The Life and Times of Hector Berlioz
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Topic: Hector Berlioz
The Life and Times of Hector Berlioz (Masters of Music: The World's Greatest Composers Series)
French composer Hector Berlioz believed in love at first sight. When he was 23, he attended a performance of Shakespeare's play Hamlet and fell head over heels in love with Harriet Smithson, an English actress who had a leading role. Harriet didn't show any interest in him. She ignored his letters. When he tried to meet her backstage she ordered the guard to throw him out. Berlioz was hurt and angry. He wanted revenge. He got it by murdering Harriet-musically. She inspired Symphonie fantastique, his most famous work. The hero kills his beloved, is executed for the crime, and the symphony ends with a bizare dance of ghosts, goblins and other monsters. In real life, Berlioz met Harriet several years later. He put on a special concert for her that included a performance of Symphonie fantastique. Harriet was impressed. Soon she fell in love with him and they were married. Did they live happily ever after?