Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hector Berlioz:France's Romantic Composer - Part 3

Time of Productivity

           Hector Berlioz is now at the peak of his musical career in Paris. In 1830, Berlioz began and finished his Symphony Fantastique, which brought him  much fame and notoriety. Even today, many people think of this piece when they think of Berlioz. Berlioz was greatly inspired after he attended The Tempest by Shakespeare so much that he even composed an overture dedicated to Shakespeare which he called La Tempete. Berlioz also had the privilege of meeting Franz List, which resulted in the formation of a long and lasting friendship between the great composers.

          In 1832 Berlioz meets Harriet Smithson and marries her a year later, however he did not treasure their marriage and separated from his wife 10 years later. During these years he wrote some of his most popular works such as the symphony Harold en Italie (1834) and the choral work Requiem, also known as the Grande messe des morts (1837). During this same time, one of his operas, Benvenuto Cellini (1838) flopped and was never played again during his lifetime. This caused a great setback in his career. During this period he often had to resort to his job as a music critic to earn a steady income. There were bright spots during this time as well. In 1838, Niccolo Paganini hears Berlioz's Harold en Italie gives him a large financial gift which enabled him to write the choral symphony Romeo et Juliet (1839), dedicated to Paganini.

          Throughout the 1840’s Berlioz traveled throughout Europe working as a conductor to pay for his travels. When his choral work La Damnation de Faust became a financial sinkhole touring came to the rescue. Finally, Berlioz found his financial footing in 1850’s, when his L’Enfance du Christ (1854) was a success and he was elected to the Institute de France allowing him to receive another stipend!  During this time he also wrote 2 more operas which both had successful debuts.

Check out Part 4 Next week!
Guest Contributer: Piano Book 1 Student

No comments:

Post a Comment

Now it's your turn, what do you think?