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Berlioz on MusicSelected Criticism 1824-1837$
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Katherine Kolb

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199391950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391950.001.0001

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Music Review

Music Review

Henri Reber Quartets

Chapter:
(p.77) 11 Music Review
Source:
Berlioz on Music
Author(s):

Katherine Kolb

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391950.003.0012

Berlioz prided himself on impartiality toward colleagues and rivals, and begins here by speaking on jealousy vs. generosity between artists, quoting the satiric poet Auguste Barbier to condemn the special bane of jealousies inspired by greed. In expressing warmth toward Reber, a fellow composer, Berlioz joins a broad movement of artistic solidarity for the concert under review: Liszt has donated his services as performer; Chopin has lavished praise. Sympathizing with Reber’s rocky start at the Conservatoire, Berlioz satirizes the pedagogy of that stodgy institution, and mocks some of its illogical practices—the use of a preliminary fugue test in a competition to determine dramatic talent; the sending of the prize-winning composers to Rome, then a musical backwater. As he analyzes Reber’s music, he repeatedly salutes its independence from academic rules, underlining a primary tenet of his own artistic creed.

Keywords:   Reber, Liszt, Chopin, Auguste Barbier, musical training, artistic jealousy, artistic solidarity, Conservatoire pedagogy

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