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Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique

3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Lamoureux Orchestra
  • Conductor: Igor Markevitch
  • Composer: Hector Berlioz, Luigi Cherubini, Daniel-François-Esprit Auber
  • Audio CD (20 Nov. 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: The Originals
  • ASIN: B000001GQ3
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,009 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

titolo-sinfonia fantastica (symphonie fantastique)compositore-hector berlioz orchestra-orchestre des concerts lamoureux direttore-igor markevitch etichetta-deutsche grammophonn. dischi1data24 marzo 1995supportocd audiogeneremusica sinfonica-brani----1.1. rveries. passions (largo - allegro agitato ed appassionato assai)ascolta2.2. un bal (valse: allegro non troppo)ascolta3.3. sce'ne aux champs (adagio)ascolta4.4. marche au supplice (allegretto non troppo)ascolta5.5. songe d'une nuit du sabbat (larghetto - allegro - ronde du sabbat: poco meno mosso)ascolta6."anacreon" overtureascolta7.overture

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mark A. Meldon TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Feb. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a very desirable CD, one of Deutsche Grammophon's "The Originals" series, as it contains a very romantic interpretation of a quintessentially Romantic piece. There are well over 150 recordings of Berlioz' "Symphonie Fantastique" in the catalogue, more if you include innumerable deletions, and this 1961 recording is, by common consent, one of the best of them.

The composer-turned-conductor Igor Markevitch was chief conductor for the Orchestre Lamoureaux, Paris, between 1957 and 1961, so this recording must have been one of the last things he did with them prior to the onset of a debilitating hearing problem. Until very recently, Markevitch the composer had been forgotten, despite his being mentioned in the same breath as, say, Stravinsky, in the 1920s and 1930s. Thanks to an most interesting series of CDs now available on Naxos, this fact has been remedied. Here, we have Markevitch in his subsequent career, that of conductor. He made many interesting recordings before retirement, some of which have been available on CD in the past but, alas, many have now been deleted.

Markevitch certainly interprets the Berlioz work in a quite distinctive way, with accelerations, rubato, and tempo changes here and there - it's hardly similar to, say, Norrington's 1988 EMI Relflexe recording Symphonie Fantastique - his style reminds me somewhat of Wilhelm Furtwängler, as an example. I'd rather hear a conductor conduct with conviction, any day!

The Berlioz is accompanied by two overtures.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. FELTHAM on 26 July 2006
Format: Audio CD
Forget all other versions of this famous classical work - THIS landmark recording is the DEFINITIVE account. I first bought this on a cassette years ago, and it wasn't until a year later that I began to love it. The performance, the playing is both intimate, passionate, and also a tumultuous storm of sound. From the third movement onwards you will be hooked!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. And I would give it 12 out of 10.
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By Lance Edwards on 18 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Years ago I had the LP of this performance and was very happy with it. Then succumbed to professional reviews and bought the Davis Concertgebouw recording. This reissue has excellent sound for its age and more 'flair' than the Davis, so I feel I slightly prefer this recording but I may change my mind when I have lived with both a bit longer. In my head there is a performance better than either (Beecham perhaps?)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Historic and superb! 11 July 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This Fantastqiue is one of the top four or five choices. For one thing, this was Paray's orchestra, and Markevitch doesn't try to hide the obvious influence of the Maitre still held by the orchestra when this recording was made (1957, and don't let the age deter you; the sound is excellent).
But there's plenty that's original. It's a white-knuckle account, full of Gallic flair, and the wind and brass virtuosity has to be heard to be believed. Just listen to the snaggly Lamoureux brass between your speakers as it goes off to the scaffold, get a load of the fizzly, hair-raising winds in dreams and passions. Markevitch, himself a Paris fixture who knew everyone and everything au courant, takes you through a psychotic vision much like Argenta does in his version, but with a lot more finesse, candor, and class. It's a truly "bad" trip that somehow makes sense, not a carnival house of horrors for the garconerie.
The Cherubini and Auber are more than mere fillers. These are old Lamoureux "curtain-raisers" that bring us a glimpse of the great tradition of Charles Lamoureux and the orchestra he founded. These are "favorite numbers" that allow old Parisians to nod knowingly at each other and experience the unique nostalgia of Lamoureux concerts, every Sunday, rain or shine, free to the public.
This is a rich and full reissue of historic magnitude that deserves to be in every serious musicologist/music lover's collection.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Madness!! 23 July 2012
By Sean William Menzies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With as many different recordings of Berlioz's revolutionary symphony as I have, I thought I'd heard it all, but I was not prepared for this. Led to this recording by Markevitch's vivid La Damnation de Faust, I was blown away; Markevitch dissects the score like some mad scientist mirthfully performing an autopsy. And it isn't all just for show, there is underlying sadness and loneliness here, too, and frustration. The original cover art, with red and blue blood splashed and smeared over a background of black ravens' wings, couldn't be more appropriate. I can't stop listening to this recording, it is now my number one Symphonie Fantastique. I hear Markevitch's mono recording is even better!

The fillers are nice but sit rather shyly at the back of the album, as if intimidated by the Symphonie.
13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
There are better Markevitch recordings 29 April 2003
By emmkay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I disagree with the other reviewer. While the Lamoureux was Paray's orchestra, it lacked the precision and sense of ensemble displayed by the Detroit Symphony in Paray's own recording of this work. The intonation is sketchy, the strings (cellos in particular) are not together and the brass lack differentiation of dynamics and instrumental color. This is orchestrally altogether an inferior performance. Markevitch himself made a truly magical recording of Op.14 with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1953 (also on DG) which rises leagues above the quality of this Lamoureux performance. E.g. in his Berlin performance, Markevitch creates such a magical atmosphere at the entrance of the idee fixe in the second movement that one really feels a woman of such stunning beauty has entered the ballroom as to make all heads turn. This kind of magic the Lamoureux players are simply incapable of conveying despite Markevitch's passionate direction. Why this and not the Berlin performance made it out of the archives and into the Originals series is beyond me.
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