Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hector Berlioz Has a Fan

From p. 201 of the Dover edition:

   I was afraid to compromise the performance by again conducting. Habeneck obstinately refuses; but girard, at that time one of my staunch friends, consented to accept the task, and acquitted himself well. The Symphonie fantastique again figured in the programme, and took the whole room by storm, being applauded throughout. My success was complete, and the former judgment on me was reversed. My musicians -- it may be imagined that I took none from the Theatre-Italien -- looked radiant with delight as they left the orchestra. Lastly, my happiness was crowned when the public had all gone, and a man stopped me in the passage -- a man with long hair, piercing eyes, a strange and haggard face -- a genius, a Titan among the giants, whom I had never seen before, and at the first sight of whom I was deeply moved: this man pressed my hand, and overwhelmed me with burning eulogies that set both my heart and brain on fire. It was Paganini.


Anonymous said...

Was it after this that Paganini commissioned Harold in Italy from Berlioz, and then complained because it didn't have enough solo display passages in it?

Lisa Hirsch said...

Yep. And the footnotes say that Berlioz got something wrong in the date of the concert where the above encounter supposedly took place.