Hector Berlioz

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Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz (La Côte-Saint-André, 1803 – Paris, 1869) was a French composer, writer and critic; he was considered the greatest conductor of his era. In 1830 he won the Prix de Rome.

The Symphonie fantastique of 1830, an orchestral work that contains autobiographical elements, suggested new paths in composition. [1]

In 1865, his Memoirs were completed. A statue in Berlioz’s is in the Place Hector Berlioz at La Côte Saint-André in Paris.

Berlioz first married Harriet Smithson, and Marie Recio who would become his second wife.

Contents

Some Works

  • Symphonie fantastique
  • Le Dépit de la bergère
  • Amitié reprends ton empire
  • Toi qui l’aimas verse des pleurs
  • Scène héroïque (La Révolution grecque)
  • Grande Ouverture des Francs-Juges
  • Cléopâtre
  • Grande Messe des morts (Requiem)
  • Roméo et Juliette
  • Hymne à la France
  • Hymne des Marseillais
  • Marche troyenne
  • Tantum ergo
  • Invitation à louer Dieu

Works that are heard today and important to those interested in learning about Berlioz's music

Symphonie Fantastique – autobiographical . Very concerned with his relationship with Harriet Smithson, the Irish actress who he would marry - mentioned above. It is one of the most performed and recorded of the Romantic symphonies.
Harold in Italy – a musical representation of parts of Lord Byron’s epic poem, Childe Harold. It is a suite for viola and orchestra in all but name and one of the great works for that instrument.
The Childhood of Christ – an oratorio.
The Damnation of Faust – an opera-cum-choral symphony that is played when companies can afford to play it.
Summer Nights – one of the great romantic song cycles. Take your pick between Janet Baker and Regine Crispin.
Invitation to the Dance - an orchestration of Weber's piano piece that has become more popular than its parent.
La Marseillaise – an arrangement for massed everything of the wonderful French National Anthem, de Lisle’s "Song of the Army of the Rhine".
Romeo and Juliet – We are back to Harriet here. – his wife to be. A frequently performed/recorded opera , symphonic in form, with a languorous love scene as sweet as any. Its Queen Mab Scherzo is a popular “filler”.
Beatrice and Benedict – Shakespeare again; this time a comedy. The overture is the most performed part, but the general exuberance of the opera makes it welcome wherever it appears.
The Requiem – his Grande messe de morts. One of the great requiems.
While on this atheist’s sacred output, it should be mentioned that he wrote a gigantic Te Deum and a Funeral March that denuded the countryside for miles around for its singers and players.
The Trojans – a massive opera. Certain orchestral parts – especially the March of the Trojans – are heard frequently.



A complete listing of all Berlioz’s musical works

See also

External links

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