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Evenings with the Orchestra : Studies in Communication, Media, and Public Opinion - Hector Berlioz

Evenings with the Orchestra

Studies in Communication, Media, and Public Opinion

By: Hector Berlioz, Jacques Barzun (Translator, Editor), Peter Bloom (Foreword by)

Paperback Published: 1st January 1999
ISBN: 9780226043746
Number Of Pages: 404

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During the performances of fashionable operas in an unidentified but "civilized" town in northern Europe, the musicians (with the exception of the conscientious bass drummer) tell tales, read stories, and exchange gossip to relieve the tedium of the bad music they are paid to perform. In this delightful and now classic narrative written by the brilliant composer and critic Hector Berlioz, we are privy to twenty-five highly entertaining evenings with a fascinating group of distracted performers. As we near the two-hundredth anniversary of Berlioz's birth, Jacques Barzun's pitch-perfect translation of "Evenings with the Orchestra" --with a new foreword by Berlioz scholar Peter Bloom--testifies to the enduring pleasure found in this most witty and amusing book.
" F]ull of knowledge, penetration, good sense, individual wit, stock humor, justifiable exasperation, understanding exaggeration, emotion and rhetoric of every kind."--Randall Jarrell, "New York Times Book Review"
"To succeed in writing these tales], as Berlioz most brilliantly does, requires a combination of qualities which is very rare, the many-faceted curiosity of the dramatist with the aggressively personal vision of the lyric poet."--W. H. Auden, "The Griffin"

The musical criticism and philosophizing of Hector Berlioz in 1852 took on a very special form, ingenious and entertaining. Filing his commentary in the guise of tales told by members of the opera orchestra during the performance of mediocre operas in a civilized town, he commences to slash at the professional nature of tenors, claques, crowd worship, to lay out a utopian musical city called Euphonia, to opine on French salon ladies and composers. Spontini, Jenny Lind, Peganini, and many other musicians are considered in the tales, some absorbing as excellent pieces of story telling. One waits for the nights when the orchestra does not babble - the nights when they attentively play the masterpieces-and for the names of the operas - Freischuts, Fidelio, Rather of Seville. Don ?? Iphigenia in Tauris, Les Huguenots. While the device becomes burdensome at times, this is minor cant for convinced music lovers. (Kirkus Reviews)

Forewordp. ix
Preface to the Phoenix Editionp. xv
Introductionp. xvii
Prologuep. 5
First Evening: The First Opera--Vincenza--The Vexations of Kleiner the Elderp. 9
Second Evening: The Strolling Harpist--The Performance of an Oratorio--The Sleep of the Justp. 32
Third Evening: [Der Freischutz]p. 52
Fourth Evening: A Debut in Freischutz--Marescotp. 53
Fifth Evening: The S in Robert le diablep. 60
Sixth Evening: How a Tenor Revolves around the Public--The Vexations of Kleiner the Youngerp. 64
Seventh Evening: Historical and Philosophical Studies: De viris illustribus urbis Romae--A Roman Woman--Vocabulary of the Roman Languagep. 76
Eighth Evening: Romans of the New World--Mr. Barnum--Jenny Lind's Trip to Americap. 99
Ninth Evening The Paris Opera and London's Opera Housesp. 105
Tenth Evening: On the Present State of Music--The Tradition of Tack--A Victim of Tackp. 118
Eleventh Evening: [A Masterpiece]p. 133
Twelfth Evening: Suicide from Enthusiasmp. 134
Thirteenth Evening: Spontini, a Biographical Sketchp. 152
Fourteenth Evening: Operas off the Assembly Line--The Problem of Beauty--Schiller's Mary Stuart--A Visit to Tom Thumbp. 180
Fifteenth Evening: Another Vexation of Kleiner the Elder'sp. 187
Sixteenth Evening: Musical and Phrenological Studies--Nightmares--The Puritans of Sacred Music--Paganinip. 188
Seventeenth Evening: [The Barber of Seville]p. 200
Eighteenth Evening: Charges Leveled against the Author's Criticism--Analysis of The Lighthouse--The Piano Possessedp. 201
Nineteenth Evening: [Don Giovanni]p. 221
Twentieth Evening: Historical Gleanings: Napoleon's Odd Susceptibility--His Musical Judgment--Napoleon and Lesueur--Napoleon and the Republic of San Marinop. 222
Twenty-first Evening: The Study of Musicp. 228
Twenty-second Evening: [Iphigenia in Tauris]p. 253
Twenty-third Evening: Gluck and the Conservatory in Naples--A Saying of Durante'sp. 254
Twenty-fourth Evening: [Les Huguenots]p. 257
Twenty-fifth Evening: Euphonia, or the Musical Cityp. 258
Epilogue: The Farewell Dinnerp. 298
Second Epilogue: Corsino's Letter to the Author--The Author's Reply to Corsino--Beethoven and His Three Styles--Beethoven's Statue at Bonn--Mehul--Conestabile on Paganini--Vincent Wallacep. 310
Indexp. 377
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226043746
ISBN-10: 0226043746
Series: Studies in Communication, Media, and Public Opinion
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 404
Published: 1st January 1999
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.5 x 14.0  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.45
Edition Type: New edition