July 1 sees the international release of the latest album from Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, focusing on Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Recorded live in a gripping performance at the 2009 BBC Proms, the concert marked the tenth anniversary of the orchestra, co-founded by Barenboim and Edward Said in 1999, and showed the players at their virtuosic best.
In a review of the live performance, the Guardian wrote that “Barenboim conspicuously sets these musicians the hardest challenges,” going on to add that they “attacked” Berlioz’s iconic masterwork “with commitment, giving an interpretation studded with individual highlights and maintaining a breath-taking brilliance.”
Arriving hot on the heels of the orchestra’s acclaimed five-album Beethoven for All set, the recording also features Liszt’s symphonic poem, Les préludes, a pairing that acknowledges the fierce friendship between the two composers. Purchase the album here.