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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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M. Cherubini’s Requiem at the Invalides and M. Lesueur’s Te Deum at Notre Dame

M. Cherubini’s Requiem at the Invalides and M. Lesueur’s Te Deum at Notre Dame

(p.168) 29 M. Cherubini’s Requiem at the Invalides and M. Lesueur’s Te Deum at Notre Dame
Berlioz on Music

Katherine Kolb

Oxford University Press

A magnificent article, occasioned by the ceremony for the victims of Fieschi’s proto–machine gun attempt on the life of Louis-Philippe, which gives us Berlioz’s fullest single account of his imaginative approach to the requiem text he will set two years later, and of his vision for mass music in general. Nuanced assessments of requiems by his two most famous precursors, Mozart and Cherubini, and of his teacher Lesueur’s special talent for “cathedral music,” include both eloquent praise and colorful diatribe (against Mozart’s “Tuba mirum” and a Cherubini fugue). Sounding a memorable call for a “Napoleonic” composer capable of using modern musical means to endow the biblical text with its full measure of expressive power, and for nationwide musical education to provide the necessary means of performance, Berlioz insists once again on the need to deploy those means on a scale commensurate with the performing space.

Keywords:   Cherubini Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Lesueur Te Deum, cathedral music, musical education, choral performance, acoustics

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