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Symphonie Fantastique Op 14 2nd movement - A Ball 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 idée fixe or "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's programme note for this 2nd movement reads:-"He meets again his beloved in a ball during a glittering festive party"

The introduction to this second movement starts with quivering A minor chords on violins and violas, then the cello plays a sombre figure, then the harps enter with glittering arpeggios. There are two harps, one placed stage left, the other stage right.. This leads into the waltz, which is the principal theme of this ball movement, played on the first violins. Considerably later, Berlioz's idée fixe (from the 1st movt) reappears, in a modified rhythm and played by the oboes and flutes.
Category: Symphony Orchestra Featuring EnglishHorn Romantic Period
Time Signature 3 /8 Key Signature   A Major also featuring Clarinet, Bells Play MP3 using player below.

1    Accompanied by quivering violin chords, this sombre cello tune opens the 2nd movement, with a flourish from the harp..

2    This waltz is the principal theme of this ball movement, played on the first violins.

3    Theme 2 is Berlioz's idée fixe from the 1st movt, in a modified rhythm and played by the oboes and flutes.
 No score for this tune is available yet.
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