He thought the only way to get the music across was to conduct himself and show how the tempi go.
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He was so determined about this that he made sure that he believed the metronome marks he printed. For example, the March to the Scaffold is often done much much faster than Berlioz wrote it. And you must maintain this tempo of Most people set off at 90, a rip-roaring Scherzo — but if you do that, it sounds like operetta! It sounds like Offenbach!
Trusting in the score is crucial. Damnation is such a good example.
La damnation de Faust, H 111 (Berlioz, Hector)
On the one hand, you have this man who lives by his brain alone — the light is on in his head and in his intellect, but the rest of his body is lit dimly. Look at his writing for chorus.
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They have to assume very different roles and part of the challenge is to get an amateur choir to make the most of that. The first time you hear them is as a peasant community having a knees up, which contrasts enormously with the huge Easter hymn where they have to sound elevated and spiritually centred. I think Berlioz was turned on by the thought of shocking the ear.
The biggest example is how he manages the ending. The noise that comes out of the orchestra and chorus in hell is massive and dangerous, but all the time Berlioz is thinking, how am I going to bring this to a climax?
About the opera La Damnation de Faust
Berlioz: The Damnation of Faust
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By Mark Pullinger , 07 February Sir Mark Elder. Hector Berlioz. Related content. Check copyright status Cite this Title La damnation de Faust, op. Myers, Michael. Gardiner, John Eliot. Lafont, Jean-Philippe. Medium [sound recording] Physical Description 2 sound discs CD : digital, stereo.
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Subjects Operas. Notes Philips: Compact disc. Opera in four parts. Sung in French. Libretto in French, with English, German and Italian translations inserted in container.
Related La Damnation de Faust (French Edition)
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