Although coveted by nearly every symphonic orchestra the world over, devoted Cardinals fan and sometime conductor extraordinaire Leonard Slatkin returns to his former post at the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra this evening to conduct Hector Berlioz's ethereal and hallucinatory Symphonie fantastique
. Autobiographical in nature, Berlioz's early Romantic composition subsumes conductor, performer and audience member alike. The piece tells the story of an overimaginative artist who becomes obsessed by a fleeting glimpse of a young woman who encompasses all that he could ever conceive. It begins with a soft, warm introduction in the first movement that steels the listener for the opiate-fueled turbulence that follows, as the mooning lover imagines his death and a witches' sabbath in the following four movements. Symphonie fantastique
is performed at 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday (October 17 and 19) at Powell Hall (718 North Grand Boulevard; 314-533-2500 or www.stlsymphony.org
). Tickets are $25 to $109.
Fri., Oct. 17, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 19, 3 p.m., 2014