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