Author: David Cairns

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Works

Book:Berlioz: Volume 2. Servitude and Greatness, 1832-1869

Berlioz: Volume 2. Servitude and Greatness, 1832-1869

David Cairns

This biography of composer Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) describes with unprecedented intimacy, affection, and respect the life of one of France’s greatest artists. After long being regarded as an oddity and an eccentric figure, Berlioz is now being accepted into the ranks of the great composers. Based on a wealth of previously unpublished sources, and on a profound understanding of the humanity of his subject, David Cairns’s book provides a full account of this extraordinary and powerfully attractive man.

Volume II follows Berlioz’s life from 1832 to his death in 1869, his most active years as a composer, conductor, and critic. This volume provides telling portraits of those close to Berlioz: his two wives, his son and his sisters, his friends and colleagues, fellow composers and critics. Cairns vividly evokes Berlioz’s music and the music-making world of nineteenth-century Paris. Volume II also includes chapters on Wagner, Berlioz’s career as a critic, the composer’s concert tours in Germany, Russia, and England, and much more.

Book:Berlioz: Volume 1. The Making of an Artist, 1803-1832

Berlioz: Volume 1. The Making of an Artist, 1803-1832

David Cairns

This biography of composer Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) describes with unprecedented intimacy, affection, and respect the life of one of France’s greatest artists. After long being regarded as an oddity and an eccentric figure, Berlioz is now being accepted into the ranks of the great composers. Based on a wealth of previously unpublished sources, and on a profound understanding of the humanity of his subject, David Cairns’s book provides a full account of this extraordinary and powerfully attractive man. Berlioz, Volume I, previously published only in Britain, is now available to American readers in a revised edition, together with the eagerly awaited, new Volume II. These two volumes together comprise a monumental biographical achievement, sure to stand as the definitive Berlioz biography.

In researching Berlioz’s life, Cairns has had access to unpublished family papers, and in Volume I he is able…[more]

Book:Berlioz series

Berlioz series

David Cairns

Life stories come in all sizes, from the smallest notice in a dictionary of musical biography to largest multi-volume epic. Fitting form to subject, David Cairns’s enormous retelling of Berlioz’s—of which this is volume one (running from 1803-1832)—is on the grandest possible scale. It contains a tremendous amount of fascinating detail, and conveys a real sense of what it was like to grow up in France in the aftermath of the Napoleonic defeats. But above all it is a completely convincing portrait of the character of Berlioz himself, and of his sense of his own…

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