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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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Mozart’s Don Juan

Mozart’s Don Juan

(p.188) 32 Mozart’s Don Juan
Berlioz on Music

Katherine Kolb

Oxford University Press

Mozart’s Don Giovanni, long in the repertoire of the Théâtre-Italien, has now arrived at the Opéra—in French, as required by that theater. The box-office success of a work so “expressive, dramatic, and true,” so intellectually strong, is a sign, for Berlioz, of progress in middle-class musical taste. The work itself offers a lesson in taste to composers, he says, who in their search for novelty or effect, overuse the orchestral brass and percussion (Berlioz wants those potent resources fresh for audience ears when his turn comes to unleash them!). On the whole, the Opéra performances vastly outshine those of the Théâtre-Italien, especially the grand finale, now given its due. Berlioz ends with praise for the new administration at the Opéra, on whom he pins his own operatic hopes.

Keywords:   Mozart Don Juan/Don Giovanni, musical education, public, orchestral restraint, style in music, Meyerbeer, Rossini, Opéra administation

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