bamberger symphoniker

extraordinary city.
extraordinary orchestra.

back to list


Mar 19

Herbert Blomstedt conducts Berwald and Berlioz

Abo E
Bamberg, Konzerthalle, Joseph-Keilberth-Saal
20:00 Uhr

One work that simply has to feature on our programme under this year’s motto of »symphonic tales« is Berlioz’s »Symphonie fantastique«. It is the ultimate programme symphony, an autobiographical work the like of which had never been heard before. Berlioz had an »idée fixe« that influenced his 1830 musical setting of various emotional states. The young composer was in love with Harriet Smithson, an unattainable actress. And thus he wrote a symphony about the life of an artist, who was of course himself: the story of an all-encompassing passion, of hell, opium and madness. The woman he adores well-nigh obsessively is both idealised and distorted at the same time, and is ever-present – almost like a nightmare – in the »idée fixe« leitmotif. Our honorary conductor will take us equally confidently through a fascinating symphony from his home country, Sweden: Franz Berwald composed in the tradition of Beethoven and Mendelssohn, but was unable to make a permanent living from his art. He thus worked for a long time as a gymnastics teacher and a businessman, running a successful orthopaedic institute in Berlin and a glass factory, a brickyard and a logging business in Sweden. As a musician, he embraced the art of experimentation, as can be heard clearly in his compositions. His »Symphonie singulière« was written in 1845 and is truly as »unique« as its title promises: its structure is novel, with many mood shifts and motivic links, and full to the brim with Nordic tunefulness. In it, Berwald made a distinctive contribution to the history of the symphony – a truly »singular« work that no-one knows as well as Herbert Blomstedt, who edited the score as part of the critical full edition of Berwald’s works.

Herbert Blomstedt Conductor

Franz Berwald Symphonie Nr. 3 C-Dur »Symphonie singulière«
Hector Berlioz Symphonie fantastique op. 14