Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Overture: Waverley
LSO0757 SACD + 1Blu-ray audio
Valery Gergiev conductor
****½ Performance **** Sonics SA-CD.net
'The London Symphony gives both Berlioz works their best ... The fantastique is a fresh reading, and in some respects, like hearing the piece for the first time.' Audiophile Audition
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 brings to bear his opulent interpretation of this landmark piece.
As well as SACD, this recording will be released for the first time on the label on Pure Audio Blu-ray, which will enable the orchestra to be heard in high resolution sound on every Blu-ray player. Bonus HD video footage of the Symphonie fantastique will also be included on the Blu-ray.
- Berlioz Symphonie fantastique (pdf, 974kB)
****½ Performance **** Sonics
‘In 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.’ SA-CD.net
“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.” Audiophile Audition
“But if you really want to hear the best of this page revolutionary, whatever digital format preferred by you, nothing like the imminent release of the Fantastic Symphony, conducted by Valery Gergiev with the London Symphony Orchestra. in a box with an extraordinary hybrid SACD (SACD and CD stereo 5.1) and Blu-ray disc with only audio track in DTS MA 5.1 track 24/192 and 24/192 HD video with stereo sound, all in a box that cost should be less than 15 Euro. We can confirm that the Fantastic is a page that all music lovers should listen live, maybe sitting in the "seats of the choir," behind the orchestra, just a few steps away from the brass and percussion” AV Magazine
‘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…’ Pizzicato (Germany)
***** ‘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.’ bachtrack.com
***** ‘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.’
‘The March to the Scaffold’ went at a smart pace, with a chilling execution, and in an intensely dramatic ‘Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath’ the LSO, having already produced outstanding playing in the first four movements, achieved still greater heights of virtuosity, with the second violinists unusually permitted to show off their considerable paces at the front of the platform, opposite the firsts.’ classicalsource.com
Valery Gergiev conductor
London Symphony Orchestra
SACD + Bluray audio disc/digital LSO0757 (822231175728)
James Mallinson, producer
Jonathan Stokes for Classic Sound Ltd, engineering, mixing & mastering.
DSD recording, live at the Barbican, 31st October 2013 & 14th November 2013
2.0 Stereo and multi-channel 5.1
Total playing time 65m
Clear Brilliant box (2 disc slimline) with clear tray, and Pure Audio branding. (16 pp) booklet.
Notes in English, French and German.