You Choose: A Symphonic Berlioz Birthday Bash

« previous episode | next episode »

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hector Berlioz was born 210 years ago today, so today's Showdown offers up three of his symphonic works, all written during the same decade.

We asked you which one of these three symphonies you wanted to hear and half cast their vote for Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique. At noon we played a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Pierre Boulez.

Loading...

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.

Comments [7]

Brunnhilde from NYC

Yes, yes, Peter O'Malley, I agree - Why not "The Damnation of Faust" - a simply great piece!

Dec. 11 2013 12:46 PM
Catherine Smith from France

Symphony Fantastique please!

Dec. 11 2013 11:53 AM
Miles from Montclair, NJ

I'm voting for Symphonie Fantastique, despite it being perhaps the best known and most often played of Berlioz's works. But that is so for good reason: it is dynamic, powerful and very much ahead of its time. Composed in 1830, it is a five movement "program symphony", based on "an episode in the life of an artist in five parts(according to the composer), and using a very large orchestra with daring harmonies.

Dec. 11 2013 11:50 AM
Miles from Montclair, NJ

I'm voting for Symphonie Fantastique, despite it being perhaps the best known and most often played of Berlioz's works. But that is so for good reason: it is dynamic, powerful and very much ahead of its time. Composed in 1830, it is a five movement "program symphony", based on "an episode in the life of an artist in five parts
(according to the composer), and using a very large orchestra with daring harmonies. One can only imagine how an audience

Dec. 11 2013 11:47 AM
Tom from Montclair, NJ

I, too, (along with "sisko24" and Peter O'Mally) am voting for the opus 16 "Harold in Italy" because it's the one least played on most classical music stations. Hopefully, we'll win! The opus 14 "Symphonie Fantastique" is indeed overplayed, but it IS a glorious, and very dynamic piece. I certainly understand why it's so often played.

Dec. 11 2013 11:20 AM

I'd like WQXR to play both the Berlioz Te Deum and the Funeral and Triumphal Symphony. It would have been instructive to have those on the list of possibilities in place of the choices listed here. But as they weren't there, I voted for Harold in Italy which I haven't heard in a long, long time.

Dec. 11 2013 10:51 AM
Peter O'Malley from Oakland, New Jersey

I'm voting for "Harold in Italy", as it is the least overplayed (though I imagine if "Symphonie Fantastique" wins, at least they will play the whole thing and not just the "March to the Scaffold"). Why not something vocal, either from "Damnation of Faust" or "Les Troyens"? Or, for those of us dreaming of summer, "Les nuits d'ete"? Or, to be seasonal, "L'enfance du Christ"?

Just thought I'd ask.

Dec. 11 2013 07:40 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.