Berlioz's 'Les Troyens' live in HD,
reviewed by MARIA NOCKIN
Hector Berlioz not only composed the music to Les Troyens, he wrote the libretto himself, basing it on Virgil's epic poem The Aeneid, which he had admired since childhood. In his memoirs, he gives a detailed account of how he embarked upon this opera:
I happened to be in Weimar with Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, a devoted friend of Franz Liszt's, a woman of rare intelligence and feeling, who has often comforted me in my fits of depression. Something led me to speak of my admiration of Virgil and of an idea I had formed of a grand opera on the Shakespearean model, to be founded on the second and fourth books of The Aeneid.
He went on to tell her how difficult the project would be, but the Princess would not listen to the reasons why he could not do it and said:
Your passion for Shakespeare, combined with your love of the antique, ought to produce something grand and uncommon...
Copyright © 10 January 2013