Paavo Järvi conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra performing Berlioz’ psychedelic Symphonie fantastique and Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Dukas’ magical tale of a wayward sorcerer’s apprentice leads into Rachmaninov’s dazzling Third Piano Concerto.
Beginning slowly, creeping through a winding folk-like melody, the Concerto speeds into glittering cadenzas, a sparkling waltz and dizzying variations before reaching an astoundingly acrobatic coda.
Finally, Berlioz’ psychedelic Symphonie fantastique is a fantastical account of an artist and his great love, a thinly veiled allegory for his own relationship with actress Harriet Smithson.
Triggered by the protagonist’s near opium overdose, the music journeys through five scenes: the first, detailing his passion upon catching a glimpse of the woman of his dreams, introduced by a longing, later recurring theme or idée fixe in the flute and strings; the second a spinning ballroom; the third a day in the countryside; witnessing his own execution in the fourth; and finally, a riotous witches Sabbath.
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