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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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Third Concert at the Conservatoire

Third Concert at the Conservatoire

Symphonies by Haydn and Beethoven

Chapter:
(p.127) 23 Third Concert at the Conservatoire
Source:
Berlioz on Music
Author(s):

Katherine Kolb

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391950.003.0024

This Unlike most of Berlioz’s early reviews of Conservatoire concerts, tales of enthusiasm and excitement, this one registers near boredom. A devastatingly humorous assessment of Haydn’s symphonies is tempered with warm praise for his oratorio The Creation, though even there Berlioz finds Haydn less powerful, if musically more gifted, than Gluck. A digression on Gluck may be meant to compensate for his absence from Conservatoire programs, or simply to dwell on a higher plane than the concert at hand, in the manner of the feuilleton de silence, which deliberately ignores its given topic. Berlioz notes a dozing auditor—he suspects a renegade from the Théâtre-Italien—who awakens only for a Rossini aria. The highlight of the program is the Conservatoire’s first performance of Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony. The “Gloria” from Beethoven’s Missa solemnis, by contrast, brings back the doldrums, with a harsh fugue that sparks rash imprecations.

Keywords:   Haydn symphonies, Haydn The Creation, audience behavior, Beethoven Eighth Symphony, Beethoven Gloria, Gluck

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