Berlioz Grande symphonie funebre et triomphale, Op. 15

The Grand Funeral and Triumphal Symphony (Grande symphonie funebre et triomphale) Op. 15 is the fourth and last symphony by Berlioz, first performed in 1840 in Paris. The French goverment commissioned the work for the celebrations marking the tenth anniversary of the July Revolution. Berlioz had little sympathy for the regime, but the paid was very high so he took it. Rather than taking his traditional approach, the work represents a reversion to earlier pre-Beethovenian style in the tradition of monumental French public ceremonial music, drawing from unfinished works. Originally scored for a wind band of 200 marching players marching, the work became a total succes. Berlioz revised the score in January 1842, adding an optional part for strings and a final chorus to a text by Antony Deschamps. Richard Wagner attended a performance of this new version at the Salle Vivienne on 1 February 1842. On 5 February, he told Robert Schumann that he found passages in the last movement of Berlioz's symphony so "magnificent and sublime that they can never be surpassed.

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Grande symphonie funebre et triomphale, Op. 15

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