Worthy of the fabulous presence of two new stars of the bow and of the direction, lyricism and passion preside over the meeting of the famous Sibelius Violin Concerto, with its transcendent virtuosity, and Berlioz's monumental Symphonie fantastique, a true orchestral "monster" as much as a manifesto of French romanticism.
Trained as a violinist himself, but having had to give up all hope of a career after a shoulder injury, Sibelius injected his Concerto with the best of his lyrical verve. With its three brilliant and virtuosic movements, including the fearsome Finale, described by one critic as "Polonaise for polar bears", the work displays the neo-Romantic sumptuousness that has earned it undiminished popularity. The colossal Symphonie fantastique, on the other hand, displays its formidable profusion of sound. Inspired by Goethe and Shakespeare, the two gods of his literary pantheon, Berlioz created a veritable musical "training novel" in which the scale of the means is matched only by the intensity of the musical drama. A famous "idée fixe" brings together illustrious orchestral pages: The romantic colours of "Rêveries et passions"; the unreal sparkle of the waltz in the "Bal"; the Beethovenian contrasts of the "Scène aux champs"; the terrifying visions and implacable accents of the "Marche au supplice", which frightened the listeners of 1830; the sarcastic swirls of the "Songe d'une nuit de sabbat" (Dream of a Sabbath Night), with the alternately solemn and parodic accents of the Dies Irae.