Hector Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique

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The best and most interesting piece of music that has been studied this year would have to be Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. It takes one on quite the journey, with so much story behind the music. The fact that the piece is based around Berlioz’s beloved is very interesting because of the story that the music follows. It is a morbidly happy piece where you can tell exactly what is happening in the story while listening. The idée fixe gives the piece a lot of emotion as it comes back in each movement with a different appearance but ties the whole piece together. Hector Berlioz was born in France in 1803. His father wanted him to follow his career path as a physician, but Hector had other ideas for his future. He was intrigued by artists…show more content…
This music is highly programmatic with each movement showing a different story. The first movement is a comparison between how Berlioz felt before he met the women he fell madly in love with, and the way he feels after knowing her. The fixed idea, based on his beloved, is introduced here. The second movement is a dance movement where he sees his beloved once again at a ball. The idée fixe shows up, but instead this time as a waltz as he sees her. The third movement is one of loneliness and sadness as the composer feels calm in a pasture until he sees his beloved once more and feels much pain in his heart. The fourth movement, a quite interesting piece, occurs after Berlioz dreams he kills his own beloved and must pay the price by death himself. In this movement, everything seems to be too happy for something so depressing, and the idée fixe appears again right before the scaffolding blade falls and secures the musician’s death. The last movement of the whole piece occurs when he dreams of his own funeral, surrounded by witches and spirits. The idée fixe is heard again, but this time it is vulgar and dark, not a beautiful tune any longer. The beloved joins the witches in a dance that is joined by the Dies irae. There are no lyrics in this piece, but the program speaks louder than words ever could to portray this particular…show more content…
His biggest inspirations would probably have to be Hugo and Delacroix, and both artists used current events during their time in history to create music, and stories to go along with their music. More than anything, Berlioz used new techniques that arose during this time period to create music that was fresh and new and bigger than anything he had seen before. This piece is a perfect example of Romantic music because of the way Berlioz opens up about personal experiences and makes everything bigger. He does a great job with his introduction of program music and the use of modern orchestration. Symphonie fantastique is a wonderful piece of music to study because of all the aspects it gives and the beautiful sound that comes with it. There is no doubt that this is not a wonderful Romantic piece and should be cherished for years to
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