In honor of tomorrow being Valentine’s Day, here’s one of the most famous musical treatments of one of the most famous love stories of all time: Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture. I just listened to this the other day with fresh ears, after not having heard it in quite some time, and I was struck anew by its raw power in depicting the central conflict in the play (the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets) and the rapturous love of the two young people who think to rise above it all, only to be consumed by it in the end. It’s a grand work, and it is almost the greatest musical treatment that Shakespeare’s play has ever received. (The greatest, of course, is Berlioz’s third symphony….)
Here is the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.