Posted on September 26, 2014

Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) recently treated connoisseurs of music with its performance of two well-known symphonies from the classical repertoire of Mozart and Berlioz at Katara Cultural Village Opera House, said Qatar Tribune.  Under the baton of Philippe Auguin the orchestra spun out Mozart's No 39 in E-flat major in the first half of the programme and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique in the second. 

The opening phrases of the Mozart's symphony had repeated outbursts of heroism and optimism that turned into a moving melody taking the form of a sonata. It had a four movement structure written in a tight classical form typical of Mozart. The overall mood remained upbeat throughout the movement. The symphony had cheerful sequences with the third movement consisting of a Minuet with an equally cheerful Trio. The texture of the finale was different from the earlier movements but it concluded on a similar mood of joviality it began with. The work was executed well and was duly applauded by the audience. 

The second part of the programme consisted of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique: An Episode in the Life of an Artist, which is a narrative of a passionate infatuation of an artist with a woman. The fascination and the charms that have influenced many past and present artistes, was expressed in terms of varying shades of melody through out the work. The first movement revolved around artistes tormented by their attraction towards their beloved which also brought moments of anxiety and despair as expressed in the form of a sonata with the central theme representing the id`e fixe. 

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The second movement was composed in a waltz. And in the third movement the artiste was shown to be in a country yet unable to enjoy the pristine beauty of the surrounding for his obsession with his beloved. The melody of id`e fixe kept him occupied throughout the second movement. In the fourth movement the id`e fixe started to sound sinister in character and the overall mood became threatening and horribly devastating. And by the time it reached the last movement the complete destruction of the artist was already done and the id`e fixe was sounding heavily distorted. 

The eerie call on flute and the threatening warning by the beating of the drums were all signalling towards a disaster which was lurching around. Even the id`e fixe which was introduced in the first movement lost all its character and was distraught as if under the spell of some evil power. It was the unfortunate decadence of a man in pursuit of art.

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