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Cambridge Core – Nineteenth-Century Music – Berlioz’s Orchestration Treatise – edited by Hugh Macdonald. Berlioz’s orchestration treatise is a classic textbook which has been used as – Berlioz’s Orchestration Treatise: A Translation and Commentary -. revise the “Treatise on Instrumentation” by Hector. Berlioz . composition and orchestration with therich expressive On the other hand, even Berlioz’ orchestral.

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Many composers studied the work closely, such as MussorgskyMahlerR. The viola is as agile as the violin; its lower strings have a peculiarly penetrating quality; its higher notes are distinctive and have a sad and passionate intensity; in general its tone has a quality of deep sadness which distinguishes it from all other stringed instruments.

But a careful study will reveal that it possesses an expressiveness of its own, and is well suited to rendering some feelings which no other instrument can match.

But the finest concert orchestra, for a hall scarcely larger than that of the Conservatoirethe most complete, the richest in nuances and variety of tone colour, the most majestic, powerful and at the same time the most mellow, would be an orchestra composed as follows:. Mozart seems to have been the first to use them for accompaniments of a sombre character such as that of the trio of masks in Don Giovanni.

He will have a preliminary rehearsal to instruct them on how to direct the sectional rehearsals that are entrusted to them. The following runs produce an excellent effect in the scene of the bathing women in Act II of Les Huguenots. Here music is far from our national habits, the government does everything for theatres, but nothing for real music.

Berlioz Treatise on orchestration

Orchestdation this system has now been almost entirely abandoned. There is nothing that is more appropriate for the idea of poetic festivals or religious celebrations than the sounds of a large number of harps when deployed in an imaginative way. The sound reverberates and circulates actively in the narrow space between them before escaping through the spaces left open.

When combined with timpani rolls in several parts, as in the work I have just mentioned, and with an orchestration that emphasises the note of terror, they suggest the strange and awesome sounds that accompany the great cataclysms of nature. The majority of orchestras nowadays still only have one pair of timpani, the largest of which is reserved for the lower note. Assisted by the low notes of two clarinets in A and B orchesgration this gives the passage the sinister timbre which evokes the feelings of terror and fear which permeate this immortal scene.


At first it is a barely perceptible voice ber,ioz seems afraid of being heard.

Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. The effect produced by such sustained chords is very remarkable, if the subject of the piece calls for it and it integrates well with the rest of the orchestral writing. The sounds of the middle range have a proud quality tempered by noble tenderness, and are thus ideal for expressing feelings and ideas of the most poetic kind.

Sometimes the ophicleide is used to replace it, but its tone does not have the same depth as its range is the same as that of the standard bassoon and not an octave lower; in any case its timbre is of a quite different character from that of the double-bassoon.

There are several reasons for the unjust bondage of this noble instrument. Its sonority is not very powerful, and its timbre, totally devoid of brightness or nobility, has a propensity towards the grotesque, which must always be kept in mind when it is given a prominent part.

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They therefore associated them almost always with the trumpets. In his symphonies in B flat and C minor Beethoven made wonderful berlikz of the timpani pianissimo; these superb passages lose a great deal if played with sticks without sponge heads, even though the composer did not specify anything to that effect in brrlioz scores. These results will probably be modified in a thousand other ways, good or bad, by composers who adopt them. But the player must never attack them with force, as they then produce a dry and hard sound, rather like the sound made when breaking a glass, and this is unpleasant and irritating.

When used harmonically, it blends very well with the mass of brass instruments. The Menuet des Follets from the Damnation of Faust may be mentioned as an example of the varied use of the rochestration in the course of the same piece].


References could of course be multiplied. They have therefore preserved its power, dignity and poetry.

The drums then take on a flat and dull sound, rather similar to what is produced when the top skin is covered. The table below outlines the contents of this page.

Grand traité d’instrumentation et d’orchestration modernes, Op.10 (Berlioz, Hector)

When the cellos are playing a melody, it can sometimes be very effective to double them in unison with violas. See and discover other items: This beautiful instrumental soprano voice, so sonorous and rich in penetrating inflexions when used in large numbers, gains when played solo in delicacy, elusive nuances, and mysterious sympathy what it loses in power and brightness.

Messe solennelle Grande messe des mortsOp. The practice of some masters nowadays of treating the three trombones and ophicleide as a quartet, with the latter taking the real bass part, may not be above reproach. This is an essential precondition for achieving the best possible results and calculating with sureness the intended effects.

They do not merely threaten, they proclaim, they sing instead of roaring.

For accompaniments pizzicato figures played piano are always graceful in effect; they relax the listener and when used with discretion give variety to the orchestral texture.

I have said that the horn is a noble and melancholy instrument, and this is true berkioz those joyful hunting fanfares that are often mentioned.

The result is that many effects are lost with opera orchestras and numerous delicate nuances go for nothing, even when the playing is of the highest standard. As for instrumentation, expression and rhythm, that is another matter.

In the case of drums, bass drums, cymbals and berlizo, for example, if they are used all at once to play certain rhythms in the commonplace manner, they can remain grouped together. Any sounding body that is used by a composer is a bdrlioz instrument.

Views Read Edit View history. Bassoons are normally written in two parts. These extracts are collected here on a page devoted entirely to the treatise also available in the original French.