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02_roman Carnival_2015 Fall Concert

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2) The Roman Carnival Overture – Hector Berlioz, arranged by V. F. Safranek

The French composer Berlioz said that he didn’t like Italian music, but our next piece makes that a little hard to believe. He wrote an opera based on the life of the 16th century goldsmith and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini. The premiere was in 1838 in Paris, and the opera was an immediate and almost total flop – it was, and I quote, “hissed with admirable energy and unanimity,” according to the composer himself. It closed after three performances. But Berlioz stitched together some of the musical bits into the piece you are about to hear. Unlike the opera, this selection has achieved enduring popularity. Here is Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture.

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