Hector Berlioz

Biography

Born: 1803   Died: 1869   Country: France   Period: Romantic
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 1826. Read more His originality was already apparent and disconcerting -- a competition cantata, Cléopâtre (1829), looms as his first sustained masterpiece -- and he won the Prix de Rome in 1830 amid the turmoil of the July Revolution. Meanwhile, a performance of Hamlet in September 1827, with Harriet Smithson as Ophelia, provoked an overwhelming but unrequited passion, whose aftermath may be heard in the Symphonie fantastique (1830).

Returning from Rome, Berlioz organized a concert in 1832, featuring his symphony. Harriet Smithson was in the audience. They were introduced days later and married on October 3, 1833.

Berlioz settled into a career pattern which he maintained for more than a decade, writing reviews, organizing concerts, and composing a series of visionary masterpieces: Harold en Italie (1834), the monumental Requiem (1837), and an opera, Benvenuto Cellini (1838), a crushing fiasco. At year's end, the dying Paganini made Berlioz a gift of 20,000 francs, enabling him to devote nearly a year to the composition of his "dramatic symphony," Roméo et Juliette (1839). And then, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the July Revolution, came the Symphonie funèbre et triomphale (1840).

Iridescently scored, an exquisite collection of six Gautier settings, Les nuits d'été, opened the new decade. This was a difficult time for Berlioz, as his marriage failed to bring him the happiness he desired. Concert tours to Brussels, many German cities, Vienna, Pesth, Prague, and London occupied him through most of the 1840s. He composed La Damnation de Faust, en route, offering the new work to a half-empty house in Paris, December 6, 1846. Expenses were catastrophic, and only a successful concert tour to St. Petersburg saved him.

He sat out the revolutionary upheavals of 1848 in London, returning to Paris in July. The massive Te Deum -- a "little brother" to the Requiem -- was largely composed over 1849, though it would not be heard until 1855. L'Enfance du Christ, scored an immediate and enduring success from its first performance on December 10, 1854. Elected to the Institut de France in 1855, he started receiving a members' stipend, and this provided him with a modicum of financial security. Consequently, Berlioz was able to devote himself to the summa of his career, his vast opera, Les Troyens, based on Virgil's Aeneid, the Roman poet's unfinished epic masterpiece. The opera was completed in 1858. As he negotiated for its performance, he composed a comique adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, which met with a rapturous Baden première, on August 9, 1862. Unfortunately, only the third, fourth, and fifth acts of Les Troyens were mounted by the Théatre-Lyrique, a successful premiere, on November 4, 1863, and a run of 21 performances notwithstanding. This lopsided production stemmed from a compromise (bitterly regretted by the composer) that Berlioz had made with the Théâtre-Lyrique.

Though frail and ailing, Berlioz conducted his works in Vienna and Cologne in 1866, traveling to St. Petersburg and Moscow in the winter of 1867-1868. Despondent and tortured by self-doubt, the composer received a triumphant welcome in Russia. Back in Paris in March 1868, he was but a walking shadow as paralysis slowly overcame him. Read less
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique / Mackerras, RPO
Release Date: 10/14/2008   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28310   Number of Discs: 1
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Berlioz: Overtures / Gibson, Royal Philharmonic
Release Date: 10/11/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28840   Number of Discs: 1
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Lalo, Saint-saens: Cello Concertos; Berlioz / Wispelway
Release Date: 06/11/2013   Label: Onyx  
Catalog: 4107   Number of Discs: 1
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Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust / Gedda, Horne, Pretre
Release Date: 07/03/2001   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 1290   Number of Discs: 2
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Berlioz: Nuits D'ete; Herminie / Delunsch, Balleys, Herreweghe
Release Date: 10/13/2009   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 501522   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

Browse 1-25 of 179 Available Recordings
1 2 ... 7 8
  • 1.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 3
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 002275902 Release Date: 03/23/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Lehár,  Emil Waldteufel,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Rafael Druian,  Georges Miquelle,  Eugene List,  Alfred Mouledous  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Frederick Fennell,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
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  • 2.
    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Etc / Ozawa, Boston Symphony
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186211 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 3.
    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 101 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
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  • 4.
    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique; Harold En Italie; Romeo Et Juliette; La Mort De Cleopatre
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 121195 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  William Lincer,  Jennie Tourel
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 5.
    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique / Yves Rechsteiner
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1416 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Yves Rechsteiner
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 6.
    Pierre Boulez - The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301333 Release Date: 11/24/2014   Number of Discs: 67
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Alexander Scriabin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Dönch,  Isabel Strauss,  Walter Berry,  Fritz Uhl  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Anton Webern
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Camerata Singers,  Schola Cantorum New York  ... 
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  • 7.
    Seiji Ozawa - The Philips Years: Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002185602 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Mariko Kobayashi,  Everett Firth,  Hiroshi Arimori,  Sawako Yasue  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers  ... 
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  • 8.
    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique / Hansjorg Albrecht
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 692 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Hansjörg Albrecht
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 9.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
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  • 10.
    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique / Gergiev [SACD & Blu-ray]
    Label: Lso Live   Catalog: 757 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $21.99
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  • 11.
    The Incomparable Celibidache [5-DVD Set]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1152 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Hector Berlioz,  Luigi Cherubini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin
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  • 12.
    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique; Le Carnaval Romain / Monteux, Pierne
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2108 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Gabriel Pierné
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Symphonique De Paris,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 13.
    100 Great Symphonies
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054602 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Sammartini,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf,  Johann Christian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Kevin Mallon,  Christopher Hogwood,  Thomas Füri,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aradia Ensemble,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Camerata Bern  ... 
    On sale! $259.98
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  • 14.
    Karajan: Orchestra Spectaculars From Handel To Bartok
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633621 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Benjamin Britten,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
    Label: Helicon   Catalog: 29673 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Hector Berlioz
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
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  • 16.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 17.
    Sir Colin Davis - Anthology
    Label: Lso Live   Catalog: 766 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Antonín Dvorák,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Ben Heppner,  Michelle DeYoung,  Petra Lang,  Sara Mingardo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
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  • 18.
    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique; Varese: Ionisation / Mariss Jansons
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900121 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Edgard Varèse
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 19.
    The Westminster Legacy
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999302 Release Date: 02/18/2014   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Sena Jurinac,  Lucretia West,  Hans Loeffler,  Frederick Guthrie  ... 
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen,  Pierre Monteux,  René Leibowitz,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Academy Chamber Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 20.
    Berlioz: Phantastische Symphonie, Op. 14; Richard Strauss: Tod Und Verklarung, Op. 24
    Label: Bella Musica   Catalog: 312450 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Carl-August Bünte
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  • 21.
    Europakonzert 2001 At Istanbul / Pahud, Jansons [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2051444 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Emmanuel Pahud
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $29.99
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  • 22.
    Roger Norrington - The Romantics
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93313 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Hector Berlioz,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Anu Komsi
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 23.
    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
    Label: Hi. Q   Catalog: 14 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    On sale! $52.98
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  • 24.
    Stanislaw Skrowaczewski: The Complete Oehms Classics Recordings
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 90 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Annette Dasch,  Daniela Sindram,  Christian Elsner,  George Zeppenfeld  ... 
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Saarbrücken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 25.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
    CD: $163.49
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1 2 ... 7 8

Hector Berlioz


WORKS
Symphonie fantastique Op. 14 (1989 Digital Remaster): I. Rêveries - Passions
Symphonie fantastique Op. 14 (1989 Digital Remaster): II. Un bal
Symphonie fantastique Op. 14 (1989 Digital Remaster): III. Scène aux champs
Symphonie fantastique Op. 14 (1989 Digital Remaster): IV. Marche au supplice
Symphonie fantastique Op. 14 (1989 Digital Remaster): V. Songe d'une nuit du Sabbat
Grande Messe des morts: i. Requiem et Kyrie
Grande Messe des morts: ii. Dies irae
Grande Messe des morts: iii. Quid sum miser
Grande Messe des morts: iv. Rex tremendae
Grande Messe des morts: v. Quaerens me
Grande Messe des morts: vi. Lacrymosa
Grande Messe des morts: vii. Offertoire (Domine Jesu Christe)
Grande Messe des morts: viii. Hostias
Grande Messe des morts: ix. Sanctus
Grande Messe des morts: x. Agnus Dei
Berlioz: Harold en Italie, Op.16 - 1a. Harold aux montagnes (Adagio)
Berlioz: Harold en Italie, Op.16 - 1b. Harold aux montagnes (Allegro)
Berlioz: Harold en Italie, Op.16 - 2. Marche des Pèlerins (Allegretto)
Berlioz: Harold en Italie, Op.16 - 3. Sérénade (Allegro assai - Allegretto)
Berlioz: Harold en Italie, Op.16 - 4. Orgie de brigands (Allegro frenetico - Adagio - Allegro, Tempo I)
Les Nuits d'été Op. 7: Villanelle
Les Nuits d'été Op. 7: Le spectre de la rose
Les Nuits d'été Op. 7: Sur les lagunes
Les Nuits d'été Op. 7: Absence
Les Nuits d'été Op. 7: Au cimetière
Les Nuits d'été Op. 7: L'île inconnue
La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Le vieil hiver
Les bergers laissent
Mais d'un éclat guerrier
March hongroise: (Rákóczy March)
Sans regrets j'ai quitté
Christ vient de ressusciter! (Chant de la fête de Pâques)
Hélas! doux chants du ciel
O pure émotion!
A boire encor!
Oh! qui'il fait bon
Certain rat (Chanson de Brander)
Amen. Amen
Vrai Dieu, messieurs
Une puce gentille (Chanson de Méphistophélés)
Assez! fuyons ces lieux
Voici des roses
Dors, heureux Faust, dors!
Ballet of the Sylphs
Margarita!
Villes entourées
La retraite
Merci, doux crépuscule!
Je l'entends!
Que l'air est étouffant!
Autrefois un roi de Thulé (The King of Thule)
Esprit des flammes
La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Menuet des follets
Maintenant
Grands dieux!
Allons, il est trop tard!
D'amour l'ardente flamme (Romance de Marguerite)
Au son des trompettes
Nature immense (Invocation à la Nature)
A la voûte azurée
Dans mon coeur retentit (La course à l'abîme)
Has! Irimiru Karabrao!
Alors l'enfer se tut
Laus! Hosanna!
L'enfance du Christ, Op. 25: Part I: Dans la crèche
Part I: Qui vient?
Part I: Toujours ce rêve!
Part I: Seigneur!
Part I: Les sages de Judée
Part I: La voix dit vrai, seigneur
Part I: Eh bien!
Part I: O mon cher fils
Part I: Joseph! Marie!
Overture
Part II: Il s'en va loin de la terre (L'adieu des bergers à la Sainte Famille)
Part II: Les Pèlerins étant venus
Part III: Depuis trois jours
Part III: Dans cette ville immense
Part III: Entrez, entrez, pauvres hébreux
Part III: Sur vos traits fatigués
L'enfance du Christ, Op. 25: Part III: Trio pour deux flûtes et harpe
Part III: Vous pleurez, jeune mère
Part III: Ce fut ainsi que par un infidèle