Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique

composed by Hector Berlioz, conducted by Valery Gergiev

The London Symphony Orchestra present Berlioz's Waverley overture, Les nuits d'été and Symphonie fantastique, featuring the acclaimed mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill.

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Berlioz let his imagination run wild in his music, finding inspiration in all manner of sources, including his own turbulent personal life. His experience of powerful, unrequited love finds its expression in the emotionally charged Symphonie fantastique, the story of an artist’s ‘hopeless love’, complete with waltzes, witches and a hallucinogenic nightmare.

There are few orchestras with the music of Berlioz more thoroughly in their blood than the LSO, and here Valery Gergiev showcases his opulent interpretation of this landmark piece.


Gergiev came to the platform and launched a seemingly possessed LSO into some of the most thrilling Berlioz one could ever hope to hear. ... With utterly sincere lyricism from cor anglais Christine Pendrill alongside ear-splitting, monstrous brass fanfares, this was a performance which, whilst totally committed to Berlioz’s uncanny ideas, was just as original and brilliant as the man himself.

Gergiev strode onto the stage to deliver a robust reading of Berlioz’s Waverley overture. ... With Gergiev’s awareness of colour and timbre, their performance made for enjoyable listening. 

Music OMH

Captured live at the Barbican, London, in November 2013 and presented as part of the London Symphony Orchestra Collection.

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