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Hector Berlioz

October 27, 2010

Bizarre Berlioz from the New York Philharmonic

Understatement of the week: composer Hector Berlioz had a vividly romantic and dramatic view of the world. When the 23 year-old Berlioz saw a production of Shakespeare's Hamlet, he fell truly-madly-deeply in love with the actress who played Ophelia. He sent her passionate letters, which she ignored as the ravings of a crazed fan. So Berlioz wrote a bizarre symphony that told the story of their torrid (and completely imaginary) relationship. When she heard the piece two years later and realized it was about her...she got in touch. They were married the next year. Highlights from the Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz, Alan Gilbert conducting the New York Philharmonic in concert at Lincoln Center, in New York City.

Today's Playlist

Performance Today audio is available for seven days following broadcast.

hour 1

  • Hector Berlioz
    Rakoczy March, from the Damnation of Faust
    The New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, conductor
  • Eugene Ysaye
    Obsession No. 1, from Sonata No. 2 in A Minor for Solo Violin
    Antje Weithaas, violin
    Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany
  • The Piano Puzzler
    This week's contestants are Bill Wise and Toni Kazic from Columbia, Missouri
  • Hector Berlioz
    Three movements from Symphonie Fantastique
    The New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert, conductor
    Avery Fisher Hall, New York City
  • Leos Janacek
    First movement from In the Mists
    Leif Ove Andsnes, piano
    Grieg Hall, Bergen, Norway

hour 2

  • Gustav Mahler
    Blumine (Bouquet of Flowers)
    The New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert, conductor
    Avery Fisher Hall, New York City
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
    Prelude and Fugue No. 21, from the Well-Tempered Clavier
    Till Fellner, piano
  • Dmitri Shostakovich
    Prelude and Fugue No. 5 in D and No. 7 in A, Op. 87
    Alexander Melnikov, piano
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
    Violin Concerto in G Minor, BWV 1056b
    Elmar Oliveira, violin and conductor, the Arco Ensemble
    Eugene Shelley Enlow Recital Hall, Union, New Jersey
  • Peter Tchaikovsky
    The Sleeping Beauty Waltz
    The New York Philharmonic, Kurt Masur, conductor
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
    Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, BWV 1043
    Elmar Oliveira, violin and conductor, Eva Gruesser, violin, the Arco Ensemble
    Eugene Shelley Enlow Recital Hall, Union, New Jersey
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