Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Roma Symphony of Bizet Thanks to Unsung Masterwork; we have a recorded version here. Bizet won the Prix de Rome in 1857. This required him to spend the next couple of years at the French Academy in Rome, followed by a year of study in Germany. He also did some touring through Italy, seeing places that he had not visited in his earlier travels in 1858 and 1859. In Rimini, he got the idea for this symphony. He made some sketches but had to leave them incomplete as his mother passed away and he had to rush back to Paris. The Symphony in C "Roma" is the second symphony written by Bizet. This is also in the key of C Major as his earlier symphony which he wrote as a student at age seventeen. Roma was written with plenty of interruptions between 1860 and 1871.Bizet was not too satisfied with it and made many revisions.All four movements were performed in his lifetime, but never on the same occasion. The full symphony in its latest revision was performed in 1875, after his death. This is the famous C Major Symphony performed brilliantly by Georges Pretre and the Wiener Philharmoniker. The Symphony in C is an early work by Bizet. For a student just seventeen years of age, it is a marvel of melodic invention and extraordinary handling of themes in the orchestration. It was written while he was a student at the Paris Conservatoire under Charles Gounod. It was an assignment. Bizet's creative work in his life was cut short by a premature death. He died of heart failure at the age of thirty six. Well, Mozart too was on earth for a period of only thirty five years. Both are extraordinary musicians, extremely gifted and talented.

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