In Music and Fantasy in the Age of Berlioz, Francesca Brittan takes readers back to a period of European intellectual, literary, and musical history in which fantasy offered genuinely new sources of audience wonderment, critical concern, scientific inquiry, and artistic creativity. Arranged as a series of hermeneutic concentric circles around Hector Berlioz and a core repertoire of his works and writings (mostly) from the 1830s, the book's six weighty chapters constitute Venn diagrammatic studies that not only fine-tune—and, at times, rewrite—Berlioz's stylistic profile, but also offer new methodological models for dealing with the complex disciplinary interactions that inform Romantic identity.

As Brittan details in chapter 1, the appearance of E....

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