Music Fueled By Desire Hector Berlioz Symphony Fantastique


She inspired you, you loved her, you sang of her, her task was done.”

—Franz Liszt

Overcome with emotion, Harriet could not resist the overwhelming passion Berlioz had for her.

She finally agreed to meet him and, six full years after he first laid eyes on her, the two were married. They were happy for a while; they had a son they named Louis. But despite Berlioz's attempts to provide for her, pay her debts and revive her career, the two eventually separated. Berlioz never lost his affection for Harriet, taking care of her through the devastating illness that eventually claimed her life. And he never lost his appreciation for all of the things, personal and artistic, she gave and meant to him.

“I have nothing more to say of the two great loves that have had such deep and lasting influence on my heart and mind. One is a childhood memory … the other came to me with Shakespeare … A voice out of the burning bush, among the lightning flashes and thunderclaps of poetry that was new to me. It struck me down; my heart and whole being were possessed by a fierce, desperate passion in which love of the artist and of the art were interfused, each intensifying the other.” 

—Berlioz after Harriet’s death, March 1854


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