This uncelebrated disc has become my, surprising to me, touchstone recording for this work out of the eleven CDs i have of this work, including much lauded performances. This is a cracking performance in the best sounding recording of this symphony demonstration sound that I have in my collection. This is a vividly exciting performance and one of the best bargain CDs around of anything, just take the sonics in the last movement alone and listen to the tangible metallic sound of that tolling bell and hear the reverberation around the bell that makes it all so very real. I have several in this series of Tring originally issued budget recordings with the RPO and they all have great sound. The sonic sound stage is spectacular. There is nothing budget about this reading or the sonics.
All of the movements are well characterised and for me this is simply one of the best discs Mackerras has produced in a long distinguished career. The second movement shimmers elegantly providing a notable demonstration of the warmth and clarity of this recording, but the witches sabbath in the last movement really sets this reading apart dramatic as my other performances are and the sound absolutely projects the drama out of the speakers.
I see it comes in a range of different budget covers and the coupling is equally exciting. As a companion in this series I would recommend Sir Alexander Gibson with the RPO in Berlioz overtures. Not to be missed!
on 22 March 2014
There are many fine recordings of Berlioz masterpiece "Symphonie Fantastique" and in my opinion this is one of them. It's played by the excellent Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in their digital series of classic works they began in the mid 1990s on the Tring label. The late Sir Charles MacKerras had conducted the RPO in quite a few of these classic works and draws another wonderful performance from them with the "Symphonie Fantastique." The powerful RPO strings are the real strength throughout this five movement Symphony with nice lilting woodwind, strong brass and menacing percussion. It's a real treat to listen to, especially in digital sound.