This 11CD set is perhaps the best introduction to the much underrated, certainly during his lifetime, music of French Romanticist composer Hector Berlioz, for most of his major compositions are represented here.
Seven complete works are played by the Frankfurt Radio Sinfonie Orchestra recorded between 1987 and 1989, directed by long serving (1974 to 1990 with the orchestra) Israeli conductor Eliahu Inbal.
Hugely underrated and underplayed, Berlioz's ideals represented a major contribution to the advancement from the Romantic period towards the `Modern' era.
The `Symphony Fantastique' is one of my favourites, particularly the chillingly brooding final movement which will be familiar to fans of Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film `The Shining' where the music featured during the breathtaking opening scenes while Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) drove around the spectacular mountain roads of the Glacier National Park, Montana towards the menacing Overlook Hotel, and also towards his gradual insanity.
The 11 CDs are in cards in a compact box with 40 page (all English) booklet providing notes including a brief biography and full text (French) of the sung works.
The front cover picture incidentally is an 1850 painting by Gustave Courbet of Berlioz.