Hector Berlioz

Composer. Born 11 December 1803. Died 8 March 1869
Hector Berlioz
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1803-12-11
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/274774a7-1cde-486a-bc3d-375ec54d552d
Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz Biography (BBC)

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

Hector Berlioz Biography (Wikipedia)

Louis-Hector Berlioz (11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869) was a French Romantic composer. His output includes orchestral works such as the Symphonie fantastique and Harold in Italy, choral pieces including the Requiem and L'enfance du Christ, his three operas Benvenuto Cellini, Les Troyens and Béatrice et Bénédict, and works of hybrid genres such as the "dramatic symphony" Roméo et Juliette and the "dramatic legend" La damnation de Faust.

The elder son of a provincial doctor, Berlioz was expected to follow his father into medicine, and he attended a Parisian medical college before defying his family by taking up music as a profession. His independence of mind and refusal to follow traditional rules and formulas put him at odds with the conservative musical establishment of Paris. He briefly moderated his style sufficiently to win France's premier music prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1830 but he learned little from the academics of the Paris Conservatoire. Opinion was divided for many years between those who thought him an original genius and those who viewed his music as lacking in form and coherence.

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Hector Berlioz Performances & Interviews


Hector Berlioz Tracks

Hector Berlioz
Damnation de Faust: Marche hongroise (Rakoczy march)
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Damnation de Faust: Marche hongroise (Rakoczy march)

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Hector Berlioz
Romeo and Juliet, op. 17, dramatic symphony
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Romeo and Juliet, op. 17, dramatic symphony
Hector Berlioz
L'île inconnue (Les Nuits d'été)
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L'île inconnue (Les Nuits d'été)
Hector Berlioz
Hungarian March from The Damnation of Faust
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Hungarian March from The Damnation of Faust
Hector Berlioz
Overture to Les francs-juges, Op 3
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Overture to Les francs-juges, Op 3
Hector Berlioz
Symphonie fantastique Op.14 (Un bal)
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Symphonie fantastique Op.14 (Un bal)
Hector Berlioz
Romeo et Juliette - suite
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Romeo et Juliette - suite
Hector Berlioz
Les Francs Juges: Overture
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Les Francs Juges: Overture
Hector Berlioz
Te Deum, Op. 22, H. 118: VI. Judex crederis (Hymne et prière)
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Te Deum, Op. 22, H. 118: VI. Judex crederis (Hymne et prière)
Hector Berlioz
Symphonie Fantastique, Op.14
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Symphonie Fantastique, Op.14
Hector Berlioz
Harold en Italie - symphony Op.16
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Harold en Italie - symphony Op.16
Hector Berlioz
Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
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Symphonie fantastique, Op.14
Hector Berlioz
Symphonie fantastique, Op.14: IV. Marche au supplice (Allegretto non troppo)
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Symphonie fantastique, Op.14: IV. Marche au supplice (Allegretto non troppo)
Carl Maria von Weber
Invitation to the Dance
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Invitation to the Dance
Hector Berlioz
Les nuits d'ete (Op.7) (Six songs on poems by Theophile Gautier)
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Les nuits d'ete (Op.7) (Six songs on poems by Theophile Gautier)
Hector Berlioz
Romeo Et Juliette: Symphonie Dramatique Op 17: Scherzo of Queen Mab of The Dream Fairy
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Romeo Et Juliette: Symphonie Dramatique Op 17: Scherzo of Queen Mab of The Dream Fairy
Hector Berlioz
Chers Tyriens, tant de nobles travaux (Les Troyens)
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Chers Tyriens, tant de nobles travaux (Les Troyens)

Chers Tyriens, tant de nobles travaux (Les Troyens)

Choir
Choeur Philharmonique de Strasbourg
Chœur de l'Opéra national du Rhin
Badisches State Opera Chorus
Orchestra
Orchestra Philharmonique de Strasbourg
Conductor
Hector Berlioz
La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111: Pt. IV
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La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111: Pt. IV
Hector Berlioz
Les Troyens: Dance of the Egyptian Women; Ballet of the Slaves; Royal Hunt & Storm
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Les Troyens: Dance of the Egyptian Women; Ballet of the Slaves; Royal Hunt & Storm
Carl Maria von Weber
Invitation to the Dance
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Invitation to the Dance
Hector Berlioz
Serenade d'un Montagnard des Abruzzes a sa maitresse from Harold en Italie Op.16
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Serenade d'un Montagnard des Abruzzes a sa maitresse from Harold en Italie Op.16
Hector Berlioz
Grande Messe des Morts, Op.5; Rex tremendae
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Grande Messe des Morts, Op.5; Rex tremendae

Grande Messe des Morts, Op.5; Rex tremendae

Choir
Collegiûm Mûsicûm Bergen Choir
Edward Grieg Choir
Royal Northern College of Music Chorus
Bergen Filharmoniske Kor
Orchestra
Bergen Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Ensemble
Eikanger-Bjørsvik Band
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Hector Berlioz
Symphonie fantastique (Un bal)
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Symphonie fantastique (Un bal)
Hector Berlioz
Symphonie Fantastique Un Bal
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Symphonie Fantastique Un Bal
Hector Berlioz
Les nuits d'été
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Les nuits d'été

Les nuits d'été

Ensemble
Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble
Hector Berlioz
Les Troyens Act V
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Les Troyens Act V
Hector Berlioz
Les Troyens Acts III and IV
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Les Troyens Acts III and IV
Hector Berlioz
Béatrice et Bénédict (Overture)
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Béatrice et Bénédict (Overture)
Hector Berlioz
Romeo et Juliette, Op 17: Part III, Scène d'amour
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Romeo et Juliette, Op 17: Part III, Scène d'amour
Hector Berlioz
Absence (Les nuits d'été, Op 7)
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Absence (Les nuits d'été, Op 7)
Hector Berlioz
Le Roi Lear, grande ouverture, Op 4
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Le Roi Lear, grande ouverture, Op 4
Hector Berlioz
Épisode de la vie d'un artiste (arr. Liszt)
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Épisode de la vie d'un artiste (arr. Liszt)
Hector Berlioz
Messe solennelle (Quoniam tu solus Sanctus)
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Messe solennelle (Quoniam tu solus Sanctus)
Hector Berlioz
Grand symphonie funèbre et triomphale, Op 15 (3rd movement)
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Grand symphonie funèbre et triomphale, Op 15 (3rd movement)
Hector Berlioz
Symphonie fantastique, Op 14 (3rd movement: Scène aux champs)
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Symphonie fantastique, Op 14 (3rd movement: Scène aux champs)
Hector Berlioz
Ouverture pour la Tempête de Shakespeare
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Ouverture pour la Tempête de Shakespeare
Hector Berlioz
La mort de Sardanapale (Conclusion)
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La mort de Sardanapale (Conclusion)
Hector Berlioz
La Marseillaise
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La Marseillaise

La Marseillaise

Orchestra
Choeurs et Orchestre de Paris
Hector Berlioz
Damnation of Faust, parts 3 & 4
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Damnation of Faust, parts 3 & 4
Hector Berlioz
Damnation of Faust, parts 1 & 2
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Damnation of Faust, parts 1 & 2
Hector Berlioz
Benvenuto Cellini, Op 23: Act II, Tableau 2
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Benvenuto Cellini, Op 23: Act II, Tableau 2
Hector Berlioz
Benvenuto Cellini, Op 23: Act I Tableau 1 'Cellini!'
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Benvenuto Cellini, Op 23: Act I Tableau 1 'Cellini!'
Hector Berlioz
Le carnaval romain, Op 9
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Le carnaval romain, Op 9
Hector Berlioz
Harold en Italie, Op 16: IV. Orgie des brigands
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Harold en Italie, Op 16: IV. Orgie des brigands
Hector Berlioz
La Captive, Op 12
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La Captive, Op 12

La Captive, Op 12

Orchestra
Lyon Opera Orchestra
Hector Berlioz
Marche funèbre pour la dernière scène d'Hamlet (Tristia, Op 18)
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Marche funèbre pour la dernière scène d'Hamlet (Tristia, Op 18)
Hector Berlioz
Les Troyens: Act I, finale
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Les Troyens: Act I, finale
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