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KUSC Broadcast: Berlioz’s Fantastical Symphony

Alain Lefevre

August 30, 7:00 p.m.KUSC Broadcast

Carl St.Clair, conductor
Alain Lefèvre, piano
Pacific Symphony

RAVEL: “Le Tombeau de Couperin”
RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G Major
BERLIOZ: “Symphonie Fantastique”
~ Daydreams, Passions
~ A Ball
~ Scene in the Fields
~ March to the Scaffold
~ Dream of a Witches' Sabbath

What’s interesting about this concert:

  • No single work transformed the sound of a symphony orchestra more than Berlioz’s revolutionary “Symphonie Fantastique” of 1830, with its massive orchestra, large percussion battery and powerful brass. Combining gracious ballroom dances with psychedelic depictions of a witches’ sabbath, the piece represents the composer’s obsessive love of a great Shakespearean actress. 
  • Berlioz’s influence undoubtedly affected another genius, Maurice Ravel, whose masterful orchestrations and jazz influences led to the creation of the brilliant G Major piano concerto.

KUSC Broadcast at 7 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2020

Enjoy a complete broadcast of this performance from Feb. 8, 2020 on Classical KUSC 91.5 FM. Popular radio personality Rich Capparela hosts the broadcasts, which include fascinating interviews with Music Director Carl St.Clair, guest artists and Symphony musicians.

Preview Talk with KUSC Radio Personality Alan Chapman

The Story Behind the Symphony

Concert Highlights

Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major

Returning pianist and longtime friend of Carl St.Clair and Pacific Symphony, Alain Lefèvre performs the Presto from Ravel's exquisite, jazzy concerto.

Alain Lefèvre: "Grand Carnaval" (Feb. 4-6, 2020)

Alain Lefèvre plays one of his own piano compositions as an encore.

Berlioz: "Symphonie Fantastique"

Carl St.Clair conducts the fourth movement, the dramatic "March to the Scaffold."

Plus, the fifth and final movement: "Songe d'une nuit du sabbat" (Dream of a Witches Sabbath).

Program Notes

Learn more about the music and the artists in the program notes.

Alain Lefèvre

Guest Artist

Alain Lefèvre

Hailed as a “hero” (Los Angeles Times), a “smashing” performer (The Washington Post), “a pianist who breaks the mold” and “musically arresting” (International Piano), and “who stands out from the typical trends and artifices offered on the international scene” (Classica), this Warner Classics internationally acclaimed artist has performed in over forty countries in the world’s most prestigious venues. Music reviewer David Patrick Stearns in a feature article on the conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin for The Inquirer wrote about a performance with Lefèvre as soloist: “Monitoring his unedited radio broadcasts, I’ve heard perhaps the single greatest performance of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F.’’

From the beginning of his career, Lefèvre has included, commissioned and battled for the music of our time. Alexander Brott, Walter Boudreau, John Corigliano, François Dompierre, Pierre-Max Dubois, Henri Dutilleux, Alain Payette are but a few of the composers he has added to his core répertoire.  Lefèvre has also championed the music of the forgotten genius, composer and pianist André Mathieu, called the “Canadian Mozart”. He was music director, composer and pianist for the 2010 motion picture “L’Enfant prodige,” a film based on André Mathieu’s life.