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Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

16 Apr 2012
3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 16 April 2012
  • Release Date: 16 April 2012
  • Label: Linn Records
  • Copyright: 2012 Linn Records
  • Total Length: 1:03:18
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B007FSY4UC
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,912 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What I like about this performance is that it has something new to say about the music. A lot of performances try to turn this into a conventional symphony whereas Ticciati seems to be unafraid to bring to attention all the grotesque sounds that make Berlioz's score so original. The playing of the SCO and the Linn recording are both exemplary. I am taking 1 star off for as compared to Colin Davis' classic performance with the Concertgebouw, Ticciati sometimes seems to lose the sense of forward thrust and long line. But I still recommend this strongly as an interesting take on the score.
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Format: Audio CD
This recording seems a bit short of 5-star reviews, but it illuminates Berlioz' fantastically imaginative score like few others, surely, especially for listening in a domestic space. It sounds rumbustious enough, and has beautiful rhythmic solidity, but is never too much, as it can be when you find youself having to adjust the volume up or down. The engineers here have got it just right, so that the exploration of the orchestra sounds like the most varied, finely-tuned use that can possibly be made of it. In the first movement, for instance, a certain melancholy comes through the brass that Robin Ticciati highlights with his sensitivity. He finds unity in diversity, in terms of timbre, and the results are endlessly thrilling. For me he is one of the very greatest conductors, having a talent to reveal the heart of the music that is rarely achieved on this level. I'm sure Berlioz would be overjoyed to hear this, especially given his neglect in his own era. But his spirit continued to soar, as the exuberance of the Beatrice and Benedict Overture shows, added here as an extra from his maturity. The note by David Cairns is a brilliant guide to the music, while the cover painting by Julio de Diego is both aptly fantastical and a parallel to the newness you always hear in Berlioz. Linn seems to be a very reliable label for orchestral recordings, whether in the Usher Hall or in the recent Sibelius recording from Wales under Thomas Sondergard - all these masterpieces emerging in new light, enabled by the sound.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having been lukewarm about BIS's recording with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Berlioz-Symphonie-Fantastique-Cleopatre-Lyrique/dp/B004H38WTM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1334751017&sr=8-3), I was hoping for a pleasant surprise with this one, and on the whole I was not disappointed. Robin Ticciati has the measure of the symphony and draws some beautiful playing from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Detail abounds, and while some of this is undoubtedly due to the conductor and players, there is a significant contribution made by the recording engineer. I have no criticism of the first three movements; the 'march to the scaffold' could be a little more menacing and I feel that the last movement, the 'witches' sabbath', needs to be less buttoned-up and more abandoned. Nevertheless, this is a revealing and enjoyable performance. The overture Beatrice and Benedict (coming after the symphony on this disc) is crisply fleet-footed and again clearly detailed.
As a whole I find the recording, made in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, to be very open, a little lean in the lower midrange and with just sufficient ambience. Double-basses could have a bit more body and clarity in the first movement (Jarvi on Telarc is much better); percussion, (especially important in the last two movements), is nicely balanced if a little compromised by the perceived leanness in tonal balance. Dynamic range is excellent.
In conclusion, I am personally not totally convinced that a chamber orchestra does full justice to Symphonie Fantastique, possibly influenced by this disc's recording quality, but this SACD must be near the top of the list of ones in that genre.
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Format: Audio CD
I very much liked this 'pared-down' version of the the Symphonie Fantastique. Ticciati and the SCO do away with the bombast of a full-size orchestra, allowing the listener to enjoy the detail of the music. Ticciati's subtle understanding of the composer shines through both works featured on this CD.
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I may have a bad disc but I was totally distracted by background noise on this recording. It was like the mikes were picking up the traffic noise outside the Usher Hall.
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