Hector Berlioz is regarded as one of the true creative geniuses of the Romantic Period. Born in 1803, he composed his most popular work, the Symphonie fantastique, at the age of 26. The Symphonie was a groundbreaking event in the history of music; never before had anyone written such a completely programmatic symphony. Also, Berlioz's use of color in this work is astonishing, considering that it was finished only six years after Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and before Berlioz had ever heard that choral masterpiece.
He was the first person to ever write a book about
orchestration; it is a book that is still used by music educators
today. Although he was considered somewhat of a crazy man during
his younger days, by 1855 or so he was finally beginning to gain
respect for his musical views. In fact, there is hardly a Romantic
symphonic composer who did not takes soem deal of example from
His Famous Compositions
Berlioz is remembered most of all for his symphonic works. His
Symphonie fantastique is one of the most frequently performed works
by orchestras across the world. Just as formidable is his Requiem,
which many consider to be Berlioz's finest work. Other favorite
works of his include Romeo and Juliet, Le Damnation de Faust, and
Harold in Italy. Sadly, there is no chamber music that we can
attribute to his name.
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