Great works: Berlioz's Evenings with the Orchestra
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now finished
Course Code: MD701C
Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
What is the course about?
Explore European musical life c.1850 through the eyes of idiosyncratic composer and music writer, Hector Berlioz, composer of Symphonie fantastique and many other brilliant orchestral works and operas.
His Evenings in the Orchestra (Les soirées de l'orchestre) take you to the heart of a fictional (but very realistic) orchestra pit of a provincial German opera house, to sit amongst its musicians as they chat about their musical loves and hates, their careers and adventures, and tall tales about famous musicians of the time, from Paganini to Jenny Lind.
You will never listen to opera the same way again ….
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- overview of Berlioz's musical education, influences and career, connections with major contemporaries and legacy
- dramatis personae of the Evenings and structure of the book
- key historical figures and events the musicians discuss
- professional life for orchestral musicians in the mid 19th century
- concert-/opera-going etiquette and audiences.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- understand more about European musical life and taste in the Romantic era
- understand the lives and careers of professional musicians in the mid 19th century
- know more about the threads of influence between composers in central Europe
- read Evenings in the Orchestra with greater understanding and enjoyment, and explore other writings about music by Berlioz and his contemporaries.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No prior knowledge of the subject is required. You do not need to read music to take this course.
You do not need to have read Evenings in the Orchestra before this course, but we hope that you will want to afterwards.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is an online course, taught through live sessions on Zoom.
You will learn through tutor presentation and explanation, slide shows, guided listening and class discussion. Further listening and reading will be recommended,.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Les soirées de l'orchestre is readily available in English translations, edited by Berlioz scholars David Cairns (Penguin, 1963) and Jacques Barzun (U of Chicago Press, 1999).
If you read French, you may prefer to read it in the original.
You will need a good internet connection and a computer with microphone & webcam. If using a tablet it will need a screen large enough for you to comfortably view the class handouts.
- You may like to have a notebook and pen handy.
- You may also wish to purchase some of the music books or recordings discussed in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
To find out more about music history classes Music history courses in London and online which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.
Trish trained as a violinist, singer and historical musicologist, with a specialism in music since 1900. She has worked variously as a university and college lecturer, choral conductor and arranger, and orchestral violinist, and has taught a wide range of subjects including choral singing and conducting, composition techniques, music theory, analysis and musicianship, music history, violin and chamber music. She has published and presented at conferences on French music (especially Ravel), and Australian music and cultural history. At City Lit, Trish currently teaches Choir at Lunchtime and Composition techniques, and supports Orchestra workshop. Her interests in the arts also include contemporary theatre, dance and visual arts.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.