Book Cover

~ The Books ~

Hector Berlioz

translated by Jacques Barzun

Hector Berlioz:
Evenings with the Orchestra. Edited and translated
by Jacques Barzun.
With a new Foreword
by Peter Bloom.

408 p., 1 halftone. 5-1/2 x 8-1/2
1956, 1999

Paper $16.00

~ ~ ~

During the performances of fashionable operas in an unidentified but «civilized» town in northern Europe, the musicians (with the exception of the conscientious bass drummer) tell tales, read stories, and exchange gossip to relieve the tedium of the bad music they are paid to perform.

In this delightful and now classic narrative written by the brilliant composer and critic Hector Berlioz, we are privy to twenty-five highly entertaining evenings with a fascinating group of distracted performers.

Jacques Barzun's pitch-perfect translation of Evenings with the Orchestra - with a new foreword by Berlioz scholar Peter Bloom - testifies to the enduring pleasure found in this most witty and amusing book.

~ ~ ~

«... full of knowledge, penetration, good sense, individual wit, stock humor, justifiable exasperation, understanding exaggeration, emotion and rhetoric of every kind.» -
 Randall Jarrell,
New York Times Book Review

«To succeed in [writing these tales], as Berlioz most brilliantly does, requires a combination of qualities which is very rare, the many-faceted curiosity of the dramatist with the aggressively personal vision of the lyric poet.» -
W H Auden,
The Griffin

~ ~ ~

Gluck~ Gluck ~

Napoleon~ Napoleon ~

Meyerbeer~ Meyerbeer ~

Foreword by Peter Bloom
Preface to the Phoenix Edition
by Jacques Barzun
Introduction by Jacques Barzun
~ Prologue ~
~ First Evening ~
The First Opera - Vincenza -
The Vexations of Kleiner the Elder

~ Second Evening ~
The Strolling Harpist -
The Performance of an Oratorio -
The Sleep of the Just

~ Third Evening ~
[Der Freischütz]
~ Fourth Evening ~
A Debut in Freischütz - Marescot
~ Fifth Evening ~
The S in Robert le diable
~ Sixth Evening ~
How a Tenor Revolves around the Public -
The Vexations of Kleiner the Younger

~ Seventh Evening ~
Historical and Philosophical Studies:
De viris illustribus urbis Romae -
A Roman Woman -
Vocabulary of the Roman Language

~ Eighth Evening ~
Romans of the New World -
Mr Barnum -
Jenny Lind's Trip to America

~ Ninth Evening ~
The Paris Opera and
London's Opera Houses

~ Tenth Evening ~
On the Present State of Music -
The Tradition of Tack -
A Victim of Tack

~ Eleventh Evening ~
[A Masterpiece]
~ Twelfth Evening ~
Suicide from Enthusiasm
~ Thirteenth Evening ~
Spontini, a Biographical Sketch
~ Fourteenth Evening ~
Operas off the Assembly Line -
The Problem of Beauty -
Mary Stuart -
A Visit to Tom Thumb
~ Fifteenth Evening ~
Another Vexation of Kleiner the Elder's
~ Sixteenth Evening ~
Musical and Phrenological Studies - Nightmares -
The Puritans of Sacred Music - Paganini

~ Seventeenth Evening ~
[The Barber of Seville]
~ Eighteenth Evening ~
Charges Leveled against
the Author's Criticism -
Analysis of
The Lighthouse -
The Piano Possessed
~ Nineteenth Evening ~
[Don Giovanni]
~ Twentieth Evening ~
Historical Gleanings:
Napoleon's Odd Susceptibility -
His Musical Judgment -
Napoleon and Lesueur -
Napoleon and
the Republic of San Marino

~ Twenty-first Evening ~
The Study of Music
~ Twenty-second Evening ~
[Iphigenia in Tauris]
~ Twenty-third Evening ~
Gluck and
the Conservatory in Naples -
A Saying of Durante's

~ Twenty-fourth Evening ~
[Les Huguenots]
~ Twenty-fifth Evening ~
Euphonia, or the Musical City
~ Epilogue ~
The Farewell Dinner
~ Second Epilogue ~
Corsino's Letter to the Author -
The Author's Reply to Corsino -
Beethoven and His Three Styles -
Beethoven's Statue at Bonn -
Mébul - Conestabile on Paganini -
Vincent Wallace

~ Index ~

22nd December 2010