Hector Berlioz – Symphony Fantastique Op. 14
Symphonie fantastique: Épisode de la vie d’un artiste … en cinq parties (Fantastical Symphony: Episode in the Life of an Artist … in Five Sections) Op. 14, is a program symphony written by the French composer Hector Berlioz in 1830. It is an important piece of the early Romantic period. The first performance was at the Paris Conservatoire on 5 December 1830. Franz Liszt made a piano transcription of the symphony in 1833 (S. 470).
Leonard Bernstein described the symphony as the first musical expedition into psychedelia because of its hallucinatory and dream-like nature, and because history suggests Berlioz composed at least a portion of it under the influence of opium. According to Bernstein, “Berlioz tells it like it is. You take a trip, you wind up screaming at your own funeral.”
In 1831, Berlioz wrote a lesser-known sequel to the work, Lélio, for actor, soloists, chorus, piano and orchestra.
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