Berlioz in Paris
Berlioz’s career as a music critic was almost as long as his composing career: his earliest article was published in 1823 in Le Corsaire. After his return from Italy in 1832 his output became continuous and went on till 1863. He contributed to numerous papers and journals, notably the Revue et Gazette Musicale de Paris, and (from 1835 onwards) the prestigious and influential Journal des Débats (cf. Memoirs chapter 47). The complete edition of his critical writings will run to no less than 10 volumes, six of which have appeared so far: Hector Berlioz, Critique musicale, ed. Yves Gérard (Paris, Buchet/Chastel ) – vol. I 1823-1834, 1996; vol. II 1835-1836, 1998; vol. III 1837-1838, 2001; vol. IV 1839-1841, 2002; vol. V 1842-1844, 2004; vol. VI 1845-1848, 2008.
In the course of his career as a music critic Berlioz attended numerous concerts and operas at the Salle Ventadour and other Paris halls. The Salle Ventadour opened in 1829 and was used by different companies, until the Théâtre Italien established itself there permanently from 1841 to 1870. The building has been used since 1892 by the Banque de France.
The modern photograph reproduced on this page was taken by Michel Austin; other pictures have been scanned from books in our own collection. © Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin. All rights of reproduction reserved.
Salle Ventadour today
Salle Ventadour around 1830
This engraving has been scanned from A. Pugin’s book Paris and its Environs, published in London in
Interior of Salle Ventadour in 1843
This engraving is by C Mottram, made after E Lami, printed in Jules Janin’s book, Un hiver à Paris, published in 1843. Janin was a distinguished journalist and literary critic, and from 1829 to 1873, one of the pillars of the influential Journal des Débats. He was a close friend of Berlioz and wrote the text for his Chant des chemins de fer.
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