Fantasy, Reality & Imagination
Join the London Symphony Orchestra this autumn, as Principal Conductor Valery Gergiev channels his famously intense, magnetic energy into some of the most powerful music ever written – Hector Berlioz’s dramatic masterpieces.
The LSO is rarely bettered in Berlioz.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian
We've been talking to the artists joining us for this series, to find out what they find so exciting about Berlioz. Follow the links below to read insights from LSO Principal Conductor Valery Gergiev, mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill and violist Antoine Tamestit.
Berlioz was everything you’d expect from a Romantic composer. With a turbulent personal life to match his impassioned music, he poured his emotions and experiences into each bold musical creation.
But beyond his colourful personality, Berlioz was also a musical trailblazer, revolutionising the Romantic orchestra in his quest to craft music full of imagination and drama. Influenced by some of history’s greatest storytellers – Shakespeare and Beethoven among them – he added voices and characters to his symphonies, bringing them to life in a way few composers had before.
This autumn's eight concerts explore all this, and more, with countless musical stories told along the way – a dreamy character's wanderings through the Italian mountains (Harold in Italy), the emotionally charged tale of an artist's 'hopeless love' (Symphonie fantastique), a scholar's temptation by the devil (The Damnation of Faust), and a ground-breaking retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, with chorus and soloists added into the mix.
Harold in Italy
The Damnation of Faust
Romeo and Juliet
Family Backstage Pass: Symphonie fantastique
LSO Discovery Day: Berlioz
He sounds very contemporary, very fresh and unpredictable. He writes in his own style.
Gergiev on Berlioz
Berlioz champion Valery Gergiev will be joined on the Barbican stage by some of the world's leading Berlioz interpreters for these eight concerts: Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill (whose recent performance of Les nuits d'été was described by The Guardian as 'wonderfully controlled and exquisitely shaded'), violist Antoine Tamestit, and opera stars Michael Spyres, Olga Borodina and Ildar Abdrazakov.
We recently caught up with Valery Gergiev, Karen Cargill and Antoine Tamestit to find out what they're looking forward to about performing with the LSO. Click on the links below to read our interviews.
> Symphonie fantastique
Musicians from the LSO describe some of the musical effects that tell the story in Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique.
> BMW LSO Open Air Classics 2013
Watch clips from the LSO and Gergiev's all-Berlioz concert in Trafalgar Square in May 2013.