Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique is a masterpiece of romantic orchestral music. Written in 1830, it first introduced the concept of programme music – music that renders an extra-musical narrative detailed in a programme attached to the score. Deploying his outstanding talents as a composer and orchestrator, Berlioz tells an autobiographical story of unrequited love. This attention to orchestration would influence 20th-century composers such as Erich Korngold and Richard Strauss. Korngold’s Violin Concerto requires a very large orchestra and rivals the best works of Mahler and Strauss. The Belgian National Orchestra unveils the lush sounds of this concerto in the company of the dazzling violinist, Baiba Skride.
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