Berlioz/Liszt: Symphonie fantastique;Les préludes

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COMPOSERS: Berlioz/Liszt
WORKS: Symphonie fantastique;Les préludes
PERFORMER: Paris Conservatoire Orchestra, Suisse Romande Orchestra/ Ataúlfo Argenta
CATALOGUE NO: 452 305-2 ADD 1958/55
This recording of the Berlioz may be on the dry, thin side, but it is more than a gratuitous piece of discographical archaeology. Ataúlfo Argenta’s extraordinarily exciting performance combines vigour and forward sweep with immense attention to detail and balance: the harps glitter in ‘Un bal’, and the timpani chords are absolutely clear at the end of the ‘Scène aux champs’. Both here and in the Liszt there’s that incisive, vibrant French orchestral sound which has all but vanished. Terrific stuff. Martin Cotton