Six years after the premiere of Beethoven’s monumental Ninth Symphony, composer Hector Berlioz sought to make use of the symphonic genre, but on his own terms. Indeed, he wrote not only a five-movement symphony, but also a narrative program to accompany and explain the symphony.
This music course introduces students to the music and programmatic elements of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique , illuminating a new direction for nineteenth-century music. The course’s grand finale is a live performance of the entire symphony by the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra.
Harvard’s Thomas Forrest Kelly (Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music) guides learners through Berlioz’s Symphony Fantastique,, highlighting Berlioz’s compostional process, his innovative orchestration, and the reception of his controversial piece of narrative instrumental music.