Culture + Music

London Philharmonic Orchestra: Symphonie Fantastique

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Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre


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London Philharmonic Orchestra: Symphonie Fantastique

This is how you win a woman's heart

Hector Berlioz was prone to overreaction, but when he saw the Irish actress Harriet Smithson playing the role of Ophelia in a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in 1827, he believed his life had changed forever. Berlioz fell madly in love with Smithson, and with Shakespeare too. He set about proving it in a symphony that would give birth to his own unique and uncompromising musical language: passionate, witty, enraged, high-spirited, sardonic, tormented and proud. The Symphonie Fantastique was born, and it eventually won Hector Berlioz the heart of Harriet Smithson as well. Hear the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform it live under the baton of Giancarlo Guerrero.

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