Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Micznik, Vera. “Of Ways of Telling, Intertextuality, and Historical Evidence in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette.19th-Century Music 24 (Summer 2000): 21-61.

Hector Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette reveals his beliefs on how instrumental and vocal/texted music can convey meaning. Roméo et Juliette fuses elements of instrumental and texted music together: the orchestral movements convey emotional content and mood through recognizable musical topics, while programmatic titles focus that emotional content towards specific characters and scenes from the original drama. Notably, the “Love Scene” and “Tomb Scene” from Roméo et Juliette are intertextually related to the Adagio movement of Beethoven’s String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 1, which at an early stage also had programmatic associations with the tomb scene from Shakespeare’s play. Circumstantial evidence suggests that Berlioz may have been aware of this initial programmatic connection. Even if Berlioz was unaware of Beethoven’s original program, Roméo et Juliette and Beethoven’s quartet movement are intertextually related because they both utilize similar musical topics and formal strategies to depict episodes of love and parting.

Works: Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette (41-61).

Sources: Beethoven: String Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1 (46-58).

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Matthew G. Leone

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