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<<  -- 3 --  Robert Anderson    MARSHALLING THE OPHICLEIDES


The liner notes are mainly in Japanese, to me more beautiful than intelligible. Maybe in the midst is some reference to the 'bellowing ophicleide', so essential to the 'Witches' Sabbath' but so rarely to be discovered in a modern orchestra, let alone the pair of them that Berlioz requests. Schumann seems to be rather on the side of angels and ministers of grace when claiming that the double fugue, 'if not wholly worthy of Bach, is highly correct and clearly built'. Shaw wondered more appositely if the English listener could understand 'the blasphemous mockery' of the Dies irae, for which Berlioz marshals his ophicleides. The Boston players revel among the cavorting witches with gleeful efficiency [listen -- track 5, 1:26-2:42].

Copyright © 18 February 2004 Robert Anderson, London UK


Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

JMCXR-0001 XRCD Stereo 49'11" 1962 BMG Entertainment, 1999 Victor Company of Japan Ltd

Boston Symphony Orchestra; Charles Munch, conductor

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869): Symphonie Fantastique Op 14


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