Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Overture: Waverley

  • Catalogue Number LSO0757
    UPC 822231175728

    James Mallinson producer
    Jonathan Stokes for Classic Sound Ltd
    engineering, mixing & mastering

    1SACD + Blu-ray audio disc
    Audio + bonus video material/digital

    Recorded live at the Barbican, 31st October 2013 &
    14th November 2013

    DSD (direct stream digital) recording
    2.0 Stereo and multi-channel (5.1)

    Notes in English / en français / auf Deutsch

  • CHOC de Classica
    ‘His (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.’ Classica

    **** Performance ***** Recording
    ‘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.’ BBC Music Magazine

    Performance ****½ 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.’

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

    Music **1/2 / **** Sound *** / *** Fono Forum

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

    '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

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

    ‘A more exciting Symphonie Fantastique has seldom been heard.’ Applaus

    ‘The most advanced technical resources are brought together to offer the listener a unique experience on two formats: Pure Audio Blu-ray and Super Audio CD… the format seems bright and is a good way to give these interpretations a phenomenal quality and an air of genuine innovation.’ Ritmo

    ‘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.’ Classical CD Choice

    ‘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

    ‘The conventional jewel-case houses two discs: the now customary hybrid SACD plus a novel Blu-ray disc containing both a Pure Audio audiophile alternative and a complete filmed performance of the main work … There are plentiful close-ups of the toothpick-wielding maestro, more selective views of his players (including the antiphonally placed violins) and a taste of the concluding applause otherwise excluded … What matters here is that this live recording preserves personalised music-making of real distinction.’ Gramophone

    'But if you really want to hear the best of this revolutionary piece, whichever digital format you prefer, there is nothing like the imminent release of the Symphonie fantastique, conducted by Valery Gergiev with the London Symphony Orchestra, in a box with an extraordinary hybrid SACD and Blu-ray disc.' AV Magazine


Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra

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 

Watch the video trailer here

Find out more about the music of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique with LSO Live's listening guide, including insights from LSO players, or watch this short video.

Composer   Berlioz
Conductor   Valery Gergiev
Performers   London Symphony Orchestra

Track list
1. Symphonie fantastique: I. Rêveries - Passions
2. Symphonie fantastique: II. Un bal
3. Symphonie fantastique: III. Scène aux champs
4. Symphonie fantastique: IV. Marche au supplice
5. Symphonie fantastique: V. Songe d'une nuit de sabbat
6. Overture: Waverley

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