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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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Concert Society of the Conservatoire

Concert Society of the Conservatoire

Fourth Concert

(p.145) 26 Concert Society of the Conservatoire
Berlioz on Music

Katherine Kolb

Oxford University Press

A superb program of music by Beethoven and Weber inspires Berlioz to poetic heights. This is a good sample of his critique admirative, including a moment when words fail and he falls back on the simplest of utterances: “Beautiful! Admirable! Sublime!” Reflecting on the nature of great art, he defines admiration as a form of love that demands fidelity, notably from performers. From the critic, admiration leaves room for objections—to Weber’s treatment of thematic material, for instance, or to some extreme dissonance in Beethoven. The review of Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony, expanded from an earlier effort (#4), ends with a postlude that echoes the entertaining dialogue at the start of the article. Both framing sections pay tribute to music as Art in the highest sense of the word, while lamenting its ill-treatment—except at the Conservatoire—in the “capital of the civilized world.”

Keywords:   Weber Euryanthe, Beethoven “Pastoral” Symphony, Beethoven Fidelio, Beethoven Razumovsky Quartet No. 3, Shakespeare, Henri Brod, critique admirative, fidelity in performance

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