Hector Berlioz
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1803-12-11
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/274774a7-1cde-486a-bc3d-375ec54d552d
Hector Berlioz Hector Berlioz Hector Berlioz Hector Berlioz

Biography

Berlioz: a profoundly original composer and brilliant writer; sensitive, agnostic, humorous, sardonic. During his life, and after his death his detractors outnumbered his admirers. A century later those detractors started to die out and Berlioz is now securely seated in ...

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Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra & Hector Berlioz
Le Corsaire - overture (Op.21)
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Le Corsaire - overture (Op.21) Le Corsaire - overture (Op.21) Le Corsaire - overture (Op.21) Le Corsaire - overture (Op.21)
Hector Berlioz, Robin Ticciati, Karen Cargill & Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Les Nuits d'ete Op.7 for voice and piano or orchestra
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Les Nuits d'ete Op.7 for voice and piano or orchestra Les Nuits d'ete Op.7 for voice and piano or orchestra Les Nuits d'ete Op.7 for voice and piano or orchestra Les Nuits d'ete Op.7 for voice and piano or orchestra
Hector Berlioz, Basel Symphony Orchestra & Ivor Bolton
Le Roi Lear - Overture, Op. 4
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Le Roi Lear - Overture, Op. 4 Le Roi Lear - Overture, Op. 4 Le Roi Lear - Overture, Op. 4 Le Roi Lear - Overture, Op. 4
Hector Berlioz, London Symphony Orchestra & Valery Gergiev
Symphonie Fantastique, Op.14
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Symphonie Fantastique, Op.14 Symphonie Fantastique, Op.14 Symphonie Fantastique, Op.14 Symphonie Fantastique, Op.14
Claude-Joseph Rouget de l'Isle, Hector Berlioz, Plácido Domingo, Daniel Barenboim, Choeur de l'Orchestre de Paris & Orchestre de Paris
La Marseillaise
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La Marseillaise La Marseillaise La Marseillaise La Marseillaise
Alexander Gibson, Hector Berlioz & Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Rob Roy: Overture
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Rob Roy: Overture Rob Roy: Overture Rob Roy: Overture Rob Roy: Overture
Hector Berlioz & London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis
Harold in Italy
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Harold in Italy Harold in Italy Harold in Italy Harold in Italy
Hector Berlioz, Sir John Eliot Gardiner & Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Symphonie fantastique op. 14 - Movt 2. Un bal (Valse. Allegro non troppo)
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Symphonie fantastique op. 14 - Movt 2. Un bal (Valse. Allegro non troppo) Symphonie fantastique op. 14 - Movt 2. Un bal (Valse. Allegro non troppo) Symphonie fantastique op. 14 - Movt 2. Un bal (Valse. Allegro non troppo) Symphonie fantastique op. 14 - Movt 2. Un bal (Valse. Allegro non troppo)
Hector Berlioz, Leonard Slatkin & Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
Damnation de Faust: Marche hongroise (Rakoczy march)
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Damnation de Faust: Marche hongroise (Rakoczy march) Damnation de Faust: Marche hongroise (Rakoczy march) Damnation de Faust: Marche hongroise (Rakoczy march) Damnation de Faust: Marche hongroise (Rakoczy march)
Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Hector Berlioz & Mariss Jansons
Symphonie fantastique (Op.14), 4th mvt - March to the Scaffold
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Symphonie fantastique (Op.14), 4th mvt - March to the Scaffold Symphonie fantastique (Op.14), 4th mvt - March to the Scaffold Symphonie fantastique (Op.14), 4th mvt - March to the Scaffold Symphonie fantastique (Op.14), 4th mvt - March to the Scaffold
Hector Berlioz, Toronto Symphony Orchestra & Sir Andrew Davis
Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9)
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Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9) Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9) Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9) Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9)
Hector Berlioz, BBC National Orchestra of Wales & Thierry Fischer
Symphonie funebre et triomphale for military band (Op.15)
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Symphonie funebre et triomphale for military band (Op.15) Symphonie funebre et triomphale for military band (Op.15) Symphonie funebre et triomphale for military band (Op.15) Symphonie funebre et triomphale for military band (Op.15)
Hector Berlioz, Sir Colin Davis & Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden
LE CORSAIRE - OVERTURE
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LE CORSAIRE - OVERTURE LE CORSAIRE - OVERTURE LE CORSAIRE - OVERTURE LE CORSAIRE - OVERTURE
Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Carl Maria von Weber, Hector Berlioz & Sir Neville Marriner
Invitation to the dance - rondo brillant, orch. Berlioz [orig. for piano]
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Invitation to the dance - rondo brillant, orch. Berlioz [orig. for piano] Invitation to the dance - rondo brillant, orch. Berlioz [orig. for piano] Invitation to the dance - rondo brillant, orch. Berlioz [orig. for piano] Invitation to the dance - rondo brillant, orch. Berlioz [orig. for piano]
Hector Berlioz, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & Charles Dutoit
Le Carnaval romain - overture Op.9
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Le Carnaval romain - overture Op.9 Le Carnaval romain - overture Op.9 Le Carnaval romain - overture Op.9 Le Carnaval romain - overture Op.9
Hector Berlioz, Valery Gergiev & London Symphony Orchestra
Waverley - overture Op.1
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Waverley - overture Op.1 Waverley - overture Op.1 Waverley - overture Op.1 Waverley - overture Op.1
Jules Massenet, Georges Bizet, Hector Berlioz & Juan Diego Flórez
Arias by Berlioz, Bizet and Massenet
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Arias by Berlioz, Bizet and Massenet Arias by Berlioz, Bizet and Massenet Arias by Berlioz, Bizet and Massenet Arias by Berlioz, Bizet and Massenet
Carl Maria von Weber, Hector Berlioz, Herbert von Karajan & Berliner Philharmoniker
Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65
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Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65 Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65 Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65 Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65
John Nelson, Hector Berlioz & Bergen filharmoniske orkester
Overture to Les Franc-juges (Op.3)
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Overture to Les Franc-juges (Op.3) Overture to Les Franc-juges (Op.3) Overture to Les Franc-juges (Op.3) Overture to Les Franc-juges (Op.3)
Hector Berlioz, DR SymfoniOrkestret & Thomas Dausgaard
Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9)
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Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9) Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9) Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9) Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9)
Hector Berlioz (Mark Elder, Hallé Orchestra)
Le Corsaire - overture Op.21
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Le Corsaire - overture Op.21 Le Corsaire - overture Op.21 Le Corsaire - overture Op.21 Le Corsaire - overture Op.21
Hector Berlioz, Takuo Yuasa & Kringkastingsorkestret
King Lear Overture (Op.4)
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King Lear Overture (Op.4) King Lear Overture (Op.4) King Lear Overture (Op.4) King Lear Overture (Op.4)
James Ehnes, Hector Berlioz, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra & Sir Andrew Davis
Harold in Italy (Orgy of brigands)
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Harold in Italy (Orgy of brigands) Harold in Italy (Orgy of brigands) Harold in Italy (Orgy of brigands) Harold in Italy (Orgy of brigands)
Hector Berlioz, Charles Dutoit & Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
Beatrice et Benedict - opera 2 acts Op.27 [libretto after Shakespeare]: Overture
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Beatrice et Benedict - opera 2 acts Op.27 [libretto after Shakespeare]: Overture Beatrice et Benedict - opera 2 acts Op.27 [libretto after Shakespeare]: Overture Beatrice et Benedict - opera 2 acts Op.27 [libretto after Shakespeare]: Overture Beatrice et Benedict - opera 2 acts Op.27 [libretto after Shakespeare]: Overture
Hector Berlioz, BBC National Orchestra of Wales & Thierry Fischer
Le Corsaire - overture (Op.21)
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Le Corsaire - overture (Op.21) Le Corsaire - overture (Op.21) Le Corsaire - overture (Op.21) Le Corsaire - overture (Op.21)
Colin Davis, Hector Berlioz & London Symphony Orchestra
Symphonie fantastique (Op.14), 2nd movement; Un Bal (Valse) (Allegro non troppo)
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Symphonie fantastique (Op.14), 2nd movement; Un Bal (Valse) (Allegro non troppo) Symphonie fantastique (Op.14), 2nd movement; Un Bal (Valse) (Allegro non troppo) Symphonie fantastique (Op.14), 2nd movement; Un Bal (Valse) (Allegro non troppo) Symphonie fantastique (Op.14), 2nd movement; Un Bal (Valse) (Allegro non troppo)
Hector Berlioz, BBC Philharmonic & Vassily Sinaisky
Symphonie Fantastique, Op.14
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Symphonie Fantastique, Op.14 Symphonie Fantastique, Op.14 Symphonie Fantastique, Op.14 Symphonie Fantastique, Op.14
Hector Berlioz, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra & Sir Andrew Davis
Intrata di Rob-Roy Mac Gregor
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Intrata di Rob-Roy Mac Gregor Intrata di Rob-Roy Mac Gregor Intrata di Rob-Roy Mac Gregor Intrata di Rob-Roy Mac Gregor
Hector Berlioz, Юрий Абрамович Башмет, hr-Sinfonieorchester & Eliahu Inbal
Harold en Italie - symphony Op.16 for viola and orchestra: 3rd mvt; Serenade
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Harold en Italie - symphony Op.16 for viola and orchestra: 3rd mvt; Serenade Harold en Italie - symphony Op.16 for viola and orchestra: 3rd mvt; Serenade Harold en Italie - symphony Op.16 for viola and orchestra: 3rd mvt; Serenade Harold en Italie - symphony Op.16 for viola and orchestra: 3rd mvt; Serenade
Hector Berlioz, BBC Symphony Orchestra & Sir Andrew Davis
La Mort de Cleopatre
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La Mort de Cleopatre La Mort de Cleopatre La Mort de Cleopatre La Mort de Cleopatre
Hector Berlioz, Sir Andrew Davis & BBC Symphony Orchestra
Intermezzo; Chasse royale et orage [Royal hunt & storm] from Les Troyens a Carthage
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Intermezzo; Chasse royale et orage [Royal hunt & storm] from Les Troyens a Carthage Intermezzo; Chasse royale et orage [Royal hunt & storm] from Les Troyens a Carthage Intermezzo; Chasse royale et orage [Royal hunt & storm] from Les Troyens a Carthage Intermezzo; Chasse royale et orage [Royal hunt & storm] from Les Troyens a Carthage
Hector Berlioz, Bernard Haitink & Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9)
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Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9) Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9) Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9) Le Carnaval romain - overture (Op.9)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Hector Berlioz & Thierry Fischer
Overture to Les francs-juges (Op. 3)
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Overture to Les francs-juges (Op. 3) Overture to Les francs-juges (Op. 3) Overture to Les francs-juges (Op. 3) Overture to Les francs-juges (Op. 3)
James Ehnes, Hector Berlioz, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra & Sir Andrew Davis
Reverie et Caprice, Op 8
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Reverie et Caprice, Op 8 Reverie et Caprice, Op 8 Reverie et Caprice, Op 8 Reverie et Caprice, Op 8
Hansjörg Albrecht, Hector Berlioz & Andrea Trovato
Symphonie Fantastique – Un Bal
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Symphonie Fantastique – Un Bal Symphonie Fantastique – Un Bal Symphonie Fantastique – Un Bal Symphonie Fantastique – Un Bal
Les Siècles, Hector Berlioz, François-Xavier Roth, Jean-Francois Borras, Isabelle Druet, Aedes Ensemble & Jérôme Varnier
Romeo et Juliette - symphonie dramatique Op.17
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Romeo et Juliette - symphonie dramatique Op.17 Romeo et Juliette - symphonie dramatique Op.17 Romeo et Juliette - symphonie dramatique Op.17 Romeo et Juliette - symphonie dramatique Op.17
Soyoung Yoon, Hector Berlioz, Sinfonieorchester Basel & Ivor Bolton
Reverie et caprice
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Reverie et caprice Reverie et caprice Reverie et caprice Reverie et caprice
Hector Berlioz, London Philharmonic Orchestra & Giancarlo Guerrero
Symphonie Fantastique
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Symphonie Fantastique Symphonie Fantastique Symphonie Fantastique Symphonie Fantastique
Hector Berlioz, Arthur Schoonderwoerd & Jérôme Corréas
L'Origine de la Harpe
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L'Origine de la Harpe L'Origine de la Harpe L'Origine de la Harpe L'Origine de la Harpe
Hector Berlioz, The Philadelphia Orchestra & Charles Munch
Ballet des sylphes; (Damnation of Faust)
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Ballet des sylphes; (Damnation of Faust) Ballet des sylphes; (Damnation of Faust) Ballet des sylphes; (Damnation of Faust) Ballet des sylphes; (Damnation of Faust)
Carl Maria von Weber, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Hector Berlioz & Fritz Reiner
Invitation to the dance - rondo brillant orch. Berlioz [orig. for piano]
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Invitation to the dance - rondo brillant orch. Berlioz [orig. for piano] Invitation to the dance - rondo brillant orch. Berlioz [orig. for piano] Invitation to the dance - rondo brillant orch. Berlioz [orig. for piano] Invitation to the dance - rondo brillant orch. Berlioz [orig. for piano]
Hector Berlioz, Robin Ticciati & Karen Cargill, Scottish Chamber Orchestra,
Le spectre de la rose
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Le spectre de la rose Le spectre de la rose Le spectre de la rose Le spectre de la rose
Wanda Landowska & Hector Berlioz
Danse des sylphes (S.475) transc. for piano from "La Damnation de Faust"
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Danse des sylphes (S.475) transc. for piano from "La Damnation de Faust" Danse des sylphes (S.475) transc. for piano from "La Damnation de Faust" Danse des sylphes (S.475) transc. for piano from "La Damnation de Faust" Danse des sylphes (S.475) transc. for piano from "La Damnation de Faust"
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Biography

Berlioz: a profoundly original composer and brilliant writer; sensitive, agnostic, humorous, sardonic. During his life, and after his death his detractors outnumbered his admirers. A century later those detractors started to die out and Berlioz is now securely seated in the pantheon of great composers.

The eldest child of a country doctor, Berlioz duly enrolled in the School of Medicine in Paris. His determination to study composition was, however, so intense that he soon got himself accepted as a pupil of Jean-François Le Sueur. A seven-year apprenticeship which produced among other things his first orchestral work, the thrilling Les francs-juges Overture, culminated in 1830 when he won the prestigious Prix de Rome and single-handedly promoted the premiere of his Symphonie fantastique. This electrifying work made him notorious, not least because it included overt autobiography – his adolescent worship of Estelle Duboeuf (he was 12, she 18, when he first saw her) and his passion for Harriet Smithson, the Irish actress he was to marry.

Now began a career veering between heady success and debilitating failure. The decade after 1831 saw three more extraordinary symphonies (Harold in Italy, Romeo and Juliet, Symphonie funèbre et triomphale), the Requiem (the greatest success of his life), the opera Benvenuto Cellini (a failure) and the exquisite song cycle Les nuits d’été. But his music was so unconventional that it inevitably aroused antagonism, as did his journalism; in his secondary career as a music critic, prudence fought losing battles with artistic ideals. The positions to which he was obviously fitted – music director of the Opéra or professor at the Conservatoire – were denied him. For income he relied on his journalism, supplemented, from 1842, by concert tours abroad conducting (mostly) his own music. In Germany, Russia and England he was acclaimed the greatest conductor of his age.

The Revolution of 1848 left him contemptuous of politics, and his music became seemingly more ‘Classical’, notably in The Childhood of Christ (1854), a rare triumph. The splendours of his last great work, The Trojans (1856–8, never performed complete in his lifetime), showed, however, that his music was as modern as it had ever been. His final years were blighted by illness and then by the death of his son Louis. But a little earlier he had visited Estelle and rekindled that poignant relationship with which, if the facts were not more prosaic, one would like to think his life had become complete.

Profile © Ian Kemp

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