Today marks the last day of my “Fun Fact Week” because today is the big exam! As I prepare one last time I find myself interested in the piece Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz
FUN FACT: Symphonie Fantastique: Episode de la vie d’un artiste, is the full title of Berlioz’s work. It was inspired by his own life and the “beloved” actress Harriet Smithson. Berlioz based the main idea or “idee fixe” on Harriet Smithson and this would be the recurring theme of all his FIVE movements! However, it is unlike the typical cyclical structure of the classical era because this recurring theme undergoes transformation and it was originally devised by Berlioz himself. Interestingly, Berlioz married Harriet Smithson (his muse), but later separated from her and only married another woman once Harriet passed away.
This work also demonstrates many orchestral advances and techniques that Berlioz devised himself. On a side note, I enjoy playing this piece on Halloween because of it’s beautifully grotesque nature.
If you have any “Fun Facts” you would like to share, please post them down below in the comment box.