A level Music (Edexcel) set works wider listening - Berlioz

by Liz Dunbar @HuntSchoolMusic

Berlioz is like Marmite, but love him or hate him, his 'Symphonie Fantastique' is pretty 'out there' for 1830. It's programmatic yet uses the symphonic convention of sonata form in the first of its 5 (not 3, not 4) movements. It's by no means the first symphonic work to have a programmatic element (Beethoven 6) but with its use of an idée fixe (like leitmotif) in all 5 movements, detailed performance notes and enormous scale, there's no wonder it is commonly described as groundbreaking.

Even though this work is composed 16 years earlier than Clara Schumann's Piano Trio,  it seems closer in many ways, to the emotional outpourings of Romanticism.

Here's an ever evolving playlist to provide you with plenty of wider listening references to use in questions 5 and 6.