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Hearing in the Music of Hector Berlioz

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Book chapter

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Authors

Kursell, Julia 

Abstract

For a long time, Hector Berlioz was thought to hold a singular, even an isolated position in music history. Among the first to offer a new perspective was Pierre Boulez, who suggested that Berlioz’s position in music history could be explained by ‘the fact that a large part of his œuvre has remained in the realm of the imaginary’. With this remark, Boulez alluded to the Grand traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes (1844/55), and more specifically to the chapter on the orchestra that closes the treatise. Speculations on the sound of an orchestra that would unite ‘all the forces that are present in Paris and create an ensemble of 816 musicians’ were, for Boulez, typical of Berlioz: ‘mixing realism and imagination without opposing one to the other, producing the double aspect of an undeniable inventive “madness” – a fairly unreal dream minutely accounted for’.

Description

Title

Hearing in the Music of Hector Berlioz

Keywords

Is Part Of

Nineteenth-Century Opera and the Scientific Imagination

Book type

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

ISBN

9781316275863

Rights

All rights reserved
Sponsorship
European Research Council (638241)