Berlioz's 'dramatic symphony' Romeo et Juliette is regarded by many as his finest work; it is certainly among the most original. It is played less often than his earlier symphonies, because it requires solo voices and chorus; yet at its heart is some of the most inspired orchestral music of the nineteenth century. This book summarises the complex genesis of the work before examining the music closely and always with a view to understanding its dramatic implications. The early and later critical reception is quoted and discussed and Julian Rushton concludes by suggesting a way of hearing the work which recognises the value of its mixed genre. The complete libretto is provided in both English and French.
"...an excellent analysis of Berlioz's dramatic symphony for chorus, solo voices, and orchestra...Highly recommended for all collections as an insightful guide to this compex work." Choice