Le Corsaire (tr Schuller)

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Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz (arr. Gunther Schuller)

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This work bears the designation Opus 21.

General Info

Year: 1844 / 1971
Duration: c. 9:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Associated Music Publishers
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

After winning the Prix de Rome, Hector Berlioz traveled to Italy, during which he experienced a dangerous and stormy voyage from Marseille to Livorno. During his stay there, he learned that his fiancé had married another musician. Following a failed suicide attempt, he sketched the Corsair overture as he recuperated in Nice. Of his time in Italy, Berlioz wrote, “I followed the Corsair in his desperate adventures. I adored that inexorable yet tender nature – pitiless, yet generous – a strange combination, apparently contradictory feelings; love of woman and hatred of his kind. During the fierce summer here I used to spend whole days in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, comfortably established in a confessional, with Byron as my companion. I sat enjoying the coolness and stillness, unbroken by any sound save the splashing of the fountains outside. And there, at my leisure, I sat drinking in that burning poetry.”

He originally titled the overture The Tower of Nice, and it was premiered in Paris under Berlioz’s direction on January 9, 1845, under that name. During a visit to London in 1851-1852, he revised it and retitled it Le Corsair rouge.

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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