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Symphonie Fantastique Op 14 1st movement Rêverie, Passions Berlioz Help Opus Details
For feedback and questions, please contact Victor Gomersall.
Berlioz was only 27 years old when he composed his masterwork, the Symphonie Fantastique. Beethoven, the supreme classicist (but also the emerging romantic) had died only 3 years before, but this music is no-holds-barred romantic. It contains a recurrent theme, the "fixed idea" representing Harriet Smithson, the English Shakespearean actress with whom Berlioz had fallen in love. He first saw her on the stage in a performance of Hamlet in 1827. He had an idealized image of her, alternating with disdain, disgust, even hatred. He did eventually marry her 6 years later in 1833, but they seperated after a disastrously short 9 years of marriage.

The symphony has 5 movements, all with detailed program descriptions written by Berlioz himself. (1) Reveries- Passions (2) A Ball (3) Scene in the country (4) March to the Scaffold (5) Dreams of a Witches' Sabath. Berlioz wrote of the entire symphony:- "A young musician of morbid sensitivity and ardent imagination poisons himself with opium in a moment of despair caused by frustrated love. The dose of narcotic, while too weak to cause his death, plunges him into a heavy sleep accompanied by the strangest of visions, in which his experiences, feelings and memories are translated in his feverish brain into musical thoughts and images. His beloved becomes for him a melody and like an idée fixe which he meets and hears everywhere."

Berlioz's programme notes for this 1st movement are as follows:- "Daydreams, passions. He remembers first the uneasiness of spirit, the indefinable passion, the melancholy, the aimless joys he felt even before seeing his beloved; then the explosive love she suddenly inspired in him, his delirious anguish, his fits of jealous fury, his returns of tenderness, his religious consolations."
Category: Symphony Orchestra Featuring EnglishHorn Romantic Period
Time Signature 4 /4 Key Signature   C Minor also featuring Clarinet, Bells Play MP3 using player below.

1    Symphonie Fantastique Op 14 1st Movt. Rêverie, Passions

2    This is the second theme of the introduction to the 1st movement, a tune on the french horns, as the tempo and passion heat up a bit.

3    This is the famous idée fixe, or fixed idea, (perhaps an appropriate modern word would be obsession?). It starts on the violins, at a feverish tempo..
 No score for this tune is available yet.
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