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Symphonie Fantastique (LSO, Davis) Live, Original recording reissued

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Feb. 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live, Original recording reissued
  • Label: Lso
  • ASIN: B000063DQ8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,124 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
15:51
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30
6:35
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3
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17:16
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4
30
7:02
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5
30
10:30
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6
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8:25
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Product Description

Product Description

The greatest living conductor of Berlioz's music gives a sensational reading of the composer's symphonic masterpiece to produce the finest recording of the work. The recording captures the breathless exhilaration of the live performances to perfection.

BBC Review

If Sir Colin Davis had never been born, Berlioz enthusiasts would've had to invent him. Davis's tireless championing of the maverick Frenchman's complex scores has had an incalculable effect on attitudes to Berlioz...and he's still at it! Even if you can't get to the London Symphony Orchestra's Berlioz Odyssey concerts at the Barbican, it only costs a fiver to share the experience, thanks to the LSO Live label (less than most punters paid for their concert tickets!).

Maybe you think you don't need Sir Colin's latest thoughts on Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique? It's his fourth recording after all, but this has all the electricity of a live occasion, with Davis's extraordinary instinct, and the orchestra hanging on his every gesture. No need to worry about recording quality either; perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay it is it doesn't sound like the Barbican. I wish I'd been there...but at least now I know what I missed.

Like This? Try These:

Berlioz: Les Troyens (LSO/Davis)

Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherezade (Kirov Orchestra/Gergiev)

Debussy: Pélleas et Mélisande (Haitink) --Matt Fernand

Find more reviews on the BBC Music website Links off site

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I have just recently purchased the LSO live version of Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique a very well recorded version from Sir Colin. But for me this does not surpass his 70's Concertgebouw version which is his cream of the crop. For £5 we can not grumble, very good liner notes, good performance, cheap n cheerful, quite involving and quite essential from the finest Berlioz conductor of this generation, since Charles Munch. Others to consider are John Eliot Gardiner, Charles Munch & Roger Norrington to name a few which I already own. One irritation about this cd is the grunts by Davis on the famous Sabbath movement, to avoid this minor irritation, do not listen with headphones on, in the finale. The extra bonus of the Beatrice overture is a treat. As I have said, its a good one to have but there are better, Gardiner and Davis' Concertgebouw from the seventies remain the top two.
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Colin Davis appears to have been here for ever. He has evolved from enfant terrible to the grand old man of the English musical establishment and over those years has long seemed the definite word on Berlioz. Certainly, I have been happy to go along with that. This disc is, as you would expect, polished, urbane, and beautifully recorded.

Was it Wilde who said that there is nothing so false as approval of that which is approved of? There is of course always another in great music but if you want a symphonic approach backed by superb orchestral playing, Davis is the man to beat. However Berlioz was also a half-loony egotist and if eccentric weirdness is your thing there is a whole range of different interpretations stretching right back to Beecham and before. I only mention this because in a quite separate review (on Beecham's Fantastique) I wondered whether today's customary sophisticated refinement was not perhaps in danger of losing something.

However, there is a bewildering choice of versions out there but if you had to choose one mainstream version it would be difficult to beat Davis's version.
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I had this on LP as a kid, and wanted to hear it again. I am still finding new things in it, and have a way to go before I have completely re-familiarised myself - but I am enjoying do so. But, as with a couple of other recent purchases, the expanse of orchestra is pushing my stereo to its limits, I'm afraid.
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Colin Davis' interpretation of this majestic work is pleasing and the LSO play beautifully, definitely the best performance of this ground breaking symphony I've heard.

So imagine my dismay to find bits missing from the first two movements!!!

10 out of 10 for conductor and orchestra and a very poor 2 out of 10 for the editor (a case of 'go away and try again!')

The first movement has a half bar completely missing just after the GP at figure 11 meaning there are just 4 second violin slurs before the first violin entry instead of 5. The 2nd movement has a whole beat missing just before figure 33 creating a lop sided 3/8 2/8 feel (this is Berlioz and not Tchaikovsky's famous lop sided waltz from his 6th symphony?!!)

What a pity one little man in a darkened room somewhere can ruin an otherwise wonderful performance, perhaps they should provide these poor fellas with a score so at least they know how it's supposed to go before they start snipping.

A disappointed 3 for the overall CD, no reflection on the superb musicians.

D :-)
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