Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2000.
Berlioz was one of the towering figures of Romanticism: not only was he a great and revolutionary composer, but also the finest conductor of his day and an outstanding critic and writer. Yet throughout his life he struggled for money and his music was persistently reviled in his native France. Here, as never before, is Berlioz the artist - and the man.
With exceptional insight and sympathy, David Cairns draws together in this second volume the major strands of Berlioz's life: his tempestuous marriage to the actress Harriet Smithson; the genesis of his famous works, including the "Requiem", "Romeo and Juliet" and his crowning masterpiece "The Trojans"; his friendships with Mendelssohn, Liszt, Princess Wittgenstein and Wagner; and, finally, his last years haunted once again by personal tragedy.
'The author has a remarkable eye for fascinating detail, an infectious enthusiasm for Berlioz's music, and a fluency and keen sense of purpose in narrating what amounts to the most extraordinary real-life story classical music has to offer...This epic biography will stand as a major monument of the history of classical music and will surely, on its subject, never be surpassed' - Alexander Waugh, Literary Review
'One of the masterpieces of modern biography' - Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph
Publication date: 09/12/2010
Publisher: Faber Finds, an imprint of Faber and Faber
|Publication date:||9th December 2010|
|Publisher:||Faber Finds, an imprint of Faber and Faber|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, History,|
|Categories:||Biography: arts & entertainment, Individual composers & musicians, specific bands & groups,|
David Cairns was chief music critic of the Sunday Times from 1983 to 1992, having earlier written for the Spectator, Evening Standard, Financial Times and New Statesman. From 1967 to 1972 he worked for the London branch of Phonogram, planning and carrying out large-scale recordings of Haydn, Mozart, Berlioz and Tippett. In 1991, in recognition of his services to French music, he was made Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Actively involved in music making, he was co-founder of the Chelsea Opera Group and is now conductor of the Thorington Players. His highly acclaimed two-volume Berlioz biography has won many major ...More About David Cairns