July 4, 2019 —The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) today announced that the new recording of Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, on the prestigious Chandos label, is now available for streaming on Spotify, iTunes, and Apple Music, and for purchase on TSO.CA. Conducted by Interim Artistic Director Sir Andrew Davis, Berlioz: Symphonie fantastiquewas recorded live by Soundmirror, Inc. at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto in September 2018.
This recording follows the TSO’s 2019 Juno Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated Chandos recording, Vaughan Williams: Orchestral Works. The TSO, with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, also received a 2018 Grammy Award for the recording of Handel’s Messiah orchestrated and conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique includes a pair of vibrant works by the romantic French composer Hector Berlioz—the gripping and highly imaginative Symphonie fantastique and a scintillating selection from its sequel, Fantaisie sur la Tempête de Shakespeare (Fantasy on Shakespeare’s The Tempest), in which he paid homage to his literary hero, William Shakespeare.
Symphonie fantastique is Berlioz’s best-known work, and the five-movement masterpiece remains one of the most vividly programmatic symphonies ever written. Fantaisie sur la Tempête de Shakespeare was composed shortly after Berlioz won the coveted Prix de Rome and was originally conceived as a concert overture, with a chorus. After various reworkings of the material, the four-movement fantasy became the finale of Berlioz’s “monodrama” Lélio—a juxtaposition of existing material interlinked with dramatic monologues recited by the “artist” at the centre of the work. Fantaisie sur la Tempête de Shakespeare features the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (TMC), Canada’s world-renowned large vocal ensemble whose mission is to champion the choral music experience.
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Sir Andrew Davis, conductor
Jonathan Crow, concertmaster
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
David Fallis, Interim Conductor & Artistic Director
The TSO Season Presenting Sponsor is BMO Financial Group. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Toronto.
About the TSO: One of Canada’s most respected arts organizations, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) plays a vital role in the city’s dynamic cultural life. Committed to serving local and national communities through vibrant performances and expansive educational activities, the TSO offers a wide range of programming that resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds. With a notable recording and broadcast history complementing international touring engagements, the TSO is a unique musical ambassador for Canada around the world.
The TSO continues its long-established history of connecting younger generations with orchestral music. Two core programs include School Concerts, performed for over 40,000 students annually, and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO), which, in a tuition-free model, offers high-level orchestral training for talented young musicians aged 22 and under. Additionally, the TSO supports the development of next-generation artists through its annual open call for Canadian orchestral scores, and its essential Resident Conductor and Affiliate Composer positions.
Sir Andrew Davis serves as TSO Interim Artistic Director for the 2019/20 season, prior to the arrival of incoming Music Director Gustavo Gimeno in 2020/21. Sir Andrew Davis is well known to Toronto audiences, having a 44-year relationship with the TSO and returning to the TSO stage regularly.
The TSO was founded in 1922 by a group of Toronto musicians and gave its first performance at the historic Massey Hall. Since 1982, Toronto’s iconic Roy Thomson Hall has been the TSO’s home, drawing patrons from around the world. Soon to celebrate its centenary, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s name remains synonymous with musical versatility and growth, and artistic distinction.