From that moment forth, the young composer was obsessed with attracting her attention. Thus began Berlioz's own labor of love: the extraordinary Symphonie fantastique. Incorporating themes from music and literature ranging from Goethe's Faust to Dies irae, the ancient chant of the dead, Berlioz's symphonic melodrama charted the ecstasy and woe of a lovesick artist pining after his unattainable Beloved. Through the storied work's sheer agony, vulnerability, and electrifying orchestral power, Berlioz evokes pastoral scenes of waltzing at a ball and frolicking through fields before passions turn with a march to the guillotine and the famous bacchanalian "Dream of the Witches' Sabbath." The imaginative score cemented his artistic reputation and earned a number of ardent admirers--including Harriet Smithson herself.
For aficionados and newcomers alike, this concert uses actors, narration, music excerpts, and projected visuals to share captivating stories behind Berlioz's masterful symphony, followed by a complete performance of the work.
Performance Timing: Part One - 60 min.; Intermission - 15 min.; Part Two - 60 min.
NOTE: There is NO late seating until intermission.
Program and Notes
- Hector Berlioz
- Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
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David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of the NSO.
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