The Fantastical Symphony (Symphonie Fantastique) is a program symphony and an important piece of early Romantic period written by the French composer Hector Berlioz in 1830. The first performance of the symphony was at the Paris Conservatoire on 5 December 1830, but in 1833 Franz Liszt made a piano transcription of this symphony.
The symphony tells the story of an artist who is gifted with a lively imagination and who, because of hopeless, unrequited love, has fallen into despair and attempted to commit suicide by poisoning himself with opium. Berlioz provided his own preface and notes for each section of the work, and from these notes it can be seen how Berlioz downplayed the programmatic aspect of the piece later in life.
Leonard Bernstein described the symphony as the first musical expedition into psychedelia both because of its hallucinatory and dream-like nature, and because history suggests Berlioz composed at least a portion of it under the influence of opium. According to Bernstein, “Berlioz tells it like it is. You take a trip, you wind up screaming at your own funeral.”
The concert series “Symphony CLOSER” created by the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra was created to introduce the audience to the cornerstones of the world symphonic repertoire – beautiful, classical symphonies that everyone should know.
The concert “Symphony CLOSER. Fantastical Symphony by Berlioz” and discussion will begin with the welcome speech given by the music reviewer Orests Silabriedis, revealing the context of the time when the symphony was created and the structural specifics of the masterpiece. After the concert guests will also be encouraged to engage in an informal conversation with the conductor Aivis Greters.
Liepāja Symphony Orchestra
Coductor Aivis GRETERS
Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Fantastical Symphony: An episode in the Life of an Artist...in Five Sections, op. 14 (1830)
The Concert is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the State Cultural Capital Foundation and Liepāja City.
INFORMATION FOR OUR VISITORS:
Pupils, students, disabled persons, pensioners – 3 euros
3+ family card holders – 30%
Teachers, lecturers and medical workers – 20%
Groups (10 or more people) – 20%
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When attending the concert, the visitor must present a document certifying their eligibility to a discount.