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Hector Berlioz

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.

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. Their marriage was happy at first but eventually foundered. Harriet inspired his first major success, the Symphonie fantastique, in which an idealised depiction of her occurs throughout.

Berlioz completed three operas, the first of which, Benvenuto Cellini, was an outright failure. The second, the huge epic Les Troyens (The Trojans), was so large in scale that it was never staged in its entirety during his lifetime. His last opera, Béatrice et Bénédict – based on Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing – was a success at its premiere but did not enter the regular operatic repertoire. Meeting only occasional success in France as a composer, Berlioz increasingly turned to conducting, in which he gained an international reputation. He was highly regarded in Germany, Britain and Russia both as a composer and as a conductor. To supplement his earnings he wrote musical journalism throughout much of his career; some of it has been preserved in book form, including his Treatise on Instrumentation (1844), which was influential in the 19th and 20th centuries. Berlioz died in Paris at the age of 65.

Birth and Death Data: Born December 11th, 1803 (La Côte-Saint-André), Died March 8th, 1869 (Paris)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1903 - 1938

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, arranger

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 61 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-874 10-in. 12/23/1903 Serenade Pol Plançon Bass vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-2385 10-in. 3/21/1905 Rákoczy march Arthur Pryor's Band Band composer  
Victor C-2635-C 12-in. 6/15/1905 Damnation of Faust : Hungarian march Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor C-2635-A 12-in. 6/15/1905 Reminiscences of Berlioz, part 1 Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor B-2635-B 10-in. 6/15/1905 Damnation of Faust : Minuet and presto Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor B-3024 10-in. 1/23/1906 Serenade Mephistopheles Pol Plançon Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-4205 10-in. 1/8/1907 Chanson de la puce Marcel Journet Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-4206 10-in. 1/8/1907 Voici des roses Marcel Journet Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-4207 10-in. 1/8/1907 La damnation de Faust : Serenade Marcel Journet Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-4207 10-in. 10/19/1925 Mephistopheles' serenade Marcel Journet Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-4344 12-in. 3/27/1907 Voici des roses Pol Plançon Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-4345 10-in. 3/27/1907 Chanson de la puce Pol Plançon Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6447 12-in. 9/23/1908 Carnaval romain Arthur Pryor's Band Band composer  
Victor C-8523 12-in. 12/30/1909 Hungarian march Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor C-12614 12-in. 11/14/1912 Carnaval romain overture Victor Concert Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor C-13721 12-in. 9/3/1913 Serenata, deh vieni alla finestra [from Don Giovanni] (Open thy window) Henri Gilles ; Emilio de Gogorza Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra and piano composer  
Victor B-20692 10-in. 9/21/1917 Valse des sylphes Victor Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor C-20819 12-in. 10/3/1917 Hungarian march Boston Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor B-20823 10-in. 10/5/1917 Ballet des sylphes Boston Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor C-21206 12-in. 11/26/1917 Woodwinds Victor Orchestra Instructional composer  
Victor B-22878 10-in. 5/28/1919 Voici des roses Georges Baklanoff Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-24749 12-in. 12/22/1920 Rákóczy Hungarian march Teatro alla Scala Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor B-25534 10-in. 8/26/1921 Dance of the sylphs Victor Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor B-26319 10-in. 4/25/1922 Rákoczy march Guy Maier ; Lee Pattison Piano duet composer  
Victor B-27026 10-in. 10/13/1922 Mephistopheles' serenade Titta Ruffo Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
(Results 1-25 of 61 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Berlioz, Hector," accessed June 18, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102481.

Berlioz, Hector. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 18, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102481.

"Berlioz, Hector." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 18 June 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102481

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