Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Bonds, Mark Evan. "Sinfonia anti-eroica: Berlioz's Harold en Italie and the Anxiety of Beethoven's Influence." Journal of Musicology 10 (Fall 1992): 417-63.

Critics have often noted the structural similarities between the opening of Berlioz's Harold en Italie and that of Beethoven's Ninth. At the opening of the finale, both works reprise then reject themes from earlier movements. Unlike other composers who use this device (Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, Franck), Berlioz does not conclude with a triumphant chorale-like theme. In fact, the viola protagonist remains passive to events throughout, much in the manner of Byron's Childe Harold. Yet Berlioz is in fact confronting the legacy of the "terrifying giant" Beethoven, following Harold Blooms's notions of the "anxiety of influence." Although other of Berlioz's works (Symphonie fantastique, Lélio, Roméo et Juliette, Symphonie funèbre et triomphale) bear the influence of Beethoven, Harold en Italie shows Berlioz's strongest confrontation with Beethoven's legacy.

Works: Berlioz: Harold en Italie.

Sources: Beethoven: Symphony No. 9.

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Felix Cox

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