Give Now

Ether Game

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, A Ball

Here's a hint: It's a perfect example of art imitating life.

Festive parties and balls were common in Hector Berlioz’s day, and the atmosphere of such get-togethers was the inspiration for one of the movements from his famous Symphonie fantastique. The symphony depicts a fantastical story of an artist in love with a young woman and describes their ill-fated love affair. In the second movement, titled “A Ball”, the artist is in the midst of a huge party with waltzes and colorful sights and sounds, but all this means nothing as he continues to think of his beloved.

The Symphonie fantastique is thought of as a perfect example of art imitating life. Berlioz wrote the piece while he was in a relationship with a famous actress, Harriett Smithson, and she is the inspiration of the mysterious beloved featured in this celebrated work.

Music Heard On This Episode

Hector Berlioz: Un bal
Revolutionary and Romantic Orchestra / John Eliot Gardiner, conductor — Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique /ORR * Gardiner (Philips, 1993)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Hector Berlioz: Un bal
Revolutionary and Romantic Orchestra / John Eliot Gardiner, conductor — Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique /ORR * Gardiner (Philips, 1993)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Ether Game:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Ether Game

Search Ether Game

Ether Game is on Twitter