As a result of PENTATONE’s labour of love re-recording and re-mastering this release, be prepared to be mesmerised by the effect, drama and imagination presented in Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, as it was the first time he laid eyes on the highly regarded actress Harriet Smithson. For Symphonie fantastique, Berlioz was inspired in part by Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. He once claimed, “The effect of her wonderful talent, or rather her dramatic genius on my imagination and my heart, can be compared only with the effect that the poet himself had on me”.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa performed in exceptionally fine form in this recording, interpreting Berlioz’s imaginationRead more ever so vividly. Now on SACD, we finally get to experience the orchestra’s vigorous performance in the sound quality intended as when it was recorded. Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14by Hector Berlioz Conductor:
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: 1830; France Date of Recording: 02/1973 Venue: Symphony Hall, Boston Length: 47 Minutes 15 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Inaugural Ozawa April 15, 2015By Christopher Abbot (Chilmark, MA)See All My Reviews"The original release on DG of this recording marked Seiji Ozawa's first recording with his then-new orchestra; it also inaugurated a mini-Berlioz cycle which eventually included La Damnation de Faust (recently reissued in this Pentatone series) and Romeo et Juliette. On the positive side, Ozawa's flawless rhythmic sense promises a lithe, fluent performance, and those seeking a Symphonie that never flags should be happy with this one. On the negative side, though, Ozawa tends to smooth out the more contrasted elements, particularly in the first movment, where other conductors have found more impulsivity; his omission of the repeat makes this a brisk version indeed (the omission of the fourth movement repeat seems less egregious). Overall, though, this is a convincing account, played with committment and beauty by the BSO; the new surround-sound remastering, while not as spectacular as that for the Damnation recording, presents a full and deep soundstage that is particularly effective in the Witches' Sabbath. Those seeking a more historically-informed interpretation might consider John Eliot Gardiner's on Philips; for those interested in a modern-instrument version, this new reissue is a safe recommendation."Report Abuse