The seeds were planted in the early 1970s when Deutsche Grammophon realised what amazing results could be achieved by recording the multi-channel tapes, with either four or eight channels. Yet, due to a few restrictions, they never fully blossomed. Flaws in the playback equipment meant that music connoisseurs were prevented from enjoying these recordings in the way that artists, producers, engineers and other professionals intended, even though recording technology was already way ahead of its time.
Now over a quarter of a century later and thanks to the arrival of the multi channel Super Audio CD, there is finally a system available which permits these precious recordings to be released in the quality they deserved back then.
As a result of PENTATONE’s labour of love re-recording and re-mastering this release, be prepared to be mesmerised by the effect, drama and imagination presented in Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, as it was the first time he laid eyes on the highly regarded actress Harriet Smithson. For Symphonie fantastique, Berlioz was inspired in part by Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. He once claimed, “The effect of her wonderful talent, or rather her dramatic genius on my imagination and my heart, can be compared only with the effect that the poet himself had on me”.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa performed in exceptionally fine form in this recording, interpreting Berlioz’s imagination ever so vividly. Now on SACD, we finally get to experience the orchestra’s vigorous performance in the sound quality intended as when it was recorded.