Om Cambridge Companion to Berlioz
Still chiefly known as the extravagant composer of the Symphonie fantastique, Berlioz was an artist caught in the crossfire between the academic classicism of the French musical establishment and the romantic modernism of the Parisian musical scene. He was a thinker in an age that invented both the religion of art and the notion of the 'genius' who preached and practised it. This Companion contains essays by eminent scholars on Berlioz's place in nineteenth-century French cultural life, on his principal compositions (symphonies, overtures, operas, sacred works, songs), on his major writings (a delightful volume of memoires, a number of short stories, large quantities of music criticism, an orchestration treatise), on his direct and indirect encounters with other famous musicians (Gluck, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner), and on his legacy in France. The volume is framed by a detailed chronology of his life and a usefully annotated bibliography.