Important autograph document signed "H. Berlioz" detailing costs for the first performance of the Requiem, op. 5, ca. 1837. Hector BERLIOZ.

Important autograph document signed "H. Berlioz" detailing costs for the first performance of the Requiem, op. 5, ca. 1837

1 page. Folio. In French (with translation).

Berlioz outlines fees for musicians, singers, and tuners and costs for rehearsals, composition, and copying associated with the premiere of the work.

Slightly worn; creased at folds; a few very small holes as a result of ink oxidation.

Berlioz was the leading French composer, conductor, and critic of his age.

"In many senses the Romantic movement found its fullest embodiment in him, yet he had deep Classical roots and stood apart from many manifestations of that movement. His life presents the archetypal tragic struggle of new ideas for acceptance... and though there were many who perceived greatness in his music from the beginning, his genius only came to full recognition in the 20th century." Hugh Macdonald in Grove Music Online.

Berlioz's Requiem (the Grande Messe des Morts) was first performed on December 5, 1837 at St. Louis des Invalides on the occasion of the funeral of General Danrémont.

"[Berlioz] admits that when the chance of composing a Requiem came his way he fell on it like a man possessed... The opportunity was a philanthropic commission set up by Gasparin, Minister of the Interior, in order to re-establish the prestige of sacred music, and Berlioz was the first to receive such a commission. It was briskly composed, in a fever of inspiration, in the summer of 1837, but as is the way with bureaucratic patronage, the performance was cancelled for political reasons after Berlioz had gone to the expense of copying the parts and engaging performers. Only after urgent appeals and persistent complaints was an excuse found for staging the performance after all: the death of a French general in the war of conquest in Algeria... So the Requiem was first heard in the church of the Invalides... in a ceremony of pomp and grandeur which the French do with particular style. It was a stirring public occasion and although it was marred for Berlioz by the conductor Habeneck taking a pinch of snuff at the most dramatic entry of the Tuba mirum (the truth of the anecdote is disputed), it signified for him the blessing of official approval and the wider knowledge in Parisian circles of how powerful and novel his music was. No one was left in any doubt of the force and originality of Berlioz's genius..." Macdonald: Berlioz, pp. 33-34.

Item #23354

Price: $6,500.00  other currencies

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