Berlioz- Symphonie fantastique & Overture- Waverley (2014)

Berlioz

London Symphony Orchestra

Valery Gergiev

With all its innovations – including the introduction of instruments, textures, rhythms and gestures new to symphonic music – the Symphonie fantastique has its roots in other music, past and present. It was influenced by the music of Gluck and Spontini, which was for several years Berlioz’s main diet and whose melodic style he absorbed into his innermost being when he first came to Paris in 1821, a boy of 17 who had never heard an orchestra. A few years later, the discovery of Weber, and, still more, of Beethoven at the Conservatoire concerts in 1828 (paralleling the impact of Goethe and Shakespeare) had an even more profound effect upon the young musician, who had, until then, been reared on French Classical opera. The Symphonie fantastique is unthinkable without Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ and Fifth, and without Weber’s Der Freischu?tz. Above all, the revelation of the symphony as a dramatic form par excellence, and of the orchestra as an expressive instrument of undreamed of richness and flexibility, opened before Berlioz a new world, which he must at all costs enter and inhabit.

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London Symphony Orchestra

The LSO was formed in 1904 as London’s first self-governing orchestra and has been resident orchestra at the Barbican since 1982. Valery Gergiev became Principal Conductor in 2007 following in the footsteps of Hans Richter, Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Thomas Beecham, André Previn, Claudio Abbado and Michael Tilson Thomas, among others. Sir Colin Davis had previously held the position since 1995 and from 2007 became the LSO’s first President since Leonard Bernstein. The Orchestra gives numerous concerts around the world each year, plus more performances in London than any other orchestra. It is the world’s most recorded symphony orchestra and has appeared on some of the greatest classical recordings and film soundtracks. The LSO also runs LSO Discovery, its ground-breaking education programme that is dedicated to introducing the finest music to young and old alike and lets everyone learn more from the Orchestra’s players. For more information visit lso.co.uk

Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev is Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Stars of the White Nights Festival (St Petersburg), the Moscow Easter Festival, the Gergiev Rotterdam Festival, the Mikkeli International Festival, and the Red Sea Festival in Eilat, Israel. His inspired leadership as Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre since 1988 has brought universal acclaim to this legendary institution. Born in Moscow, he studied conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory, won the Herbert von Karajan Conductors’ Competition aged 24, and made his Mariinsky Opera debut one year later conducting Prokofiev’s War and Peace. In 2003 he led St Petersburg’s 300th anniversary celebrations, and opened the Carnegie Hall season with the Mariinsky Orchestra,the first Russian conductor to do so since Tchaikovsky conducted the Hall’s inaugural concert in 1891. Valery Gergiev’s many awards include a Grammy, the Dmitri Shostakovich Award, the Golden Mask Award, People’s Artist of Russia Award, and France’s Royal Order of the Legion of Honour. His vast discography includes Russian operas, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Tchaikovsky Symphonies, and numerous discs on the LSO Live and Mariinsky labels, including a Mahler Symphony cycle, Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Wagner’s Parsifal, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and a disc of Debussy’s music.

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Berlioz- Symphonie fantastique & Overture- Waverley (2014)

Berlioz

London Symphony Orchestra

    Klassik.com -

Interpretation **** Sound Quality ***** The LSO goes beyond the dramatization of the orchestra, towards a dramatization of the individual musicians.

    Classica

[Gergiev’s] Symphonie fantastique is of exceptional narrative dimension - a true epic, set to music! Volcanic, warrior-like, this revolutionary piece is performed with uncommon rage. This is Symphonie fantastique, ridden by Gergiev. One bows in respect.

    Pizzicato

The playing of the opening of the first movement of Berlioz Symphonie fantastique is warm and tender with dark contrasted colours…Gergiev employs the broadest of colour palates, subtle tempo changes, rubato and other creative means to gain maximum expressiveness from the music. The other movements produce a rich and expressive sound, not least because of the exceptional quality of the London Symphony’s soloists – especially the woodwinds….the Witches Sabbath is terrific…

    Classical CD Choice

The opening movement ‘Rêveries – Passions’ is uncharacteristically relaxed and poetic with beautifully nuanced playing especially from the strings. Gergiev’s seating of the orchestra with antiphonal violins is an excellent plus point as is his inclusion of the exposition repeat – something not always found on recordings from the past…This issue represents a considerable bargain for those sympathetic to Gergiev’s persuasive Berlioz and I look forward to its future continuation.

    AV Magazine

The best of this revolutionary format.

    Audiophile Audition

The lossless DTS Master Audio tracks are really superb. The music emerges from a noiseless background. The strings sound realistic, and the orchestral image is well rendered in the front speakers. The deep bass is solid for the fourth and fifth movements, never blurring and the dense orchestration never becomes sonically diffuse. It’s a demonstration quality recording with the wide dynamic range high resolution audio that are so well reproduced.

    Classic FM

Superb new recording… the climax of tonight’s concert of recent releases.

    SA-CD.net -

For a new departure for LSO Live the 2-disc package contains both a hybrid SACD with 5.1 multi-channel and 2.0 stereo mixes and also a Pure Audio Blu-ray disc. The latter also includes what is modestly described on the CD case as 'video footage', but is in fact an excellently filmed complete Barbican performance of the Symphonie fantastique in high definition video. This is well worth watching if only to marvel at how the tooth pick wielding maestro gets such compelling results from his orchestra.

    International Record Review

He (Gergiev) drives the orchestra ferociously to one of the most terrifying climaxes imaginable… It is a memorable performance.

    BBC Music Magazine

For good measure, as well as the high-quality surround-sound recording, there is additional video footage of the symphony. Sonically, this is in a difference class from the Davis disc… The playing from the London Symphony Orchestra is, as so often, exceptionally refined, yet very much alive and full of colour in both the Symphonie fantastique and the accompanying Waverley Overture.

Berlioz- Symphonie fantastique & Overture- Waverley (2014)

Berlioz

London Symphony Orchestra

Mastering Engineer: Classic Sound ltd. Jonathan Stokes, Neil Hutchinson
Producer: James Mallinson
Recording Engineer: Classic Sound Ltd. Jonathan Stokes
Recording location: Barbican London
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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LSO0757: Berlioz- Symphonie fantastique & Overture- Waverley
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Tracks.
1.
Symphonie fantastique- i. Rêveries - Passions
Berlioz
00:16:09   Select quality & channels above
2.
Symphonie fantastique- ii. Un bal
Berlioz
00:06:56   Select quality & channels above
3.
Symphonie fantastique- iii. Scène aux champs
Berlioz
00:16:03   Select quality & channels above
4.
Symphonie fantastique- iv. Marche au supplice
Berlioz
00:06:51   Select quality & channels above
5.
Symphonie fantastique- v. Songe d'une nuit de Sabbat
Berlioz
00:09:54   Select quality & channels above
6.
Overture- Waverley
Berlioz
00:09:42   Select quality & channels above

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