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The Art of Music and Other Essays: (A Travers Chants) Hardcover – June 22, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

From the Back Cover

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) was equally prominent as composer and author. According to Harold Schonberg, he was the "foremost music critic of his time, possibly of all time". A Travers Chants is the collection of writings he himself selected from his thirty-odd years of musical journalism. These essays cover a wide spectrum of intellectual inquiry: Beethoven's nine symphonies and his opera, Fidelio; Wagner and the partisans of the "Music of the Future"; Berlioz's idols - Gluck, Weber, and Mozart. There is an eloquent plea to stop the constant rise in concert pitch (an issue still discussed today), a serious piece on the place of music in church, and a humorous and imaginative account of musical customs in China. But Berlioz's writings also contain biting satire and ridicule - of opera singers, of the Academy, of dilettantism. This new translation, phrased in lively, idiomatic English and annotated for the twentieth-century reader, is illustrated with lithographs and drawings from Berlioz's lifetime. Berlioz's writings are a treasure-house of information on nineteenth-century musical life, performance practice, and taste.|Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) was equally prominent as composer and author. According to Harold Schonberg, he was the ""foremost music critic of his time, possibly of all time."" A Travers Chants is the collection of writings he himself selected from his thirty-odd years of musical journalism. These essays cover a wide spectrum of intellectual inquiry: Beethoven's nine symphonies and his opera, Fidelio; Wagner and the partisans of the ""Music of the Future""; Berlioz's idols - Gluck, Weber, and Mozart. There is an eloquent plea to stop the constant rise in concert pitch (an issue still discussed today), a serious piece on the place of music in church, and a humorous and imaginative account of musical customs in China. But Berlioz's writings also contain biting satire and ridicule - of opera singers, of the Academy, of dilettantism. This new translation, phrased in lively, idiomatic English and annotated for the twentieth-century reader, is illustrated with lithographs and drawings from Berlioz's lifetime. Berlioz's writings are a treasure-house of information on nineteenth-century musical life, performance practice, and taste.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Travers Chants
  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; Annotated edition (June 22, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253311640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253311641
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,397,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a joy to read the musical insights of one of the most wonderful composers in the world. The essay on Gluck alone is worth the price of the book. I just gave this as a gift to another Berlioz-lover. He was thrilled and started to read it right away.

I'm still waiting to know what the original title in French means (A Travers Chants). "Through songs"??
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Format: Hardcover
Hector Berlioz is remembered mainly as the composer of Symphony Fantastique, but he was also a gifted music critic and writer. This collection of essays is entertaining and witty; Berlioz's satirical and biting humor is liberally spread throughout. This book is accessible to amateurs and professionals alike, filled with anecdotes and insight into the mind of a creative genius.
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