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  Mercury Living Presence
  475 6622
  Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique - Paray
  Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Hungarian March, Trojan March, Corsair Overture, Roman Carnival Overture

Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Paul Paray (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 2

Reviews: 5 show all

Site review by flyingdutchman October 16, 2005
Performance:   Sonics:  
Oh my God! Wow!!! Are you ready to be terrorized by a March that literally makes you feel as if you ARE the person being marched to the scaffold or a Witch's Sabbath that makes you feel as if Witches are right there harassing you? For the longest time I merely listened to the Symphonie Fantastique as a disinterested onlooker of the proceedings depicted in the music. I never felt an involvement with the music because of the performers involved---UNTIL NOW!!

This is absolutely a must-buy for any and all interested parties. I never really got into this music (even though buying many recordings) and thought to myself "why should I buy another?" The Amazon review gave me the impetus to buy and as a SACD I can honestly say this is the way it should be done.

There is a slight brashness in the overall sound and the reverb is done a little much, but my God what a totally involving recording!! I am simply shaking after listening to this recording--it is that involving AND terrifying. This is an unqualified recommendation for a recording that I know has been a benchmark for many. Munch's XRCD is an excellent rendition, but with his recording I sense a smoothing over of the sonorities. Paray gives us the grittiness and bite of a composition by a man (Berlioz) who put so much of himself into the composition. In this recording I feel as if I'm the one having the dream.

Buy this only if you're ready to be put into the action as THE one having the dream!! You want to wake up in the middle of the night and cover your head with the covers? Honestly, this recording is nightmare inducing. Go ahead I dare you!!

Review by boguspomp December 10, 2005 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Soundwise a very nice recording indeed. But who would expect else from this label ? They just knew how to balance the sound and to catch the breathtaking "reality" of an entire orchestra with just 2/3 mics.
The performance is not what I had expected after reading the above reviews some days ago. Especially in the first "Reveries and Passions" the performance is kind of sloppy and sometimes painful to listen to, when the celli and basses are trying to catch up with the rest of the orchestra ( listen at around 7 min and on !). There is a difference between first class orchetras like Berlin , Vienna and Chicago and not so good ones like Detroit, Paris and others.

For the sound I give it a full 5 stars, as it is a wonderful recording, mind you 47 years old.
The performance leaves some wishes and I will stay with Solti until another perfect recording comes along in sound and performance.

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Review by dschawv October 29, 2005 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is an outstanding version of the Berlioz. I have Solti, Norrington, Boulez, Davis, and Gergiev. The Gergev was good. But after hearing this recording, not many compare.
Solti is pure high energy. Gergiev is now disappointing. The Paray has some very individual touches in tempo that are
The sound is excellent.

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Works: 5  

Hector Berlioz - Le carnaval Romain: ouverture caractéristique, H 95
Hector Berlioz - Le Corsaire (Overture), H 101B
Hector Berlioz - Marche de Rákóczy (Hungarian March), H 108
Hector Berlioz - Marche Troyenne (Trojan March), H 133B
Hector Berlioz - Symphonie fantastique, H 48