Web page designed for students at Queens University of Charlotte and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.


How to Use

Select from the menu above. The music player will appear in the top window. Program notes are available for each movement, which you can access by selecting the link "Program Notes" just below the audio player.

Encounters with Berlioz

The Symphonie fantastique is an amazing first symphony--a first for Berlioz and the first great symphony after Beethoven.

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

Excerpts from "Encounters with Music Through Listener Actions" by Tim Cordell

Berlioz was a French composer, conductor, author and critic whose music represents the best in innovative orchestration. After his initial studies in medicine, Berlioz pursued a career in music. He studied at the famed Paris Conservatory of Music, and after several attempts won the Conservatory's Prix de Rome. As an author, he wrote the first important book on the topic of orchestration titled Treatise on Instrumentation, and as a journalist he wrote interesting reviews in Paris publications. Berlioz was the first composer to utilize fully the improvements in instruments, particularly the French woodwind and brass instruments that had resulted from the technological and metallurgical innovations of the Industrial Revolution. Berlioz is well-known, but for a relatively small amount of music. His most frequently performed work is the five-movement programmatic Symphonie Fantastique, a symphony with a program. He did compose other symphonies, operas and overtures.

Keeping Score is an excellent website to study Symphonie fantastique. Edinboro University faculty can access the Keeping Score series on www.naxosvideolibrary.com.

Tim Cordell: 21Feb2013