Attention International Consumers: We are experiencing difficulty with our First Class Mail options. For international orders with only 1-3 items (cassette, CD, or LP) - After your order is placed, please email [email protected] with your nine-digit order confirmation number to confirm shipping details. We will adjust the shipping when applicable. Thanks for your support!

Dimitri Mitropoulos, Hector Berlioz

Symphonie Fantastique Op. 14

Columbia MS 6030
Release Notes
  • 180 gram LP w/ Standard Sleeve
  • Recording: February 1957 in New York

Beethoven had just finished writing his symphonies when – in 1830 – a young Frenchman created a sensation with his completely novel and exuberant orchestral music. Based on classical music form, Berlioz composed his »massive instrumental composition« as a five-movement musical drama. Such a stroke of genius, in which the ego and grief thereof are described, had never been heard before in the French Romantic period.

Berlioz employs a very large orchestra with a big timpani section, four bassoons and military brass to present the young artist – an autobiographically motivated character – who dreams his way through the various episodes, hallucinating and frenzied. Here it is clear that it is Berlioz’ declared intention to express the artist’s visions radically and unmistakably in music – beginning with the ever-recurring delusional ‘idée fixe’ via a terrifying opium intoxication and ending up with the nightmare of his own burial.

Of the many high-quality, often highly impassioned performances, this particular one by Dimitri Mitropoulos is certainly a benchmark recording. The great conductor makes the rhythms pulsate; he skilfully mixes the wealth of sound colouring, and blends the orchestral instruments so subtly that one notices previously unheard details with every listening.