This is a series of studies of individual operas written for the opera-goer or record-collector as well as the student or scholar. Each volume has three main concerns: historical, analytical and interpretative. There is a detailed description of the genesis of each work, the collaboration between librettist and composer, and the first performance and subsequent stage history. A full synopsis considers the opera as a structure of musical and dramatic effects, and there is also a musical analysis of a section of the score. The analysis, like the history, shades naturally into interpretation: by a careful combination of new essays and excerpts from classic statements the editors of the handbooks show how critical writing about the opera, like the production and performance, can direct or distort appreciation of its structural elements. A final section of documents gives a select bibliography, a discography, and guides to other sources. Each book is published in both hard covers and as a paperback.
A Travers Chants is the collection of writings 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.
This is the first complete translation into English of Berlioz's second collection of musical articles, originally published in 1859. The work is a uniquely Berliozian combination of light-hearted journalism and serious musical comment and analysis.
In this delightful and now classic narrative, written by the brilliant composer and critic Hector Berlioz, readers are made privy to 25 highly entertaining evenings with a fascinating group of distracted performers.