Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Munch – Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (1954) [SACD 2006]
SACD ISO (2.0/MCH): 2,20 GB | 24B/88,2kHz Stereo FLAC: 1,14 GB | NO Artwork | 3% Recovery Info
Label/Cat#: RCA “Living Stereo” # 8287667899 2 | Country/Year: Europe 2006, 1954
Genre: Classical | Style: Romantic
His overwhelming natural affinity for French music made Charles Munch an ideal conductor for Berlioz’s swirling tour de force Symphonie Fantastique. Perfectly capturing the drama, romance & philosophical angst in which this masterpiece is marinated, Munch takes the Boston Symphony Orchestra on an epic journey of proportions only possible in the human heart & mind. A classic, reborn in vivid Living Stereo.
In listening to the Symphonie Fantastique we immediately sense the light & frothy, ineffably ‘French’ sound that Munch is able to draw forth from the Boston Symphony players. The rubato phrasing in the 1st movement is enchanting & we are amazed by the see-into transparency revealed by the shuffling of the instrumentalists during quiet passages. The phrasing of the 1st violins is exquisitely delicate. Forte passages are wall-to-wall, with the idee-fixe carried by the trumpet deep to the right. Munch has supple control of the crescendi & decrescendi. The listener is drawn into Boston Symphony Hall through space & time by the transparency of the details & the realism of the dynamics. In the 4th movement we note the superb layering & depth in the counterpoint of the tympani & clarinet. Berlioz pulls out all the stops in the finale & we are treated to the clanging gong, trombones, tubas & breathy flutes. Overall, the music is fluid & breathtakingly dynamic.
…I have always heard good things about this recording. Yet, never owned it in any incarnation before. As a performance, the strongest parts have to be, to me any way, the 1st & last movements. I dare say, the march to the scaffold is less harrowing than many other recordings. Though, compared to the Paray SACD, this is quite a bit better.
My benchmark, previous to this, has been the Chicago/Solti recording. Performance wise, I will always enjoy that one for the ferocity of the Scaffold movement & the woodwind/brass playing.
Don’t hesitate to get this if you enjoy a good performance.
Soundwise, not an amazing release, but from my knowledge of previous versions, it seems better.
01. Symphonie Fantastique Op. 14 – 1. Reveries – Passions 13:22
02. Symphonie Fantastique Op. 14 – 2. A Ball 06:11
03. Symphonie Fantastique Op. 14 – 3. Scene In The Country 13:56
04. Symphonie Fantastique Op. 14 – 4. March To The Scaffold 04:29
05. Symphonie Fantastique Op. 14 – Witches’ Sabbath 08:47
06. Romeo Et Juliette (Dramatic Symphony) Op. 17 – Part II – Love Scene 13:20