Analysis Of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique

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The main focus of the Romantic era/Romanticism is the expression of emotions through the arts and the deeper meanings to the world around us. A composer who showed these ideals was Berlioz and his Symphonie fantastique. This piece was in-depth and developed thoroughly, in terms of emotions and in musical composition. Berlioz wanted to show the world an overtly emotional piece that told of his personal life story about his on-going admiration for the actress, Harriet Smithson. It is also where we see the introduction of program music, which Berlioz sees as necessary to include as it shows the passions of the movements and complements it.
The piece is broken up into five movements, unlike the four that was typical in symphonies, to show the different stages of his journey of love and loss. Belioz uses a large orchestra to produce these new sounds to emphasize the passions and emotions. The first movement called the “Reveries (Passions)”. It is in sonata form and it is slow because it is the start of the journey where the musician, Berlioz, sees the beautiful
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The theme is either shown as joyful or tragic, depending on the context, whether used to describe his overt emotions in the first movement or in the fourth movement with his somber death. Then, there is the use of orchestration in the last movement, where we are introduced to elaboration of the orchestra that Berlioz puts in order to create the epic final movement. As we see, the string section divides into multiple parts at the opening. Next, the “con sordini” creates a muffle sound with the use of a little piece of the instrument. Then, the gliding glissando glides through the notes to get to the destination, in order for the use of a special clarinet to get the “idée fixe”-mocking fashion. Towards the end, the tubular bells and the bowed/plucked strings come in with the final

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