It is an important piece of the early Romantic period. The first performance was at the Paris Conservatoire on 5 December Franz Liszt made a piano transcription of the symphony in S. Leonard Bernstein described the symphony as the first musical expedition into psychedelia because of its hallucinatory and dream-like nature, and because history suggests Berlioz composed at least a portion of it under the influence of opium.
According to Bernstein, "Berlioz tells it like it is. You take a trip, you wind up screaming at your own funeral. Symphonie fantastique is a piece of program music that tells the story of an artist gifted with a lively imagination who has poisoned himself with opium in the depths of despair because of hopeless, unrequited love.
Berlioz provided his own preface and program notes for each movement of the work. They exist in two principal versions — one from in the first score of the work and the second from In the first score fromhe writes: . The composer's intention has been to develop various episodes in the life of an artist, in so far as Mek We Start - Bantu - African Border / Mek We Start lend themselves to musical treatment.
As the work cannot rely on the assistance of speech, the plan of the instrumental drama needs to be set out in advance. The following programme must therefore be considered as the spoken text of an opera, which serves to introduce musical movements and to motivate their character and expression. In the preface, a different outlook towards the work's programmatic undertones is established by Berlioz: .
In this case the invisible orchestra is placed on the stage of a theatre behind the lowered curtain. If the symphony is performed on its own as a concert piece this arrangement is no longer necessary: one may even dispense with distributing the programme and keep only the title of the five movements.
The author hopes that the symphony provides on its own sufficient musical interest independently of any dramatic intention. After attending a Black Curtains - FRIGIDAIRE TANGO - The Cock of Shakespeare's Hamlet on 11 SeptemberBerlioz fell in love with the Irish actress Harriet Smithson who had played the role of Ophelia.
He sent her numerous love letters, all of which went unanswered. When she left Paris, they had still not met. Berlioz then wrote Symphonie fantastique as a way to express his March to the Scaffold - Hector Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique Op.14 love.
Harriet did not attend the premiere inbut she heard the work in and realized Berlioz's genius. The two finally met and were married on 3 October However, their marriage became increasingly March to the Scaffold - Hector Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique Op.14 , and they eventually separated after several years of unhappiness.
The score calls for a total of over 90 instruments:. Berlioz specified at least 15 1st violins, 15 2nd violins, 10 violas, 11 celli and 9 basses on the score. The symphony has five movementsinstead of four as was conventional for symphonies of the time:. Each movement depicts an episode in the protagonist's life that is described by Berlioz in the program notes to the score. By a strange anomaly, the beloved image never presents itself to the artist's mind without being associated with a musical idea, in which he recognizes a certain quality of passion, but endowed with the nobility and shyness which he credits to the object of his love.
This explains the constant recurrence in all the movements of the symphony of the melody which launches the first allegro. The transitions from this state of dreamy melancholy, interrupted by occasional upsurges of aimless joy, to delirious passion, with its outbursts of fury and jealousy, March to the Scaffold - Hector Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique Op.14 returns of tenderness, its tears, its religious consolations — all this forms the subject of the first movement.
The first movement is radical in its harmonic outline, building a vast arch back to the home key; while similar to the sonata form of the classical period, Parisian critics regarded this as unconventional. Throughout the movement there is a simplicity in the way melodies and themes are presented, which Robert Schumann likened to Beethoven's epigrams' ideas that could be extended had the composer chosen to.
In part, it is because Berlioz rejected writing the more symmetrical melodies then in academic fashion, and instead looked for melodies that were "so intense in every note as to defy normal harmonization", as Schumann put it. The artist Dive In - Quarashi - Jinx himself in the most diverse situations in life, in the tumult of a festive party, in the peaceful contemplation of the beautiful sights of nature, yet everywhere, whether in town or in the countryside, the beloved image keeps haunting him and throws his spirit into confusion.
The second movement is a waltz in 3 8. The movement is the only one to feature the two harps, providing the glamour and sensual richness of the ball, and may also symbolize the object of the young man's affection.
Berlioz wrote extensively in his memoirs of his trials and tribulations in having this symphony performed, due March to the Scaffold - Hector Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique Op.14 a lack of capable harpists and harps, especially in Germany.
Another feature of this movement is that Berlioz added a part for solo cornet to his autograph score, although it was not included in the score published in his lifetime. The work has most often been played and recorded without the solo cornet part. One evening in the countryside he hears two shepherds in the distance dialoguing with their ranz des vaches ; this pastoral duet, the setting, the gentle rustling of the trees in the wind, some causes for hope that he has recently conceived, all conspire to restore to his heart an unaccustomed feeling of calm and to give to his thoughts a happier colouring.
He broods on his loneliness, and hopes that soon he will no longer be on his own But what if she betrayed him! This mingled hope and fear, these ideas of happiness, disturbed by dark premonitions, form the subject of the adagio.
At the end one of the shepherds resumes his ranz des vaches ; the other one no longer answers. Distant sound of thunder The third movement is a slow movement, marked Adagioin 6 8. The two shepherds mentioned in the program notes are depicted by a cor anglais English horn and an offstage oboe tossing an evocative melody back and forth. After the cor anglais—oboe conversation, the principal theme of the movement appears on solo flute and violins.
It begins with:. Berlioz salvaged this theme from his abandoned Messe solennelle. Convinced that his love is spurned, the artist poisons himself with opium. The dose of narcotic, while too weak to cause his death, plunges him into One Oclock Jump - Duke Ellington - Ring Dem Bells heavy sleep accompanied by the strangest of visions.
He dreams that he has killed his beloved, that he is condemned, led to the scaffold and is witnessing his own execution. The procession advances to the sound of a march that is sometimes sombre and wild, and sometimes brilliant and solemn, in which a dull sound of heavy footsteps follows without transition the loudest outbursts. Berlioz claimed to have written the fourth movement in a single night, reconstructing music from an unfinished project, the opera Les francs-juges.
The movement proceeds as a march filled with blaring horns and rushing passages, and scurrying figures that later show up in the last movement. He sees himself at a witches' sabbathin the midst of a hideous gathering of shades, sorcerers and monsters of every kind who have come together for his funeral.
Strange sounds, groans, outbursts of laughter; distant shouts which seem to be answered by more shouts. The beloved melody appears once more, but has now lost its noble and shy character; it is now no more than a vulgar dance tune, trivial and grotesque: it is she who is coming to the sabbath Roar of delight at her arrival She joins the diabolical orgy The funeral knell tolls, burlesque parody of the Dies iraethe dance of the witches.
The dance of the witches combined with the Dies irae. There are a host of effects, including trilling in the woodwinds and col legno in the strings. The climactic finale combines the somber Dies Irae melody, now in A minor, with the fugue of the Ronde du Sabbatbuilding to a modulation into E-flat major, then chromatically into C major, ending on a C chord. From Wikipedia, the March to the Scaffold - Hector Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique Op.14 encyclopedia.
Performed by the Orchestre Lamoureux under Igor Markevitch Un bal. Marche au supplice. Songe d'une nuit du Sabbat. Hyperion Records. Archived from the original on Retrieved Young People's Concerts. CleckheatonWest Yorkshire: Amadeus Press. Oxford University Press, Hector Berlioz compositions.
Les Francs-jugesOp. Symphonie fantastiqueOp. Messe solennelle Grande messe des mortsOp. La Symphonie fantastique film. Classical music portal.
Symphony by Hector Berlioz. Hector Berlioz by Pierre Petit. Problems playing this file? See media help. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Symphonie fantastique. Wikiquote has quotations related to: Symphonie fantastique.
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