Hector Berlioz
Published March 15, 2019
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64 min
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    Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Hector Berlioz Berlioz is perhaps unique among composers in having had a literary gift almost the equal of his musical one. He earned his bread-and-butter living as a writer, turning out witty and often acerbic music criticism for the influential Journal des débats and Gazette musicale among others. Donald starts this week with a look at Berlioz through his engaging, passionate and entertaining Memoirs. Next, he delves into the world of Berlioz’s literary muses – first and foremost, Virgil, Goethe and Shakespeare. We hear about Benvenuto Cellini, the opera whose “verve, impetus and brilliance” Berlioz feared he would never again equal, and his attempt to secure the coveted Prix de Rome amidst the thundering July Revolution. We also encounter some of the celebrated musicians he rubbed shoulders with – among them Liszt, Cherubini, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Wagner and Paganini. Music featured: Les Nuits d’été, Op 7 (Villanelle) Overture Les Francs-Juges, Op 3 Grande Messe des Morts, Op 5 (Dies irae) La Damnation de Faust, Op 24 (extract) Béatrice et Bénédict (Act 1) Zaïde, Op 19 No 1 La Damnation de Faust, Op 24 (Part 2) Waverley, grande ouverture, Op 1 Les Troyens, Op 29 (Act 1, finale) Marche funèbre pour la dernière scène d'Hamlet (Tristia, Op 18) La Captive, Op 12 Harold en Italie, Op 16 (IV. Orgie des brigands) Le carnaval romain, Op 9 Benvenuto Cellini, Op 23 (extracts) Messe solennelle (Quoniam tu solus Sanctus) Épisode de la vie d’un artiste – Grande Symphonie fantastique, arr. Franz Liszt Le roi Lear, grande ouverture, Op 4 Les nuits d’été, Op 7 (Absence) Romeo et Juliette, Op 17 (Part 3) Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Hector Berlioz https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000345c And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z
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