Symphonie fantastique: episode in the life of an artist : op. 14
Hector Berlioz (1803–69), considered the father of modern orchestration, possessed an intuitive musical genius. A brilliant colorist and master of the unexpected rhythmic break, he brought a new symphonic richness to Romantic music. Berlioz was both damned and venerated by his contemporaries: Mendelsson considered him devoid of talent, and Paganini declared him the one true heir to the spirit of Beethoven. The composer seems to have sought in music a way to soothe and give voice to the psychological instabilities and contradictions that more than once brought him to despair. He pioneered the development of what has come to be called "program music" — i.e., instrumental music with an extramusical significance. He strove to communicate musically the experiences, psychological themes, scenic descriptions, and literary allusions more commonly associated with the confessional writings of Romantic poets.