Symphonie Fantastique Op.14
Hector Berlioz


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The highest of 2 entries for Berlioz in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This has appeared in every chart, peaking at number 72 in 1996 for the first Hall of Fame, but it fell to its lowest ever position of 198 in the most recent countdown.

Composed in 1828, Berlioz subtitled these five movements 'Episodes in the life of an artist'. Each movement describes a different scene e.g. the 2nd at the ball and the 3rd in the country. In the 4th movement ('March to the Scaffold'), you can clearly hear the footsteps as the condemned man approaches the scaffold, the roll of the snare drums just before the execution, the one last thought of his loved one played by the clarinet, the fall of the guillotine and, finally, the bounce of the severed head falling into the basket.

Witches' Sabbath by Francisco Goya (1789).