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Camille Saint-SaënsOn Music and Musicians$
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Roger Nichols

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195320169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195320169.001.0001

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Berlioz II

Berlioz II

(Portraits et souvenirs, Société d’edition artistique, 1899, 2–14)

(p.81) 15 Berlioz II
Camille Saint-Saëns

Roger Nichols

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes Berlioz as a paradox made flesh. If there is one quality that cannot be denied in his works, and which his most determined enemies have never contested, it is the brilliance, the extraordinary coloring of his instrumentation. The instruments seem to be organized in defiance of common sense. His Orchestration Treatise is itself a deeply paradoxical work. It begins with an introduction of several lines, unconnected with the subject, in which the author rails against composers who abuse the art of modulation and have a taste for dissonances. Then he proceeds to a study of the instruments of the orchestra, offering some absolutely solid truths and wise advice. Meanwhile, Roméo et Juliette seems to be Berlioz's most characteristic work, and the one that deserves to find most favor with the public.

Keywords:   Orchestration Treatise, Berlioz, instrumentation, Roméo et Juliette

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