is revealing a sonic picture that's cramped at the outer edges, and an overall sound that's a little flat. That's not to say there isn't clarity across the majority of the stereo image, mind you. I have to say this really isn't a very inspiring performance, and given the choice, I'd take Colin Davis with the VPO, also on Philips. He seems to make a much more compelling argument for this wonderful work; JEG just makes it sound like a moderately attractively run-through with the occasional lucid touch.

Oh, Mark, you disappoint me, as this is a truly great performance and JEG uses real bells in the finale that, as far as I know, makes his recording unique!

However, I agree about Davis' VPO rendering.

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #92 on: November 22, 2007, 07:22:32 AM »
Ones I really enjoy: Bernstein/NYPO/SONY, Munch/BSO/RCA
Another one very good: Ormandy/Phil.O/SONY
Ones I don't like (too tame, not really much going on): MTT/SFSO/RCA, JEG/Philips, Davis/RCO/Philips

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #93 on: November 22, 2007, 07:40:07 AM »
...JEG uses real bells in the finale that, as far as I know, makes his recording unique!

I have a live performance by JEG et al on video, made by a friend from a laser disk. Don't know if it was ever released on any other format, probably so. In any case, this was the performance that sold this work to me (I was on the fence about it for years). Not only real bells, but ophecleides, serpents, all sorts of very cool instruments that are visually and sonically appealing. And well played, I must add. :)

8)

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Drasko

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #94 on: November 22, 2007, 07:43:54 AM »
The Minkowski is a Mixed Bag unfortunately.  The first two movements are a bit flat, as if the conductor were having an off day.  But the last two movements are pure Minkowski - wham, bang, all hell let loose.  A satisfactory ending.  Mahler Chamber Orchestra do not play period instruments but they are HIP influenced to be sure. 

I have P. Boulez's cd. It's very good performance, but in some moments it sounds rather "steril". It can be caused by recording quality.. The sound isn't so fresh especially in the first movement. I can compare it only with Davis and Concertgebouw Orchestra where sonics and performance are much better in my opinion.

Thank you both. :)

It seems all the reviews and opinions I heard/read on Minkowski are along the a same lines of it being not completely successful, even DG dropped it out of print quite quickly.

Mark

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #95 on: November 22, 2007, 01:00:20 PM »
Oh, Mark, you disappoint me, as this is a truly great performance and JEG uses real bells in the finale that, as far as I know, makes his recording unique!

However, I agree about Davis' VPO rendering.

Sorry to disappoint you, Hector. ;)

I wish JEG's account was more involving from the outset, rather than just towards the end of the work. But I can't get past this 'flatness' that either the performance or the recorded sound suffers with. I'm very curious to check out Norrington's traversal, as the eMusic samples I heard really sparkled. Roger's 'Un bal', particularly, seemed to have a beautifully natural lilt to it, like actually being at ball ... another reason for my eagerness to try it out in full.

As for Davis, his VPO recording 'unlocked' this work for me. Many will doubtless argue that it's an idiosyncratic, rather than idiomatic, reading - but the word that matters most to me in connection with this account is 'cogent'. The whole thing makes sense, holds a strong, thematic line from first movement to last; it gave this work a coherence which I'd clearly missed when listening to one of two other interpretations.

karlhenning

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #96 on: November 23, 2007, 07:12:09 AM »
I wish JEG's account was more involving from the outset

And if he failed there, then he was untrue to Berlioz, period.

Brahmsian

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #97 on: August 16, 2011, 08:01:42 AM »
Ok - can anyone tell me which recording has the loudest, most prominent bells in the final movement to Symphonie Fantastique?

THAT would be the recording I most want.   8)

Offline MishaK

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #98 on: August 16, 2011, 08:47:34 AM »
Ok - can anyone tell me which recording has the loudest, most prominent bells in the final movement to Symphonie Fantastique?

THAT would be the recording I most want.   8)

I think that would have to be Vladimir Golschmann with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra.



He has actual, gigantic church bells on stage. It borders on the ridiculous. You'll love it.

You do realize, though, that in the original score Berlioz asked for the bells to be placed derriere la scène, right? So the "proper" way to do it is to have them offstage, suggesting that you hear the church tower from the village in the distance, not that the witches are actually dancing their ronde *inside* the belfry.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 08:57:52 AM by MishaK »

Brahmsian

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #99 on: August 16, 2011, 08:51:12 AM »
I think that would have to be Vladimir Golschman with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra.



He has actual, gigantic church bells on stage. It borders on the ridiculous. You'll love it.

You do realize, though, that in the original score Berlioz asked for the bells to be placed derriere la scène, right? So the "proper" way to do it is to have them offstage, suggesting that you hear the church tower from the village in the distance, not that the witches are actually dancing their ronde *inside* the belfry.

Thanks.  Yeah, I know how it is supposed to be.  It is supposed to be more 'background noise', I realize.  I find in some cases it is WAY too quiet though.

Thank you for the recommendation though, I may just check it out for my own benefit.   :)

 

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