- Hector Berlioz © 1967
- The MacMillan Company
- 168 pages
Seroff’s written an excellent biography of a very important Romantic composer. It’s the perfect length to learn enough about his life to make you feel like you understand him—while not growing bored by the minutiae that clogs many biographies.
I’ve loved Symphonie fantastique for quite a while. It’s one of those orchestral pieces that simply cannot function as background music: the fifth movement in particular demands your attention. Seroff does an excellent job at explaining how the idée fixe in that symphony is really the idée fixe of Berlioz’s entire life.
Concise, interesting, and strangely moving: this is a biography worth scouring your second hand bookstore for!