Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique; Romeo and Juliet (excerpts)

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LABELS: Philips Solo
WORKS: Symphonie fantastique; Romeo and Juliet (excerpts)
PERFORMER: Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, LSO/Colin Davis
CATALOGUE NO: 446 202-2 ADD (1968/74)
This Symphonie fantastique is a classic, more vital than Davis’s recording with the LSO. It includes the cornet in the second movement, and the first-movement repeat; the slow movement, at over 17 minutes, is exceptionally drawn out. But Davis has perfect control of pacing; it is never dull. The sound is clear and lush, but harsh in fortissimo. It is a pity the generous filling is not a whole work; Davis’s complete Romeo, probably the finest, has been on CD for some time. But these are beautiful performances of its loveliest music. The love scene is without its choral section. Julian Rushton