The Art of Music and Other Essays

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Indiana University Press, 1994 - Music - 274 pages
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Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) was equally prominent as composer and author. According to Harold Schonberg, he was the "foremost music critic of his time, possibly of all time". A Travers Chants is the collection of writings he himself selected from his thirty-odd years of musical journalism. These essays cover a wide spectrum of intellectual inquiry: Beethoven's nine symphonies and his opera, Fidelio; Wagner and the partisans of the "Music of the Future"; Berlioz's idols - Gluck, Weber, and Mozart. There is an eloquent plea to stop the constant rise in concert pitch (an issue still discussed today), a serious piece on the place of music in church, and a humorous and imaginative account of musical customs in China. But Berlioz's writings also contain biting satire and ridicule - of opera singers, of the Academy, of dilettantism. This new translation, phrased in lively, idiomatic English and annotated for the twentieth-century reader, is illustrated with lithographs and drawings from Berlioz's lifetime. Berlioz's writings are a treasure-house of information on nineteenth-century musical life, performance practice, and taste.
 

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Contents

The Art of Music
1
A Critical Study of Beethovens Nine Symphonies
9
A Few Words about the Trios and Sonatas
38
Beethoven in the Rings of Saturn
53
Good Singers and Bad
69
Lines Written Soon after the First Performance
82
The Alceste of Euripides and Those of Quinault
88
The Revival of Glucks Alceste at the Opera
136
AbuHassan The Abduction from the Seraglio
166
On Church Music
172
Letter to the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institute
180
The Rise in Concert Pitch
193
The End Is Near
200
The Richard Wagner Concerts
202
Romeo and Juliet
219
Notes
232

Instruments Added by Modern Composers to
148
Oberon
156

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About the author (1994)

ELIZABETH CSICSERY-R NAY, based in Brussels, is a translator of both French and Hungarian. Her articles and music reviews have been published in Berlioz Society Bulletin, Opera News, and Musical America.

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