The Memoirs of Hector Berlioz

Introduced by David Cairns

Introduction by David Cairns
Translated by David Cairns
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The Memoirs of Hector Berlioz has long been considered to be among the best of musical autobiographies.

Like his massive compositions, Berlioz (1803-69) was colorful, eloquent, larger than life. His book is both an account of his important place in the rise of the Romantic movement and a personal testament. He tells the story of his liaison with Harriet Smithson, and his even more passionate affairs of the mind with Shakespeare, Scott, and Byron. Familiar with all the great figures of the age, Berlioz paints brilliant portraits of Liszt, Wagner, Balzac, Weber, and Rossini, among others. And through Berlioz's intimate and detailed self-revelation, there emerges a profoundly sympathetic and attractive man, driven, finally, by his overwhelming creative urges to a position of lonely eminence.

For this new Everyman’s edition of The Memoirs, the translator—the composer’s most admired biographer—has completely revised the text and the extensive notes to take into account the latest research.
David Cairns, author of the highly acclaimed biography Berlioz, has been music critic of the Spectator, The Evening Standard, The New Statesman, and The Sunday Times (London).

About

The Memoirs of Hector Berlioz has long been considered to be among the best of musical autobiographies.

Like his massive compositions, Berlioz (1803-69) was colorful, eloquent, larger than life. His book is both an account of his important place in the rise of the Romantic movement and a personal testament. He tells the story of his liaison with Harriet Smithson, and his even more passionate affairs of the mind with Shakespeare, Scott, and Byron. Familiar with all the great figures of the age, Berlioz paints brilliant portraits of Liszt, Wagner, Balzac, Weber, and Rossini, among others. And through Berlioz's intimate and detailed self-revelation, there emerges a profoundly sympathetic and attractive man, driven, finally, by his overwhelming creative urges to a position of lonely eminence.

For this new Everyman’s edition of The Memoirs, the translator—the composer’s most admired biographer—has completely revised the text and the extensive notes to take into account the latest research.

Author

David Cairns, author of the highly acclaimed biography Berlioz, has been music critic of the Spectator, The Evening Standard, The New Statesman, and The Sunday Times (London).

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