"Symphonie fantastique" a five movements programmed symphony, based on Berlioz's autobiography intermingled with imagination . The artist was crushed by an unrequited love to an indifferent woman; unfulfilled love eventually leads him to self-destruction. The full story is described in details.
The musical score is unabridged, it contains also performer notes in three languages: French, German and in English. The score is rich with detailed instructions for dynamics and musical expressions . Musical notes are mostly clear and readable except in few overcrouded locations a magnifying glass easily solves this problem. Bars are numbered and on top of each page the movement's title are listed which makes it easy to refer back and forth, it ALSO simplifies comparisons of different scores editions. This portable score is intended for concerts , study classes or following while listening to a CD, it's not design for performing purpose (although it isn't impossible). I follow the score while watching "Symphonie fantastique" on DVD ("European Concert From Istanbul") being as close to a live concert as one can get. While watching the DVD, this miniature score enables me to see in close up different playing techniques and performing parts that otherwise could escape one's attention.
Berlioz is considered the father of modern orchestration and master of tune coloring, which its richness is clearly manifested in this miniature score.