Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique

The South Birmingham Sinfonia will be performing this symphony as part of the Winter 2015 concerts.

Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, ("Fantastic Symphony: An Episode in the Life of an Artist, in Five Parts") is a five movement work based on a programme inspired by De Quincy's "Confessions of an Opium Eater" and by Berlioz's own love for the Irish actress Harriet Smithson. It was first performed in 1830.

The five movements are as follows.

Unlike in Berlioz's fantasy, Harriet Smithson heard the music and obviously appreciated it. Berlioz and Smithson married in 1833 but the marriage was not to be a happy one and they eventually separated.