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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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Religious Music

Religious Music

M. Lesueur: Rachel, Noémi, Ruth et Booz, Oratorios; M. Urhan: Auditions

Chapter:
(p.195) 33 Religious Music
Source:
Berlioz on Music
Author(s):

Katherine Kolb

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391950.003.0034

This is a tribute to Berlioz’s teacher, Lesueur, a kindred spirit and father figure whose influence on him was profound, though with the advent of Beethoven, teacher and student parted ways. Beethoven is the unspoken reference in the article’s opening riff on a three-period norm for composers’ lives, although that norm does not apply, Berlioz finds, to Lesueur’s unique example. Tactfully passing over the limitations of his style, Berlioz focuses on Lesueur’s unusual use of diatonic harmony, his skill in producing effective music for vast spaces (cathedral music), and his keen sense of expressive and dramatic fitness, the fundamental common ground for them both. Berlioz closes with a nod to his friend Urhan, another composer of deep religious convictions and idiosyncratic musical practice.

Keywords:   Lesueur oratorios, sacred music, cathedral music, Urhan, three-period lives, Beethoven, expression, harmony

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