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Born: 1803, La Côte-Saint-André, France
Died: 1869, Paris, France

“The prevailing characteristics of my music are passionate expression, rhythmic animation, and unexpected turns.”

Berlioz went to Paris to study medicine but soon found his way to the Opéra, where he listened, enraptured, to Gluck and Spontini. He learned the fundamentals of music from Le Sueur, the master of the Chapel Royal, but Shakespeare, Byron, and Goethe also made a profound impression on the young man. His Romantic sensibility shines through works like the Symphonie fantastique and Roméo et Juliette.

Further listening:
Harold in Italy, Op. 16 (1834) Israel Phil., Zubin Mehta (Eloquence)
La damnation de Faust (1845-1846) London Symphony, Colin Davis (Philips)