Berlioz Beatrice et Benedict overture

 Béatrice et Bénédict (Beatrice and Benedick) is an opéra comique in two acts by Hector Berlioz. Berlioz wrote the French libretto himself, based closely on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Berlioz had been interested in setting Shakespeare's comedy since his return from Italy in 1833, but only composed the score of Béatrice et Bénédict following the completion of Les Troyens in 1858. It was first performed at the Theater der Stadt, Baden-Baden on 9 August 1862. Berlioz conducted the first two performances of a German version in Weimar in 1863, where, as he wrote in his memoirs, he was "overwhelmed by all sorts of kind attention." It is the first notable version of Shakespeare's play in operatic form, and was followed by works by among others Árpád Doppler, Paul Puget and Reynaldo Hahn. Berlioz biographer David Cairns has written "Listening to the score's exuberant gaiety, only momentarily touched by sadness, one would never guess that its composer was in pain when he wrote it and impatient for death". WIKIPEDIA

 VIDEO: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Sir Neville Marriner conducting. Overture to "Beatrice et Benedict," Berlioz. Carnegie Hall 1994. 

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