Author Topic: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14  (Read 36879 times)

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Offline Leo K.

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #120 on: February 23, 2013, 10:17:20 AM »


I've been listening to this one this week, actually the only version I own, but I recently acquired the Colin Davis box of Berlioz's orchestral works to expand my Berlioz horizons.

I love Norrington's Berlioz, so much so I never needed another version, but I thought I'd give Davis a try. I'm confident it's good.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #121 on: November 28, 2015, 06:40:58 AM »
I have just listened to the Abbado version....





....and I quite enjoyed it.
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #122 on: November 28, 2015, 01:39:42 PM »
I highly recommend the spectacular Ozawa/Boston on Pentatone.  Short measure, but not painful at the Marketplace price.


Offline aligreto

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #123 on: November 28, 2015, 01:42:03 PM »
I highly recommend the spectacular Ozawa/Boston on Pentatone.  Short measure, but not painful at the Marketplace price.



I will try to sample that. Thank you.
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Offline jochanaan

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #124 on: November 28, 2015, 07:59:05 PM »
If one doesn't mind "historical sound," there is a fine old Fantastique by Pierre Monteux and the San Francisco Symphony that is still, sort of, my go-to standard Fantastique, even more than the Colin Davis/Concertgebouw recording--which I actually think doesn't come anywhere near the excitement of Davis' Harold in Italy with the London Symphony.

I need to find the Gardiner/ORR recording again.  I seem to recall hearing it on radio and liking it, especially those deep, deep bells in the Witches' Sabbat. 8)
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #125 on: November 29, 2015, 03:03:24 AM »
If one doesn't mind "historical sound," there is a fine old Fantastique by Pierre Monteux and the San Francisco Symphony that is still, sort of, my go-to standard Fantastique, even more than the Colin Davis/Concertgebouw recording--which I actually think doesn't come anywhere near the excitement of Davis' Harold in Italy with the London Symphony.

I need to find the Gardiner/ORR recording again.  I seem to recall hearing it on radio and liking it, especially those deep, deep bells in the Witches' Sabbat. 8)

A friend told me that the Monteux was well worth hearing and it has been on my List for some time now. I must get around to buying it.
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Online k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #126 on: November 30, 2015, 04:27:22 AM »
The "old murky" sound notwithstanding, I do really enjoy the Monteux/SFSO, and both of the Munch/BSO reissues.  Wouldn't want them to be my only accounts of the piece; but I like them very well.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #127 on: December 09, 2015, 02:23:08 PM »
I thought that I would register this one here....





A strong performance; I really enjoyed it. Recommended listening.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #128 on: January 26, 2016, 02:04:32 PM »
I find this to be an amazing work both in terms of the vision/imagination behind the work itself and the execution of that vision in terms of the orchestration and orchestral colour used to achieve that vision, and so very innovative when one considers when it was written. It is a work that I come back to from time to time and enjoy very much. It is a great listen; very exciting with a rich sound world.

I am currently working my way through my CD versions of this work which will then be followed by my listening to my vinyl collection.
The versions that I have in my collection are as follows:

Abbado – Chicago Symphony Orchestra [DG]
Beecham – French National Radio Radio Orchestra [EMI]
Bernstein – New York Philharmonic [CBS]
Van Beinum – Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam [Richmond]
Cluytens – Philharmonia Orchestra [Seraphim]
Davis – London Symphony Orchestra [Philips]
Davis – Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra [Philips]
Eschenbach - Orchestre de Paris [Naive]
Gardiner – Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique [Philips]
Von Karajan – Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra [DG]
Markevitch = Orchestre Lamoureux [DG]
Martinon – Orchestre National de l’ORTF [EMI]
Mehta – New York Philharmonic [Decca]
Munch – Boston Symphony Orchestra [RCA]
Norrington – London Classical Players [EMI]
Ozawa – Toronto Symphony [CBS]   
Zecchi – Czech Philharmonic Orchestra [Supraphon]


Planned acquisitions are:

Markevitch [Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra]
Monteux


However, are there any glaring omissions from the above list?
Am I missing any important interpretation?

This thread goes back as far as 2007 and runs up to 2013 until some very recent posts. Have members’ favourites or recommendations changed over the intervening years?







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Offline North Star

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #129 on: January 26, 2016, 02:25:08 PM »
Based on this blind comparison, you might want to look at least at Paray, Solti, & Stokowski.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21089.msg701873.html#msg701873
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #130 on: January 26, 2016, 02:32:32 PM »
Based on this blind comparison, you might want to look at least at Paray, Solti, & Stokowski.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21089.msg701873.html#msg701873

Thank you for that link; much appreciated  ;) ;)
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #131 on: January 26, 2016, 02:37:44 PM »
MishaK who seems to be really fond of the piece highly recommends Pretre/Vienna Symphony/Teldec. As this can be found very cheaply (or used) in several of Teldec/warners cheapo series you can easily try for yourself. (I have it but do not remember it well enough)

I am not sure if I am confusing it with Harold (I think I was very impressed with both but of course there is far less competition for Harold which is also a less convincing piece I am afraid) but Scherchen's 1950s recording is one of the "craziest". There is a 4 CD set "Nixa recordings" that is fairly expensive, unless on sale. With some patience one should not have to pay more than 20-25 EUR.

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #132 on: January 26, 2016, 02:52:13 PM »


I've been listening to this one this week, actually the only version I own, but I recently acquired the Colin Davis box of Berlioz's orchestral works to expand my Berlioz horizons.

I love Norrington's Berlioz, so much so I never needed another version, but I thought I'd give Davis a try. I'm confident it's good.

I think most highly of it - my wife rates it topmost among the thirty or so recordings of it I own! 

Offline aligreto

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #133 on: January 27, 2016, 09:10:25 AM »
MishaK who seems to be really fond of the piece highly recommends Pretre/Vienna Symphony/Teldec. As this can be found very cheaply (or used) in several of Teldec/warners cheapo series you can easily try for yourself. (I have it but do not remember it well enough)

I am not sure if I am confusing it with Harold (I think I was very impressed with both but of course there is far less competition for Harold which is also a less convincing piece I am afraid) but Scherchen's 1950s recording is one of the "craziest". There is a 4 CD set "Nixa recordings" that is fairly expensive, unless on sale. With some patience one should not have to pay more than 20-25 EUR.



Thank you for that. I must look up the Pretre version.

I am curious by what you mean by the "craziest" version; do you mean interpretation or performance or something else altogether?
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #134 on: January 27, 2016, 09:25:09 AM »
Have you heard any other recording with Scherchen? With "crazy" I mean very strong contrasts of tempo, mood etc., generally high intensity, turning lots of parameters up to 12. With many, even good recordings (e.g. Davis) one experiences an established, serious symphony, not a drug-induced nightmare that must have been shocking to the musical establishment (who in France, according to Berlioz, could not even accept most middle period Beethoven in the 1830s). Scherchen is closer than most to the opium delirium.

The sound is decent mono and while I would have to re-listen, I think the orchestra is better than on many others of Scherchen's recordings (do not expect modern or drill sergeant ensemble quality, though).

But try to listen, I do not want to induce you to shell out for a 4-disc-set (I can't comment on the non-Berlioz items in the NIXA set, I do not think I ever heard them) on hearsay...
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #135 on: January 27, 2016, 09:36:21 AM »
Have you heard any other recording with Scherchen? With "crazy" I mean very strong contrasts of tempo, mood etc., generally high intensity, turning lots of parameters up to 12. With many, even good recordings (e.g. Davis) one experiences an established, serious symphony, not a drug-induced nightmare that must have been shocking to the musical establishment (who in France, according to Berlioz, could not even accept most middle period Beethoven in the 1830s). Scherchen is closer than most to the opium delirium.

The sound is decent mono and while I would have to re-listen, I think the orchestra is better than on many others of Scherchen's recordings (do not expect modern or drill sergeant ensemble quality, though).

But try to listen, I do not want to induce you to shell out for a 4-disc-set (I can't comment on the non-Berlioz items in the NIXA set, I do not think I ever heard them) on hearsay...

Thank you very much for that explanation. I am not familiar with Scherchen but I must admit that I am intrigued by your post. That recording sounds very interesting to me; the music is, or proports to be, drug-induced so anything that tries to replicate that would be interesting to me. I will see if I can get a copy on vinyl somewhere.
Thanks again  :)
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #136 on: January 27, 2016, 10:04:18 AM »
Have you heard any other recording with Scherchen? With "crazy" I mean very strong contrasts of tempo, mood etc., generally high intensity, turning lots of parameters up to 12. With many, even good recordings (e.g. Davis) one experiences an established, serious symphony, not a drug-induced nightmare that must have been shocking to the musical establishment (who in France, according to Berlioz, could not even accept most middle period Beethoven in the 1830s). Scherchen is closer than most to the opium delirium.

The sound is decent mono and while I would have to re-listen, I think the orchestra is better than on many others of Scherchen's recordings (do not expect modern or drill sergeant ensemble quality, though).

But try to listen, I do not want to induce you to shell out for a 4-disc-set (I can't comment on the non-Berlioz items in the NIXA set, I do not think I ever heard them) on hearsay...

This Scherchen certainly sounds interesting. I've found it on Spotify and am listening to the first movement, which does indeed abound in tempo contrasts, bringing out Berlioz's weirdness, something that I've always felt Davis never shied away from, unlike, say, Karajan, who tries to make the symphony sound like any early nineteenth century symphonic work, ironing out its idiosyncrasies and originality.

But Sherchen goes one further than Davis. So far I'm liking it very much, but wishing he enjoyed Davis's warm analogue Philips sound.

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Offline aligreto

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #137 on: January 27, 2016, 01:47:54 PM »
.... So far I'm liking it very much, but wishing he enjoyed Davis's warm analogue Philips sound.

Older mono sound is not a bother for me as I still live with many older mono vinyl editions of various works; so that would not put me off any prospective purchase.
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Offline Que

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #138 on: January 27, 2016, 03:37:01 PM »
[...]

Planned acquisitions are:

Markevitch [Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra]

A good choice IMO.  :)

Q

Offline aligreto

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Re: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
« Reply #139 on: January 28, 2016, 08:46:50 AM »
A good choice IMO.  :)

Q

It may well have been you that alerted me to that one. I had not realised that Markevitch had done two different versions until someone on this forum [you?] had pointed it out to me.
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