Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
This new, magnificent performance and recording of Berlioz's seminal Symphonie Fantastique, coupled with the riotous overture Le Corsaire, represents a glorious launch to Leonard Slatkin's new musical directorship of the Orchestre National de Lyon. Slatkin's interpretation of the madly original symphony is at another pole from the likes of Ticciati's light, transparent recording with the SCO and Norrington's old, lean, hell-for-leather version. This is the full-fat Symphonie Fantastique, marked by `meticulous organisation and balancing: textural clarity is extraordinary and you can hear all the inner workings of the music. The playing of the Lyon orchestra is sumptuous, and wait till you hear the four harps, recorded antiphonally, in the second movement. There's a cracking bonus in the add-on of Berlioz's wacky, alternative version of The Ball, with cornet solo. A seriously classy recording of a suave, stylish and enthralling performance. More on Slatkin and all of this soon.