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Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz relished the spectacular sounds that could be achieved with massive orchestral forces, but he was much more than a musical showman. His gift for melody, his genius for musical drama, his mastery of orchestration, and his bold originality place him in the front rank of...
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Editor's Note: Hector Berlioz's "Quartetto e coro dei maggi" ("Quartet and Chorus of the Magi") was written sometime around the year 1832 but not published until 1902. The author of the text is not known, though it might...
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Could anything as tender and touching as L’Enfance du Christ have been written by a man who did not believe? One hopes that Hector Berlioz was able to find the Christmas that he portrayed so beautifully... The...
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Editor's Note: Regrettably, Hector Berlioz's L'Enfance du Christ is little known today, aside from "The Shepherds' Farewell to the Holy Family," which is often programmed independently of the oratorio on classical Christmas albums. This chorus'...
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Editor's Note: Hector Berlioz composed Le carnaval romain, ouverture pour orchestre (Roman Carnival Overture), Op. 9, in in 1844. Intended to be performed as an independent piece, it employs themes from Berlioz' opera Benvenuto Cellini: The beautiful melody on cor anglais in the slow introduction comes from the Act I...
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Love has inspired countless composers, some of whom have written pieces dedicated to, or directly inspired by, their own beloveds. Here are ten of the best musical love letters ever composed... The Wagners' villa at Tribschen. "Wherever I...

"Should not church music be mostly for the heart?" —Joseph Martin Kraus The Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead—the Requiem, sometimes called Missa pro Defunctis (or Defuncto) or Messe des Morts—is surely the most dramatic of...
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What better gift than music for the season in which we celebrate God, the source of all beauty, becoming man? Here are some familiar and less familiar classical pieces. 1. G.F. Handel: Messiah  Though especially popular at Christmas time, it is only “Part the First” of Handel's Messiah that pertains...
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Across the centuries, composers have been inspired by the twin dramas of human conflict and the subsequent making of peace. Here are ten great pieces of classical music that dramatize war, celebrate its resolution, and recall its sacrifices.
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Great music pierces the soul...and can sometimes terrify it. Over the centuries, composers, like nearly all artists of every variety, have been fascinated by the subject of death and by...
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Benvenuto Cellini The human voice is God’s most beautiful instrument, and the blending of voices and musical instruments within the context of a dramatic visual presentation is the zenith of human artistic achievement. This is...
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Hector Berlioz relished the spectacular sounds that could be achieved with massive orchestral forces, but he was much more than a musical showman. His gift for melody, his mastery of orchestration, his genius for musical drama, his bold originality, and the uniqueness of his style place him...