Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (Orchestre National de Lyon/ Leonard Slatkin) (Naxos Blu Ray Audio: NBD0029)
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Immensely influential, the remarkable Symphonie fantastique
was composed while Hector Berlioz was suffering an intense and unreciprocated passion for the Irish actress Harriet Smithson. Its autobiographical tale describes a young musician's opium-poisoned nightmares of jealous despair and fatal justice following the murder of his beloved. Berlioz wrote a second movement cornet solo into a subsequent revision of the score, here included as an optional extra. He wed his sweetheart actress but, recuperating in Nice, wrote Le corsaire after the final breakup of their marriage.
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