The Memoirs by Hector BerliozHector Berlioz (1803-69) autobiography is both an account of his important place in the rise of the Romantic movement and a personal testament. He tells the story of his liaison with Harriet Smithson, and his even more passionate affairs of the mind with Shakespeare, Scott, and Byron. Familiar with all the great figures of the age, Berlioz paints brilliant portraits of Liszt, Wagner, Balzac, Weber, and Rossini, among others. And through Berliozs intimate and detailed self-revelation, there emerges a profoundly sympathetic and attractive man, driven, finally, by his overwhelming creative urges to a position of lonely eminence.
For this new Everymans edition of The Memoirs, the translator--the composers most admired biographer--has completely revised the text and the extensive notes to take into account the latest research.
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Berlioz , the passionate, ardent, irrepressible genius of French Romanticism, left a rich and original oeuvre which exerted a profound influence on nineteenth century music. Berlioz developed a profound affinity toward music and literature as a child. Sent to Paris at 17 to study medicine, he was enchanted by Gluck 's operas, firmly deciding to become a composer. With his father's reluctant consent, Berlioz entered the Paris Conservatoire in Meanwhile, a performance of Hamlet in September , with Harriet Smithson as Ophelia, provoked an overwhelming but unrequited passion, whose aftermath may be heard in the Symphonie fantastique Returning from Rome, Berlioz organized a concert in , featuring his symphony.
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 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. At the age of twenty-two Berlioz fell in love with the Irish Shakespearean actress Harriet Smithson , and he pursued her obsessively until she finally accepted him seven years later.
Sign in. Hector Berlioz was born on December 11, , into the family of Dr. Louis Berlioz and Marie-Antoinette-Josephine. Hector was the first of six children, three of whom died. He took music lessons at home from a visiting teacher and played flute and guitar. By age 16 he wrote a song for voice and guitar that was later reused for his "Symphonie Fantastique. He spent more days at the Paris Conservatory than at the medical school.
Hector Berlioz, French composer, critic, and conductor of the Romantic period, between Berlioz and his parents that embittered nearly eight years of his life.
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His influence on modern orchestral sound was profound; he propagated the ideal of programme music music that describes works of art or literature. It was a remarkable life and the best account of it is his own, arguably the finest autobiography of any composer., Fuller details are to be found on other pages of this site, to which this outline provides numerous hyperlinks. This page is also available in French.
Hector Berlioz was born in France on December 11, He turned his back on a career in medicine to follow his passion for music, and went on to compose works that showcased the innovativeness and search for expression that were hallmarks of Romanticism. His well-known pieces include the Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts. At the age of 65, Berlioz died in Paris on March 8, Hector Berlioz, as he was known, was entranced with music as a child. He learned to play the flute and guitar, and became a self-taught composer.