Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer (1803-1869) who is best known for his compositions Symphonie Fantastique, Harold in Italy, Romeo and Juliette, and The Damnation of Faust. He utilized very large orchestras and conducted several concerts with more than 1000 musicians. He was influential on Romanticism, especially in the composers Richard Wagner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Franz Liszt, and Gustav Mahler.
SYMPHONY FANTASTIQUE, MOVEMENT 4. March to the Scaffold
Symphonie Fantastique, written in 1830, is a musical work that tells the story of an artist gifted with a lively imagination who has poisoned himself with opium in the depths of despair because of a hopeless, lost love. The dose of narcotic doesn't kill him, but plunges him into a heavy sleep accompanied by the strangest of visions. He dreams that he has killed his beloved, that he is condemned, led to the scaffold and is witnessing his own execution. The procession advances to the sound of a march that is sometimes sombre and wild, and sometimes brilliant and solemn, At the end of the march, there is a final thought of love interrupted by the fatal blow.
Harriet Smithson was a famous Shakespearean actress and the inspiration for Berlioz to write Symphonie Fantastique.