The Hector Berlioz Website

Berlioz and the Movies!


Michael Sproule

© 2014 Michael Sproule

If any great artist was born a hundred and fifty years ahead of his time, it is Berlioz.

His wondrous range of interests, his vitality, his limitless delight in set pieces of passion and playfulness would have made him a film score composer second to none.

Imagine him collaborating with the Coen Brothers on something suitably gothic.

Imagine him collaborating with Spielberg on something as riveting as “Duel” – “La course à l’abîme” gives us a clue as to what we might expect!

Anyone who can compose the “Andromaque et son fils” music would have us utterly spellbound in Blanche Du Bois’ final scene in “Streetcar” as we reflect on “the kindness of strangers”.

Then, suppose HB was commissioned to write a musical/opera called “Rogue Trader” in which Act One Scene 1 opens with the old-fashioned open-outcry stock market in full swing – what better than a choral piece along the lines of the rumbustious Chez Capulet party music from “Roméo”?

If necessary, HB would have no trouble in 1996 drawing on the “stila antica” of 1846. “Le Roi de Thulé” shows the ease in which he could and did put the imaginative clock back.

Perhaps Bernstein would have been his closest contemporary rival – rather as Wagner was, back in the “real” world.

On top of it all, imagine how his Treatise on Instrumentation might look revamped to today’s sound world!

We are very grateful to Mr Michael Sproule for this valuable contribution to the site.

The Hector Berlioz Website was created by Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin on 18 July 1997; this page created on 27 September 2014.

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