January 22, 1995 |
Hector Berlioz is a composer better known by reputation than through his music, the tiniest handful of popular works excepted. In Britain, the native affection for musical pageantry in general and oversized choral works in particular has kept his brilliantly audacious music on the boards, with help from three of the most influential British conductors of the century, Sir Hamilton Harty, Sir Thomas Beecham, and since the latter's death in 1964, Sir Colin Davis.
December 15, 1996 |
Hector Berlioz, that most eccentric and innovative of Romantic composers and today only an occasional presence in American concert halls, has been an uninterrupted part of the concert programming in Britain for much of this century.
September 14, 1991 |
"Les Troyens" carries such a fearsome reputation for outsize extravagance, you might imagine it was the Opera That Ate Paris. It is just too big, too long, too expensive for practical performance, went the received wisdom. And not without reason. Hector Berlioz's epic runs the better part of five hours.
December 14, 1986 |
What's this? Christmas without a new, or newly reissued "Messiah"? In fact, the recording industry, in a rare fit of collective wisdom, would seem to have decided that enough is enough, that there are a sufficient number of "Messiahs" (Handel's, that is) to please every taste--for this year, at any rate.
March 19, 1990 |
Bastille Opera's Baptism by Fire: Saturday's debut, a six-hour performance of Hector Berlioz's "Les Troyens" at the Bastille Opera, Paris' new $400-million glass-and-steel, ocean-liner-shaped opera house, was declared a triumphant success by Le Journal du Dimanche, France's Sunday newspaper. "A triumph . . . not one glitch," the newspaper declared. President Francois Mitterrand directed that the new 2,700-seat house was made "modern and popular" so opera would be more accessible to the masses.