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Part II - Ears

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 August 2019

David Trippett
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Benjamin Walton
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

For a long time, Hector Berlioz was thought to hold a singular, even an isolated position in music history. Among the first to offer a new perspective was Pierre Boulez, who suggested that Berlioz’s position in music history could be explained by ‘the fact that a large part of his œuvre has remained in the realm of the imaginary’. With this remark, Boulez alluded to the Grand traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes (1844/55), and more specifically to the chapter on the orchestra that closes the treatise. Speculations on the sound of an orchestra that would unite ‘all the forces that are present in Paris and create an ensemble of 816 musicians’ were, for Boulez, typical of Berlioz: ‘mixing realism and imagination without opposing one to the other, producing the double aspect of an undeniable inventive “madness” – a fairly unreal dream minutely accounted for’.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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  • Ears
  • Edited by David Trippett, University of Cambridge, Benjamin Walton, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Nineteenth-Century Opera and the Scientific Imagination
  • Online publication: 07 August 2019
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  • Ears
  • Edited by David Trippett, University of Cambridge, Benjamin Walton, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Nineteenth-Century Opera and the Scientific Imagination
  • Online publication: 07 August 2019
Available formats
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To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Ears
  • Edited by David Trippett, University of Cambridge, Benjamin Walton, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Nineteenth-Century Opera and the Scientific Imagination
  • Online publication: 07 August 2019
Available formats
×