Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique

Our rating 
2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

COMPOSERS: Berlioz
LABELS: Telarc Bravo!
WORKS: Symphonie fantastique
PERFORMER: Cleveland Orchestra/Lorin Maazel
CATALOGUE NO: CD-82014 DDD (1982)
An unsubtle Fantastique shorn of much of its high Romantic opium fantasy. Useful for a rhythmically disciplined ‘March to the Scaffold’, otherwise best avoided. Maazel’s soulless approach has neither beauty nor theatre. You won’t find a more boring ‘Ball’ in the catalogue, and it’s difficult to imagine a less poetic ‘Scene in the Country’. Furthermore, he dispenses with the first movement repeat.

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Unexpectedly, there are quite a few nervy, ragged edges from the Clevelanders – evidence, perhaps, of having had to record this performance in a single day. They rarely seem able to play quietly, too. There’s bombastic, percussion-heavy sound balance and plenty of studio and off-stage noise. Uncompetitive. Ates Orga