Berlioz French or German: Nationalist or Internationalist?

By Julian Rushton

© 2003 Julian Rushton

    Berlioz is soon to join the 80-odd persons the French honour by laying their mortal remains in the Panthéon. Berlioz, of course, can never be constrained even by so vast a building, and perhaps not by a single nation. Like Mozart, like Liszt, he bestrides the map of Europe. The London conference is focused on Berlioz and England; Ireland, which he never saw, and Russia, where he left his mark on the next generation of composers. I hope not to start entirely off-key, therefore, if I discuss Berlioz’s standing as a native Frenchman and, for part of his career, an honorary German.

    Most of the 19th-century music we identify as ‘Nationalist’ comes from nations subservient to one of the Great Powers.1 Polish, Czech and Hungarian nationalism emerged within the Russian and Austrian Empires. Russia’s own nationalism was conditioned by cultural domination from the West; the English, on the other hand, remained comparatively indifferent to their musical roots until the twentieth century. The case is different for the culturally hegemonic Germans (including Austrians), Italians, and French. Despite their clearly defined national identity, we do not perceive the waltzing Strauss family as Austrian nationalists; perhaps we should.2 As for Berlioz, his difficulties with the musical culture of France in general, and Paris in particular, are well documented, but his career trajectory is unlike that of any other composer and could hardly have occurred outside France. Berlioz was certainly not unpatriotic, yet we hardly think of him as a musical nationalist, and his most pronounced literary and musical tastes were not French at all.

    Berlioz was culturally internationalist, and I am tempted to call him a child of the Enlightenment. Imagine a Hector Berlioz born in Mozart’s or Beethoven’s generation; we can guess that he would either have become like his father, a provincial professional; or, had family circumstances made it politic – or economic – he might have cultivated his musical talent in a Maitrîse, a cathedral choir school. And in that case he might have turned into Jean-François Le Sueur – not a composer one associates with internationalism.

    In the event, however, he learned very early that music and musicians could transcend national boundaries. Among his first musical idols were Haydn and Gluck. The inspiration they offered was not yet musical; it was their lives that excited him, as he eagerly read the serial Biographie universelle of Michaud: ‘Quelle belle gloire! me disais-je, en pensant à celle de ces deux hommes illustres: quel bel art! quel bonheur de le cultiver en grand!’ And he sees ahead ‘mille horizons musicaux étranges et grandioses’.3 As one might expect, the Michaud biographies place most emphasis on the composers’ later careers, and their atypical, but better documented, periods away from home: Haydn in England, Gluck in France.

    Berlioz’s emulation of these heroes took him to Italy, Belgium, Germany and Austria, Bohemia, Hungary, and territories of modern Poland, as well as Russia and England. But the impulse he received was somewhat deceptive. So sketchy is Michaud’s Gluck biography that Berlioz read nothing of his years in the Viennese galleys, writing ballet and opéra comique.4 Nevertheless, Berlioz surely appreciated Gluck’s explicitly internationalist musical agenda; his knowledge of Gluck was not confined to his French operas.5 Spontini, whom Berlioz respected above his French contemporaries, was of course Italian; otherwise, Berlioz’s greatest enthusiasms were for German composers. Although The New Grove Dictionary now designates Gluck a Bohemian, he was German to the French.6 And the great musical revelations of Berlioz’s formative years, the 1820s, were Weber and Beethoven. In the centenary year of 1903, one critic called these ‘his masters’.7

    Given the musical conditions in France in the 1820s, it is striking that so much of Berlioz’s thinking takes off from eighteenth-century and German models; but it is less surprising in that, rather than first discovering French music, then music from abroad, he came upon them all at the same time. The origins of his sound-world, and to some extent his aesthetic, have been detected in his French predecessors. But much of their dramatic rhetoric, at least in opera, derives from Gluck and his successors, such as Piccinni. Gluck’s dramatic truthfulness was an ideal to which Berlioz aspired; his practice was no less important, in incisive choral writing, simple yet telling strokes of orchestral colour, and his presentation of monologue and dialogue. The despairing recitatives of Berlioz’s Cleopatra, Cassandra and Dido, are the direct descendants of Gluck’s Alceste. Other aspects of Berlioz’s rhetoric are Beethovenian: the superb tragic ending of Berlioz’s Hamlet march may seem utterly personal, but its fragmentation derives from the end of the slow movement of the Eroica symphony, written about the time of Berlioz’s birth. One might variously invoke Coriolan and the Ninth Symphony as models for thematic transformation in a dramatic overture such as Le Roi Lear. And without Weber’s sense of colour and magic – satanic in Freischütz, benevolent in OberonLa Damnation de Faust is inconceivable.

    It goes without saying that none of these comments impugns Berlioz’s originality; such eclecticism is not only healthy, but indispensable to a growing artist. Berlioz re-thought everything; and as with all forms of creative modelling, a difference from a model is as significant as a resemblance. Such differences may come about by combining models: the Symphonie fantastique, for instance, owes something to at least three Beethoven symphonies.8 Mark Evan Bonds groups Harold en Italie with symphonies which respond to the Ninth, and relates it to another by calling it sinfonia anti-eroica.9 The build-up to the choral finale in Roméo et Juliette may recall the Ninth, but very little else does. Berlioz’s instrumental recitatives are in method and purpose quite unlike Beethoven’s, not least because Beethoven subsequently transfers his recitative to the voice; Berlioz, in the quelling of the combat and in the love scene and tomb scene, retains the vagueness, or precision, of purely instrumental utterance even with a texture derived from recitative, the most purely vocal of genres.

    Berlioz’s contemporaries often detected German qualities in his music, although I suspect they reached for epithets such as ‘German’ to express dissatisfaction, without strict regard for accuracy. Benvenuto Cellini and Roméo et Juliette were called ‘clever’, ‘learned’, ‘scientific’, or ‘systematic’, though without particular reference to their extensive use of fugato. The attention Berlioz paid to the orchestra, and his début as a symphonist, permitted, though they did not justify, the frequent accusation that he neglected the voice, and lacked a sense of theatre. Similar things were once said of Mozart.10

    Summarising the critical reception of Benvenuto Cellini, Sylvia L’Écuyer remarks that critics acknowledged Berlioz’s work as a new genre, ‘in which the melody is not seductive in the Italian style, in which the rhythm is complex, and in which the orchestra takes part in the development of the action ... they associate Berlioz’s groundbreaking work with "German" aesthetics.’11 Within a few years, Berlioz seemed to confirm this view of himself, when he advertised to the French his own successes in Germany.12 In the 1850s he was welcomed by Liszt into the Neue Weimar Verein. With Mendelssohn dead and Schumann a declining force, critics such as Richard Pohl aligned Berlioz with Liszt, Wagner, and others in a coterie sometimes called the New German school, and, to Berlioz’s eventual dismay, Zukunftsmusik. And these were not the only German critics who admired Berlioz.13

    Back in France in 1863, an intelligent review of Les Troyens à Carthage by Fiorentino explicitly disassociates Berlioz from ‘music of the future’. One might be tempted to dismiss this as a response to Berlioz’s own non-credo of 1860; but, astonishing as it may seem, Les Troyens in 1863 was smeared by the same old critical tar.14 One critic calls Berlioz in dramatic music ‘plus savant qu’habille’.15 Nestor Roqueplan begins his review with a solemn meditation on ‘l’éternelle question de la musique italienne et de la musique allemande’, in order to conclude, and regret, that French music was leaning more towards the German side; he then damns Berlioz’s opera by praising him as a symphonist.16 Marie Escudier opined that Les Troyens, whatever its fate in Paris, would soon succeed in Germany; this proved a bad prophecy, but clearly indicates his (still sympathetic) view of Berlioz’s opera.17 No doubt German music was in the mind, such as it was, of one Auguste Durand, who, incredibly, maintained that Berlioz’s opera contains no perfect cadences. He also claimed its continuity was such that ‘l’acte entier n’est qu’une seule phrase’. Arrant nonsense as this is, we may still be uncomfortably reminded of Berlioz describing Tristan.18

    There is an alternative position in Berlioz reception, prominent in English-language criticism, which views his music as the reverse of learned. His science is admitted in the art of instrumentation; otherwise his lack of formal training in harmony and counterpoint is emphasised, indeed exaggerated. This view receives support from the opinions of several of Berlioz’s fellow composers, such as Chopin, Ravel, Stravinsky, and Boulez. None of these, of course, was German, but their critique stands upon essentially German premises: the purity of the relationship of harmony to a linear bass and inner parts, and the integrity of the musical Satz.19 Whatever the origins of Berlioz’s polyphonic preferences, they are undeniably idiosyncratic; and his music might be held to fail what the English critic Frederick Corder called ‘the simple but infallible test of being played upon the piano’.20 Those of Berlioz’s fellow musicians who adapted his music for piano may be supposed generally to be supportive, yet even they sometimes imply a criticism. Berlioz’s orchestral textures are transcribed for piano in numerous vocal scores, and these arrangers, often anonymous, generally adopt a literal view of their task, neither altering polyphonic essentials, nor attempting to produce idiomatic keyboard music. Textures may be simplified, seldom more than in Berlioz’s own vocal score of Les Troyens which is perhaps too cautious in its demands on the rehearsal pianist, that most flexible of hacks.21 Liszt’s magnificent transcriptions of the Fantastique and Harold also remain faithful to the essentials of Berlioz’s polyphony, as does the less celebrated ‘Bénédiction et Serment’ from Benvenuto Cellini. Even Liszt’s grand fantasia for piano and orchestra based on two songs from Le retour à la vie, where he could have taken any amount of licence without offending generic expectations, is based on Berlioz’s harmony as well as his tunes.22

    Other composers, however, were less mindful of Schumann’s advice that changing Berlioz’s harmonies would lead only to insipidity.23 Sigismond Thalberg’s ‘Grande caprice’ on the Apotheosis from Symphonie funèbre et triomphale is a free composition on material derived from Berlioz, but in quoting the themes, he respects Berlioz’s polyphony, apart from adding a few sevenths to dominant chords, where Berlioz characteristically used pure triads.24 However, Joachim Raff took a freer view in his ‘Fantasie über Motive aus Benvenuto Cellini’. Raff uses Ascanio’s air as the main element in a rondo form.25 The prayer of Teresa and Ascanio, and Teresa’s aria are used as episodes, more or less exactly transcribed, but in Ascanio’s air Raff seems to be trying to improve the harmony. He makes orthodox use of the six-four chord where Berlioz wrote a root position; and he marks the climax with chromatically altered supertonic chords, perhaps better suited to a grand chorale than to the cavorting of Cellini’s young apprentice:

    Raff’s work is avowedly a fantasy, in which the piano-composer has carte blanche to mess around with his sources. Carl Tausig’s Gnomenchor und Sylphentanz, from the scene by the Elbe in La Damnation de Faust, is published with the appearance of being a transcription, but its objectives are those of the virtuoso pianist.26 Many of the details are delicate and effective, notably the inner-part chromaticism which replaces the repeated notes of Berlioz’s choral writing, at ‘de sites ravissans La campagne se couvre’. Tausig provides different chord-inversions more often than Raff; and he omits several bars including the whole Allegro episode. Instead of Berlioz’s coda, he composes a modulation to B flat, and begins the Ballet des Sylphes in that key:

Curiously enough, having supplied a pedal-point to several bars in the chorus where Berlioz’s bass actually moves, Tausig eliminates the low tonic pedal from the ballet – whereas Liszt’s transcription retains it.27 Having removed the pedal, however, Tausig felt constrained to alter the implied bass, which in Berlioz comes on each first beat, in harp harmonics and second flute; the result is again different chord inversions and from bar 5, dissonant restoration of the pedal.28

    Finally, Liszt himself, having laboured mightily on Symphonie fantastique, found consolation in his dreamy meditation on L’Idée fixe. Advertised by its first publisher as a transcription, this Andante amoroso nevertheless contains a harmonic shift which colours the idiosyncratic but almost entirely diatonic original:29

    True, Berlioz often exploited mediant relationships; but this sudden incursion of @III, with a seventh, is most un-Berliozian. This time, however, one cannot construe the alteration as a criticism from a classicising viewpoint – as one still might with Raff. Although one can see its musical logic, it projects Berlioz’s idea into the new world of pianistic virtuosity, but also of harmonic mystery – precociously, for the still young Liszt, the world of the New German school. His later re-working of the Idée fixe is really a new piece, more chaste, more innig, and places the mediant adventure more plausibly at the melodic climax.30

    It seems, then, that on a musical level Berlioz’s connection with German music is ambivalent. He was influenced by it, and associated with it by some of his contemporaries. But equally he was disassociated from it by his own pronouncement on Zukunftsmusik, and, implicitly, by a number of technical criticisms of his music, from composers and critics, which take their stand on principles of polyphony crystallised, in the twentieth century, by theorists such as Schenker.

* * * * *

    Was Berlioz as ambivalent politically as he seems to have been musically? There seems no doubt of his preference for monarchical government, so long, that is, as the rulers appreciated the arts. Berlioz happily accepted the patronage of German princes, and assiduously sought the support of French royalty, although with less success. In politics as in music, it seems to me no contradiction to call Berlioz both an internationalist and a patriot. For him, an ideal political milieu might have been an eighteenth-century enlightened monarchy. Such monarchies were not all politically as liberal as, for a few years, was Joseph II in Vienna. The most enlightened patronage of a difficult musical genius occurred in the fledgling police state of Franz II, frequently beleaguered by that very Napoleon whom Berlioz admired: I mean, of course, the stipend awarded to Beethoven by the jeunesse dorée of Vienna.31

    For a French composer of Berlioz’s generation, there was ample excuse to feel resentment at the cultural grip exerted by composers originating outside France; just as in England and Russia, foreigners were often preferred over native talent. Not only was Italian opera well established, but composers, Italian or German, were allowed to invade the most prestigious national theatre, the Opéra. Ironically, Berlioz responded by taking his own campaign abroad. But the presence in French musical life of Cherubini, Spontini, Meyerbeer, and Donizetti, tends to emphasise a continuity and internationalism that stems from the pre-revolutionary decades when German, French and Italian composers competed at the Opéra, the Opéra comique, and in the concert life of Paris. Then they all worked in a similar musical language; and even in the mid-nineteenth century, the differences between Auber, Meyerbeer, Donizetti and Halévy are personal, or qualitative, not national: they all spoke the same Italian-based language. Against this background composers such as Gounod and Bizet, Fauré and Massenet, established a characteristically French musical voice. Whatever that voice is, though, can we hear it as far back as Berlioz? Does Berlioz sound French? Or are the differences between his music, and the Italian and German music to which he bears affinity, mainly differences of personal style? (I exclude, of course, the possibility they result from deficient technique or a tendency to musical extravagance.) Berlioz certainly didn’t cultivate national musical identity by going back to roots. Unlike Saint-Saëns, he played little part in contemporary revivals of earlier French music: he knew some Lully and Rameau and rated them well below Gluck, and his late arrangement of Couperin is a curiosity, which contributed nothing to his creative development. Berlioz had some knowledge of musical folklore, but not as an assertion of national identity. He connected his occasional use of modes other than major or minor with folksong – as in the ‘Chanson gothique’ – and with couleur locale, but their principal purpose was either couleur locale or expressive effect, as in Herod’s aria or the women’s prayer in Les Troyens. The flat leading-note at the end of Faust’s ‘Invocation à la nature’ is hardly even modal, but a kind of expressively wrong – or blue – note in a tonal context. A comic version of this appears in the men’s trio in Act I of Béatrice et Bénédict.

    I see no conscious effort from Berlioz to develop Frenchness in music, in his choice of texts and subject-matter, in his musical style, or in the composers who influenced him. I do not overlook, of course, his teacher Le Sueur, nor the effect of the music of ceremonial grandeur deriving from the period of the revolution and Empire; and his Messe solennelle, written under Le Sueur’s tutelage, does contain traditional elements such as style of solo récit, which goes back to the French Baroque.32 But is it not possible that the sound of the French revolution reached Berlioz, at least partly, through Beethoven? And an appreciable amount of French ceremonial music, for Napoleon and Charles X, was composed by Italians – Cherubini, Paisiello – whose musical language was formed in the international ambience of the eighteenth century.

    So what, other than accident of birth, marks Berlioz as French? Rather than aspects of his musical technique, I suggest it is a question of – if you will excuse the German term – Weltanschauung. Berlioz’s patriotism is less musical than political, and it is compatible with an international outlook which hoped for greater understanding between nations. This attitude shaped his political outlook, which has recently given rise to some misunderstanding.

    Growing to maturity in the years following the fall of Napoleon, he had little time for the Bourbon restoration, and took pleasure in its overthrow in 1830. He conducted and arranged the Marseillaise – a national, as much as a revolutionary symbol. But Berlioz’s political views did not remain unmixedly correct from the perspective of contemporary liberalism. True, he dug out the Marseillaise again, in 1848, at the foundation of the second Republic; it was opportunistically published in London. But in that he favoured the exercise of authority in government, he was no model democrat. Indeed, we must admit elements in his political makeup, and his music, with which Charles de Gaulle might identify, if not (I hope) Jean-Marie le Pen. On hearing of the proposal to place Berlioz in the Pantheon, a correspondent in Le Monde, dated 29 February 2000, wrote that this honour should be reserved for politically active republicans; whereas Berlioz was not politically active, and was a political reactionary.33 Although it is surely the case that a republican can also be reactionary, and a monarchist can also be socially progressive, the writer rested his case on historically sanctioned qualifications for interment in the Panthéon. Jacques Barzun, however, rose to the bait with characteristic vigour and an equal and opposite over-simplification, claiming that ‘Berlioz was not a supporter’ of Napoleon III’s regime, ‘nor was he a beneficiary’.34 Only the last part is true. Barzun adds that ‘It would be hard to find a less political artist in France than Berlioz’; maybe, but one need not be a Marxist to observe much that Berlioz’s activities and opinions have a decided political dimension. Until disillusion set in, Berlioz was remained a supporter of the Emperor, for he favoured strong government which maintained order and sponsored the arts. As David Cairns concisely puts it, Berlioz’s ‘once-active desire for social justice came up against the imperatives of the creative ego and lost’.35

    Barzun points to music Berlioz willingly wrote for ‘liberal causes’: the very early Scène héroïque on the Greek revolution, and his two biggest government commissions – Grande messe des morts, Symphonie funèbre et triomphale. The symphony, however, while clearly populist (as Wagner noted), marked the tenth anniversary of the Orléanist regime as well as that of the 1830 revolution; it is as much a national as a liberal gesture. When words were added to the finale, they were in praise of the heroes who made Louis-Philippe’s reign possible. We should not assume a composer’s total identification with every poetic text he sets, but there seems no reason to distance Berlioz from most of his. He would surely have identified with Janin’s Chant des chemins de fer, which à propos the Northern railway celebrates – in a stunning harmonic progression – ‘La paix! Le Roi! L’ouvrier! La patrie!’ The over-optimism about the power of technology to promote international peace matches that of Le Temple universel, which contains a striking anticipation of the European Union: ‘L’Europe un jour n’aura qu’un étendard’. But then the unification of Europe was a Bonapartist project.

    In attempting to defend Berlioz as a liberal democrat, Barzun carefully avoids reference to works which celebrate Bonapartism: the ode on the death of the first Napoleon, Le cinq mai, and the cantata L’Impériale, whose refrain echoes the earlier Hymne à la France; it runs:

Dieu qui protèges la France, Veille sur son Empereur

Des bons il est l’espérance Et des méchants la terreur.36

    These verses resemble those chauvinist sentiments the British nowadays neglect in performing their national anthem: ‘confound their politics, frustrate their knavish tricks’. Divine protection for France is invoked most strongly in L’Impériale when the rebirth of the dynasty is compared to the resurrection: ‘Car du sépulcre est sortie, Comme autrefois le messie, L’Impériale dynastie’.37 Berlioz’s identification with this text may be assumed, precisely because the work was not a commission – although he surely hoped it would gain the favour of the regime. And whatever he actually thought about the poem, his music supports its sentiments. It is carefully planned and executed and, in so far as the text allows, expressive. The image of the rebirth uses a progression reminiscent of Cleopatra, in his 1829 cantata, when she imagines herself entombed. The refrain has all the necessary solidity and grandeur. In the instrumental and spatial disposition of L’Impériale, there is a monumentality which bespeaks the student of Le Sueur and the heir of revolutionary music, and also of the monumentality of the music for the coronation of Charles X. One cannot simply associate musical grandeur, and lots of wind instruments, with republican causes. Absolutists could use them too. Unlike Ravel, Berlioz accepted a rank in the Légion d’honneur. Unless one attributes to him an anachronistically post-modern type of irony, one must add, to echo Satie, that his music also accepted it. Such works as L’Impériale form part of the rich patina of what we call ‘Berlioz’. We may prefer (I do prefer) Roméo et Juliette and Les Troyens, but L’Impériale is no less characteristic and expressive of his culture and mentality. And these, I suggest, are French even in the way he assimilates musical ideas originating beyond the Rhine, or the Alps, or further afield: for does not the great Te Deum, in its children’s chorus and one extraordinary passage of unaccompanied choral writing, pay tribute both to England and to Russia?38 The greatest and most universal art is that which, paradoxical as it may seem, has the firmest local roots -– consider only the writings of Shakespeare, Balzac, Chekhov or Joyce, the paintings of Rembrandt, the music of Bach. Berlioz’s is music for Europe and the world, because his essence, his Weltanschauung, rather than necessarily his music techniques, are rooted in his native France.

Julian Rushton


* An earlier version of this paper was given as the keynote address at the "Interpreting Berlioz" conference, London , 15-17 November 2002.

1. With the marked exception of Russian nationalism, which combated purely cultural hegemonies from Italy and Germany.

2. The Strauss family appropriated music of the various non-German nations of the Empire such as Hungary and Poland; there is no equivalent for Berlioz, whose exotic allusions refer to Hungary, Spain, Italy, etc., but not to French overseas territories.

3. Berlioz, Mémoires chapter 4, cited from the Citron edition, pp.52-3. Citron notes that Dr Berlioz subscribed to Michaud’s serially published Biographie universelle. Later, Berlioz’s attitude to Haydn fell short of idolatry.

4. The biography of Gluck (vol. 17, published 1816) is riddled with error, starting with the statement that Gluck was of noble family. It consists of under twelve columns; Gluck meets Calzabigi after one of these. The Haydn biography (vol. 19, published 1817) is more balanced but by the fifth column of thirteen, we read that he owed his reputation in Germany to his success in England.

5. See for instance the anecdote relating to Mendelssohn, Mémoires, travels in Germany, fourth letter. In A Travers Chants Berlioz wrote of the Italian Orfeo and Alceste as well as the French versions.

6. In The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition (2001), Gluck is ‘Bohemian composer’. The first edition (1980) has ‘German composer’; the intermediate New Grove Dictionary of Opera has ‘Bohemian-Austrian composer of Italian and French opera’.

7. Edouard Schuré, in Le Guide musical: 1803-1903. Centenaire de Hector Berlioz, p. 2.

8. Rushton, The Music of Berlioz, 252-3, relating it to the Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth symphonies.

9. Mark Evan Bonds, After Beethoven. Imperatives of Originality in the Symphony. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1996, 28-72.

10. Peter Bloom (ed.), Hector Berlioz, Benvenuto Cellini. Dossier de Presse parisienne (1838) Critique de l’Opéra français du XIXème Siècle 3 [n.p.]: Musik-Edition Lucie Galland, 1995; see for example p.37. See also NBE1a, p.XVI.

11. Sylvia L’Écuyer, ‘Joseph d’Ortigue’s "Autopsy" of Benvenuto Cellini’, in Peter Bloom (ed.), Berlioz, Past, Present, Future, University of Rochester Press, 
forthcoming (2003).

12. Berlioz, Voyage musical en Allemagne et en Italie, reproduced from journal articles: Paris: Labitte, 1844. The material is reproduced in his Mémoires.

13. See for instance the comments in Le Guide musical: 1803-1903. Centenaire de Hector Berlioz, p. 24, citing as well as Pohl, Lobe, Marx, Ehlert, Ambros, and Brendel. Hanslick was an early supporter who changed his tune in later years; see Geoffrey Payzant, Eduard Hanslick and Ritter Berlioz in Prague (University of Calgary Press, 1991).

14. P.-A. Fiorentino, in La France, 9 November 1863. See Frank Heidlberger (ed.), Hector Berlioz, Les Troyens à Carthage. Dossier de presse parisienne (1863), [n.p.]: Musik-Edition Lucie Galland, 1995), p. 52. Berlioz, ‘Concerts de Richard Wagner’, Journal des Débats, 9 February 1860 (Holoman C880), reprinted in A travers chants (Guichard edition, 321-33). Berlioz’s general denunciation of ‘Music of the Future’ was in the public domain, while his detailed comments on Wagner’s score remained private until after Wagner’s death when Alfred Ernst studied Berlioz’s score of Tristan (‘Wagner, corrigé par Berlioz’, Le Ménestrel, 50 (1884, 28 September), 348-9. See Rushton, The Music of Berlioz, p.346.

15. ‘Ralph’, in l’Art musical, 12 November 1863. Frank Heidlberger (ed.), Hector Berlioz, Les Troyens à Carthage. Dossier de presse parisienne, p.9.

16. Le Constitutionnel, 9 November 1863; ibid., p.11.

17. La France musicale, 8 November 1863; ibid., p.53.

18. L’Esprit publique, 13 November 1863; ibid., p.27. Berlioz’s comments on the Tristan prelude are in A travers chants, loc. cit..

19. See Rushton, The Musical Language of Berlioz, passim.

20. Frederick Corder (‘F.C.’), ‘Instrumentation’, in J.A. Fuller-Maitland (ed.), Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition (London: Macmillan, 1906), II, 473-84.

21. Hopkinson 64A (a) and 65A (a). See for instance how Berlioz omits the accompaniment to the all-important thread of melody in the Act IV Quintet.

22. Liszt, Bénédiction et serment, deux motifs de Benvenuto Cellini, comp. 1852-3, Leipzig: Meyer, 1854. Le retour à la vie: Phantasie für Pianoforte und Orchester, also know as Grande fantaisie symphonique über Themen aus Berlioz’ ‘Lélio’, comp. 1834, ms Goethe-Schiller Archiv, Weimar.

23. Robert Schumann, ‘Symphonie von H. Berlioz’. Gesammelte Schriften. Leipzig: Georg Wigands Verlag, 1854; trans. Edward T. Cone Berlioz: Fantastic Symphony (Norton Critical Scores). New York: Norton and London: Chappell, 1971, p.235.

24. Sigismond Thalberg, Grande Caprice sur la Marche de l’Apothéose de Berlioz, Op. 58 (Paris: Schlesinger, n.d.).

25. Joachim Raff, ‘Die Oper im Salon. Die Schönste beliebten Opern im modernen Style für das Pianoforte, 2te Folge. Fantasie über Motive aus Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini’, Op. 65 No. 1. Hamburg: Schuberth, 1865; according to The New Grove, the music was composed ten years earlier, in the period when Benvenuto Cellini was being performed in Weimar.

26. Carl Tausig, Gnomenchor und Sylphentanz. Fragment aus Berlioz’s Faust. Berlin: Fürstner, n.d..

27. Franz Liszt, Danse des Sylphes de La Damnation de Faust, comp. 1860, Berlin: Rieter-Biedermann, 1866.

28. Tausig’s pedal starts on a dissonance, whereas orthodox teaching was that, whatever came in between, the beginning and end of the pedal were to be consonant.

29. Liszt, L’Idée fixe, Mélodie von Berlioz (aus der Symphonie fantastique), Transcription von Liszt, comp. 1833, Vienna, Mechetti n.d..

30. I am grateful to Kenneth Hamilton for performing both Liszt’s versions of ‘L’Idée fixe’ as part of his lecture-recital which concluded the conference.

31. See Tia DeNora, Beethoven and the Construction of Genius: Musical Politics in Vienna, 1792-1803 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1995).

32. I am indebted to Alban Ramaut for this point, made after I delivered the paper.

33. Joël-Marie Fauquet, ‘Berlioz au Panthéon? Une fausse note!’, Le Monde (29 February 2000).

34. Jacques Barzun, Afterword, in Bloom, Berlioz, Past, Present, Future (see above, note 11; my thanks to Peter Bloom for permitting these citations before publication, and for inflecting my comments on this particular correspondence).

35. David Cairns, Berlioz. Vol. II: Servitude and Greatness, London: Allen Lane, the Penguin Press, 1999.

36. L’Impériale, text by Pierre-Chéri Lafont; see CG IV, 668-71. Hymne à la France, written under the Orléanist monarchy (1844) to a text by Auguste Barbier, begins ‘O belle France, O noble enfant du ciel’, and has as its refrain: ‘Dieu protège la France’.

37. Berlioz took the piece seriously enough to report its successful performance to Liszt in glowing terms; CG V, 188.

38. Berlioz was much affected by the concert of charity children in St Paul’s cathedral, after which he added the children’s chorus to the Te Deum and the final scene of La Damnation de Faust. He was interested enough in the unaccompanied choral music of the Russian Orthodox church to adapt two pieces of Bortnyansky to Latin texts, for the Roman usage (Holoman 122, 123).

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