Hector Berlioz: Symphonie FantastiqueListen

Crescendo with Young Philharmonic

This concert was played:

  1. Les Offrandes oubliées
  2. Cello Concerto
  3. Symphonie fantastique
  1. Joshua Weilerstein conductor
  2. Kian Soltani cello
  3. Young Philharmonic

Let yourself be swept away as Joshua Weilerstein leads the Oslo Philharmonic and Young Philharmonic.

In Berlioz’s colourful and imaginative Symphonie Fantastique, a dream of love is distorted to enchanted, dark hallucinations. Young talent Kian Soltani from the Crescendo programme leads you into a dark forest in Elgar’s Cello Concerto — in an abstract sense, but no less magical. For Messiaen, the mystery becomes a religious meditation on the suffering of Christ in the beautiful and powerful Les Offrandes Oubliées.

It’s a small miracle that the twenty-two year old Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), who had absorbed so much French sound, succeeded in creating such a strong personal expression in the orchestral meditation Les Offrandes Oubliées (1930). The work is about the suffering of Christ, who is a forgotten victim, but who lives on in the holy communion of the church. As always, Messiaen leaves the listener in both wonder and awe at the power and sonority in these unique tones.

One might also be in awe of an earlier Frenchman, Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) and his psychedelic hallucinations and innovation in Symphonie Fantastique (1830). The music might refer to something outside oneself, Berlioz thought, in contrast to many of his colleagues, and here, daydreams and love end up in a terrible nightmare about a witches’ sabbath and more. Most notably, his revolutionary orchestration had the power captivate audiences in a vivid world of fantasy.

Edward Elgar’s dark and reflective Cello Concerto (1919) has something of the same effect. Also this transports you immediately into a singular world when the soloist plays the dramatic opening chords and grips you until the last tone has died out. After a disastrous world premiere, the work was warmly accepted and today counts among the great cello concertos of the 1900’s. Tonight’s soloist is Kian Soltani, a rare talent who was selected by the Crescendo programme in 2016. 

(Text: Thomas Erma Møller; Translation (from Norwegian): Sarah Osa; In photo: Kian Soltani; Photo: Juventino Mateo)


  • Adult: 100 - 470 NOK
  • Senior: 100 - 375 NOK
  • Student: 100 - 235 NOK
  • Child: 100 NOK

The concert is included in the following subscriptions: