Berlioz was arguably the greatest French composer of the nineteenth century. Although the author of the Symphonie fantastique was possessed of a fertile imagination and sometimes obsessed by love, the image of Berlioz as a misunderstood and mistreated genius obscures both the solidity of his work as a musical architect and the reality of his position as one sometimes favored by those in power. This Life of Berlioz situates the celebrated French musician in the vibrant and highly politicized musical culture in which he lived and worked as composer, conductor, concert manager, and writer. Bloom's biographybased on special familiarity with archival sources and the composer's only recently made available writingsprojects a noncaricatural and enormously talented Berlioz occupied with the practical details of polishing scores and articles, arranging concerts and tours, making connections with those in power, and making an independent career in the age of incipient free enterprise.
Table of Contents
1. Initiation (1803-1830); 2. Innovation (1830-1848); 3. Introspection (1848-1869); Afterword.