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Berlioz on MusicSelected Criticism 1824-1837$
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Katherine Kolb

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199391950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391950.001.0001

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Third Concert at the Conservatoire

Third Concert at the Conservatoire

Symphonies by Haydn and Beethoven

(p.127) 23 Third Concert at the Conservatoire
Berlioz on Music

Katherine Kolb

Oxford University Press

This Unlike most of Berlioz’s early reviews of Conservatoire concerts, tales of enthusiasm and excitement, this one registers near boredom. A devastatingly humorous assessment of Haydn’s symphonies is tempered with warm praise for his oratorio The Creation, though even there Berlioz finds Haydn less powerful, if musically more gifted, than Gluck. A digression on Gluck may be meant to compensate for his absence from Conservatoire programs, or simply to dwell on a higher plane than the concert at hand, in the manner of the feuilleton de silence, which deliberately ignores its given topic. Berlioz notes a dozing auditor—he suspects a renegade from the Théâtre-Italien—who awakens only for a Rossini aria. The highlight of the program is the Conservatoire’s first performance of Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony. The “Gloria” from Beethoven’s Missa solemnis, by contrast, brings back the doldrums, with a harsh fugue that sparks rash imprecations.

Keywords:   Haydn symphonies, Haydn The Creation, audience behavior, Beethoven Eighth Symphony, Beethoven Gloria, Gluck

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