Hector Berlioz (1803–1869)
While Berlioz obtained recognition for his works in Germany, Russia and Austria, he was long deprived of an appropriate standing in his native France. Since 1900 Berlioz's true significance emerged when Breitkopf undertook a Complete Edition.
The French composer studied with Le Sueur, Reicha and others at the Conservatoire de Paris. In 1830 he was granted the Prix de Rome, which entailed a two-year stay in Italy. Early on, Berlioz began to analyze the operas of Gluck and Spontini, and, later, the symphonies of Beethoven.
With the world premiere of his Symphonie fantastique in 1830, he aroused a certain interest in his music among, at least, the French public. This work, which Berlioz called a “musical drama, influenced the development of the symphonic poem. But while he obtained recognition for his works in Germany, Russia and Austria, he was long deprived of an appropriate standing in his native France.
In addition to his work as composer and conductor, financial straits forced him to write music reviews for the “Journal des débats” and other periodicals. Besides many operas and orchestral works, Berlioz wrote the “Grand Traité d'instrumentation et d'orchestration moderne” in 1844, the first extensive instructional method of orchestration.