Hector Berlioz takes infatuation to a whole new level in his revolutionary—and semi-autobiographical—Symphonie fantastique, a musical tale of love, lust, ecstasy, despair, and murder. The names of the movements chart the spiraling decline of a heartsick artist, from his innocent “Daydreams” to his eventual “March to the Scaffold.” “I mean to stagger the musical world,” Berlioz wrote—and he did. This all-French program, continuing the season-long theme, opens with an exhilarating rush of strings and woodwinds, conjuring the swagger of pirates on the high seas in Berlioz’s swashbuckling Le Corsaire Overture. Berlioz was a champion of late-Romantic French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, whose single-movement First Cello Concerto will hold audiences rapt from the soloist’s dramatic first-bar entry. The dynamic young Montrealer Stéphane Tétreault makes his Philadelphia Orchestra debut, performing on a highly treasured Stradivarius cello once owned by Paganini.
This concert is LiveNote™ enabled.