Composers: Hector the Ferocious

"A lot of people have been rude about Hector Berlioz," says English Conductor Colin Davis, and he wishes they would quit. Alas, poor Berlioz has suffered more than his share. In 1829, when he was 25, he submitted his passionately theatrical piece for soprano and orchestra, Cléopâtre, to the Prix de Rome committee. It was rejected with a scolding from one of the judges, who said, "You refuse to write like everybody else. Even your rhythms are new. You would invent new modulations if such a thing were possible." The story goes...

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