Tone Poem Tuesday

Some Berlioz this week, and one of his most frequently performed works: the Roman Carnival overture, which is a concert piece comprised of repurposed material from his opera Benvenuto Cellini. Berlioz is not generally considered one of classical music’s finest melodists–his themes tend to be long and require a bit of unpacking to find their emotional center–but the melody of the slow section of this piece, first played by the English horn, is one of the most beautiful creations of Berlioz’s life. The following carnival dance bursts with energy.

This particular performance features Charles Dutoit conducting the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. This particular combo once produced some of the finest performances of Berlioz ever.

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