In spite of being acknowledged and praised as a composer, Berlioz was never given the professorship he coveted at the Paris Conservatoire, and it might appear as if the renowned Conservatoire Orchestra was making its apologies for this in the present excellent recording. The various scenes of the intoxicating programme music are approached with daring; dreadful, macabre ideas are presented in a low, gloomy and dark timbre until finally a heroic attitude comes to the fore, accompanied by thundering drum rolls, when the death sentence is pronounced. Fantastique!
First Movement – Reveries, passions (Largo – Allegro agitato ed appassionato assai)
Second Movement – Un Bal (Valse: Allegro non troppo)
Third Movement – Scene aux champs (Adagio) (part 1)
Third Movement – Scene aux champs (Adagio) (Concluded)
Fourth Movement – Marche au supplice (Allegretto non troppo)
Fifth Movement – Songe d’une nuit du Sabbat (Larghetto – Allegro)