These twelve essays bring new breadth and depth to our knowledge of the life and work of the composer of the Symphonie fantastique. A distinguished international array of scholars here treat such matters as Berlioz's "aesthetics" and what it means to write about the meaning of his music; the political implications of his fiction and the affinities of his projects as composer and as critic; what the Germans thought of his work before his travels in Germany and what the English made of him when he visited their capital city; what he seems to have written immediately after encountering Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (a surprise), and where he profited from Beethoven in what later became Romeo et Juliette. The volume closes with two reflective essays on Berlioz's literary masterpiece, the Memoires.
Contributors: Lord Aberdare (Alastair Bruce), Jean-Pierre Bartoli, Jacques Barzun, Peter Bloom, David Cairns, Gunther Braam, Gerard Conde, Pepijn van Doesburg, Joel-Marie Fauquet, Frank Heidlberger, Hugh Macdonald, and Julian Rushton
Peter Bloom (Smith College) is author of The Life of Berlioz (1998) and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Berlioz (2000).
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 267
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
A splendid-looking, meticulously edited and presented book, with a characteristically stylish introduction by Peter Bloom.MUSIC AND LETTERS [Kerry Murphy]
A diverse collection of twelve essays by outstanding Berlioz scholars. . . . The range of topics covered could scarcely be wider. . . . Barzun examines . . . music's ability to express -- and arouse -- emotions. . . . Gerard Conde's excellently written essay "Berlioz as Composer-Critic" shows the great value of Berlioz's journalism. . . . Hugh Macdonald convincingly speculates that much of Berlioz's initial excitement with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet . . . became absorbed into the Fantastic Symphony. . . . David Cairns adds wisdom and discernment. . . Readers with a special passion for Berlioz will derive great enjoyment from this admirably produced collection. CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE [Philip Borg-Wheeler]
[This volume was produced] under the distinguished editorship of Peter Bloom. . . . Highly explorative articles on the dramatic symphony Romeo et Juliette form the core of the volume. Hugh Macdonald argues speculatively and most persuasively for the existence of a lost or destroyed early work on that same Shakespearean subject. . . . His inspired speculations add further fascinating resonances to these achieved masterworks [Romeo and the Symphonie fantastique]. MUSICAL TIMES [Andrew Thomson]
Keen, provocative, and methodologically innovative work....[Hugh Macdonald offers] a model for more sophisticated textual analysis of the Fantastique....The essays touching on questions of autobiography...present a wealth of new facts about Berlioz and a series of new ways of "reading" his life...The [book's] individual contributions...coalesc[e] into a remarkably cogent whole. MUSIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION NOTES [Francesca Brittan]
Each of the twelve essays gives the reader informative and intelligent insight into Berlioz, and each is very much worth reading. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty and professionals. CHOICE [James McCalla]
A valuable addition to Berlioz scholarship. AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
For all lovers of Berlioz, a splendid book from the leading experts on his life and music: detailed analysis of the music, large scraps of small histories, and an essay from Jacques Barzun on the possibility of the meaning of music. Go out and buy it! --Sir Colin Davis