Symphonie fantastique: Épisode de la vie d'un artiste ... en cinq parties (Fantastical Symphony: An Episode in the Life of an Artist, in Five Parts) Op. 14, is a program symphony written by the French composer Hector Berlioz in 1830. It is an important piece of the early Romantic period. The first performance was at the Paris Conservatoire on 5 December 1830. Franz Liszt made a piano transcription of the symphony in 1833 (S. 470).

Leonard Bernstein described the symphony as the first musical expedition into psychedelia because of its hallucinatory and dream-like nature, and because history suggests Berlioz composed at least a portion of it under the influence of opium. According to Bernstein, "Berlioz tells it like it is. You take a trip, you wind up screaming at your own funeral."

In 1831, Berlioz wrote a lesser-known sequel to the work, Lélio, for actor, orchestra and chorus.

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Performances & Interviews


Upcoming BBC Events featuring Symphonie fantastique

Proms 2019: Prom 72: Symphonie fantastique
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/erz3v2
Royal Albert Hall
2019-09-12T18:33:29
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/208x117/p073f0wx.jpg
Proms 2019: Prom 73: Symphonie fantastique (repeat)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/efxp8g
Royal Albert Hall
2019-09-12T18:33:29
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/208x117/p073f0wx.jpg
BBC Philharmonic 2019-20 Season: Anna Clyne/Vaughan Williams/Berlioz
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e2hj6q
The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
2020-01-18T18:33:29
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/208x117/p077ffgm.jpg


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