For Berlioz, success in opera was the surest route to financial reward and artistic reputation. Berlioz embarked on a search for a suitable subject, finally settling on Benvenuto Cellini's memoirs. Initially cast for the Opera-Comique in 1834, Berlioz elevated the tone of the work and offered it to the Paris Opera.
The popular overture is often performed separately in the concert hall.
This recording is performed by the Orchestre national de Montpellier, Lionel Arnaud, conductor.
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