HARTY and MONTEUX conduct Berlioz (1927-35) - PASC551

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HARTY and MONTEUX conduct Berlioz (1927-35) - PASC551

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Overview

BERLIOZ Symphonie Fantastique
BERLIOZ Overtures, Marches and Orchestral Excerpts

Studio recordings, 1927-1935
Total duration:  2hr 28:25 

Hallé Orchestra
London Philharmonic Orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra
Paris Symphony Orchestra

conducted by Hamilton Harty and Pierre Monteux

This set contains the following albums:

This release commemorates the 150th anniversary of the death of Hector Berlioz (1803 – 1869) by presenting recordings by two of his greatest conductorial advocates: Sir Hamilton Harty and Pierre Monteux. Harty’s complete commercially-recorded Berlioz repertoire is collected here in its entirety for the first time (a 1991 Pearl CD featured all but the King Lear Overture), coupled with Monteux’s complete pre-war recordings of the composer’s works.

Irish composer/conductor Sir Hamilton Harty (1879 – 1941) considered Berlioz and Mozart as his two musical deities, due to what he perceived as their shared intuitive approach toward composition. His longest conductorial post was with the Hallé Orchestra of Manchester (1920 – 1933), whose founder, Charles Hallé, had been a friend of Berlioz. Hallé had begun a tradition of Berlioz performance with his ensemble which Harty continued and expanded into the then-new realm of recordings.

Beginning with acoustic versions of the Hungarian March from The Damnation of Faust (1920) and the Roman Carnival Overture (1924) for English Columbia, Harty presided over a string of nearly annual electrical sessions featuring Berlioz works. After leaving the Hallé, Harty made several recordings as a guest conductor of Beecham’s newly-formed LPO before making a final series for Decca in his last post as music director of the LSO, although the latter were hampered by the use of a small hall, inferior engineering and noisier pressings. Throughout, Harty’s immense vitality and disciplined ensemble playing have rightly made his Berlioz discs legendary.

For Pierre Monteux (1875 – 1964), an association with an orchestra steeped in the Berlioz tradition was also instrumental in developing his approach toward the composer. While still in his teens, Monteux became principal violist of the Colonne Orchestra, whose founder, Édouard Colonne, had known Berlioz and championed his works by presenting annual cycles. As Monteux’s former pupil and biographer, John Canarina, notes, “Monteux felt he gained great insight into Berlioz’s music through Colonne’s understanding of the composer’s scores.”

Although he conducted a wider array of Berlioz’s music, Monteux’s recorded repertoire of the composer was small, comprising besides the three works presented here only Romeo and Juliet and the Faust Hungarian March. While he went on to record the Symphonie Fantastique four more times after the 1930 Paris version, Canarina relates that Monteux considered this early effort his favorite, adding that “to this day, it is considered one of the greatest recorded performances of the work.”

The Harty transfers were made from the best portions of pre-war American Columbia and early laminated English Columbia pressings, while the Monteux recordings came entirely from US Victor “Z” pressings. Multiple copies of each record were located in order to ensure the best sources were used.

Mark Obert-Thorn

HARTY and MONTEUX conduct BERLIOZ

Symphonie Fantastique
Overtures, Marches and Orchestral Excerpts

Studio Recordings ∙ 1927 – 1935


CD 1 (68:51)

1. Beatrice and Benedict – Overture (7:45)
Recorded 2 November 1934 in Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London
Matrix nos.: CAX 7331-2 & 7332-2 (Columbia LX 371)

2 Romeo’s Reverie and Fête of the Capulets (from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 17) (11:29)
Léon Goossens (solo oboe)

Recorded 5 September 1933 in Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London
Matrix nos.: CA 13894-1, 13895-2, 13896-1 & 13897-2 (Columbia DB 1230/1)

3. Queen Mab Scherzo (from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 17) (7:26)
Recorded 2 May 1927 in Free Trade Hall, Manchester
Matrix nos.: WRAX 2658-2 & 2659-1 (Columbia L 1989)

4. Dance of the Sylphs (from The Damnation of Faust, Op. 24) (2:52)
Recorded 2 May 1927 in Free Trade Hall, Manchester
Matrix no.: WRAX 2662-2 (Columbia L 2069)

5. Hungarian March (from The Damnation of Faust, Op. 24) (3:51)
Recorded 2 May 1927 in Free Trade Hall, Manchester
Matrix no.: WRAX 2663-2 (Columbia L 2069)

6. Royal Hunt and Storm (from Les Troyens) (9:45)
Recorded 10 April 1931 in Central Hall, Westminster, London
Matrix nos.: WAX 6062-1 & 6063-2 (Columbia DX 291)

7. The Corsair – Overture, Op. 21 (8:43)
Recorded 2 November 1934 in Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London
Matrix nos.: CAX 7333-2 & 7334-1 (Columbia DX 664)

8. Funeral March for the Last Scene of Hamlet (No. 3 from Tristia, Op. 18) (8:02)
Recorded 18 April 1935 in Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London
Matrix nos.: CAX 7525-1 & 7526-2 (Columbia LX 421)

9. Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9 (8:58)
Recorded 12 February 1932 in Central Hall, Westminster, London
Matrix nos.: CAX 6277-2 & 6278-2 (Columbia LX 172)

London Philharmonic Orchestra (Tracks 1, 2, 7 & 8)
Hallé Orchestra (Tracks 3 – 6 & 9)

Sir Hamilton Harty (conductor)


CD 2 (79:33)

1. King Lear – Overture, Op. 4 (11:43)
Recorded 15/16 October 1935 in Thames Street Studio, London
Matrix nos.: TA 1985-II, 1986-III & 1987-III (Decca K 792/3)

2. Marche Troyenne (from Les Troyens) (4:00)
Recorded 16 October 1935 in Thames Street Studio, London
Matrix no.: TA 1988-II (Decca K 793)

London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Hamilton Harty (conductor)


3. Les Troyens – Prelude to Act 3 (4:09)
Recorded 31 January 1930 in the Salle Pleyel, Paris
Matrix no: CF 2830-1 (Disque Gramophone W 1142)

4. Benvenuto Cellini – Overture, Op. 23 (10:44)
Recorded 30 January 1930 in the Salle Pleyel, Paris
Matrix nos.: CF 2827-2, 2828-1 & 2829-2 (Disque Gramophone W 1141/2)

Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14
5. 1st Mvt.: Rêveries – Passions (13:04)
6. 2nd Mvt.: Un bal (5:56)
7. 3rd Mvt.: Scène aux champs (16:10)
8. 4th Mvt.: Marche au supplice (4:41)
9. 5th Mvt.: Songe d’une nuit de sabbat (9:07)

Recorded 20, 23 & 27 – 29 January and 3 February 1930 in the Salle Pleyel, Paris
Matrix nos.: CF 2757-1, 2758-3, 2799-2, 2786-2, 2787-1, 2800-1, 2807-2, 2808-2, 2801-3A, 2806-2, 2816-2 & 2817-3A (Disque Gramophone W 1100/5)

Orchestre Symphonique de Paris
Pierre Monteux (conductor)


Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn
Special thanks to Nathan Brown, Michael Gartz and Charles Niss for providing source material
Cover artwork based on photographs of (L-R) Monteux, Berlioz & Harty

Total duration:  2hr 28:25