Berlioz

D. Kern Holoman, Author Harvard University Press $36 (704p) ISBN 978-0-674-06778-3
In this beautifully written book, Holoman, professor of music at the University of California, presents a comprehensive account of the life and works of the romantic composer whose brilliant music and eccentric life style dazzled and disconcerted his contemporaries. Without overemphasizing the sensational aspects of Hector Berlioz's turbulent personal life (1803-1869), the author skillfully weaves together autobiographical details and musical analysis, examining in depth the composer's working methods and artistic development, and giving penetrating insights into some of his best-known works, including the Symphonie fantastique and Harold in Italy . He also treats in depth Berlioz's many other accomplishments and demonstrates how his skills as a conductor, music critic, orchestra builder and concert producer placed him in the forefront of musical life in 19th-century Europe. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
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