The Life of Berlioz (Musical Lives)
Last updated: 17.12.19
Printed: 1998 Author: Peter Bloom
Publisher: Cambridge University Press ISBN: 0521480914
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Amazon Review
Excellent introduction to Berlioz, December 5, 2000
Reviewer:Jonathan Salterfrom Williamstown, MA USA
This book is an informal and anecdotal look into many of the areas of Berlioz's life that have only recently been uncovered. Bloom returned to primary sources for much of his material. While entertaining, this book deals with many of the major issues in Berlioz's personal and political life.Bloom splits Berlioz's life into three main sections, divided by the French Revolutions of 1830 and 1848. Each subdivision deals with certain relevant issues in somewhat chronological order.Containing no musical examples, this book would be inappropriate for a crash course in the music of Berlioz; rather, knowledge of this music first would be helpful, for Bloom's work provides detailed and interesting context for much of Berlioz's music. This knowledge is not at all necessary however, as the more technical and theoretical passages in the book are brief and presented in a way that is easy to grasp.I enjoyed this short introduction into Berlioz's life, and if you are interested in original, genuine scholarship and interesting, insightful prose you will as well. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.