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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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Concerts at the Conservatoire

Concerts at the Conservatoire

The Magic Flute and Les Mystères d’Isis; Mozart’s Corrector

(p.224) 37 Concerts at the Conservatoire
Berlioz on Music

Katherine Kolb

Oxford University Press

What purports to be the review of a Conservatoire concert—one that featured excerpts from Mozart’s Magic Flute—begins with a comic satire of audience misbehavior, mirrored by the players, who are having an off day. Berlioz briefly discusses the Haydn symphony on the program, and Beethoven’s Fourth, contrasting the two; but his review is mainly a pretext for denouncing the Parisian tradition, anathema to Berlioz, of adapting foreign works to the supposedly refined taste of the French. With scathing irony, he flays the mangling of Mozart’s Magic Flute by a arranger (Lachnith) whom he purposely leaves nameless but who as a German, he says, should be ashamed. Berlioz is in high gear as crusader, his satire unfolding in waves of indignation as he warms to his subject. A portion of this tirade will end up in his Memoirs.

Keywords:   Mozart The Magic Flute, Lachnith Les Mystères d’Isis, audience misbehavior, adaptations of foreign works, Haydn vs. Beethoven, Beethoven Fourth Symphony

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