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Essay title: Berlioz

Berlioz's son Louis was born in 1834, but his marriage was already in trouble. Harriet was driven to alcohol by the collapse of her acting career, prompting Berlioz to begin an affair with the singer Marie Recio. The marriage finally broke up in 1841.

Berlioz completed the dramatic cantata La Damnation de Faust in 1846, but it was a failure in Paris. The Te Deum and the oratorio L'Enfance du Christ followed in the years 1850 and 1854, and in 1856 Berlioz embarked on his massive opera Les Troyens, based on Virgil's Aeneid. Attempts to have it staged in Paris were futile, due to the work's immense scale. Despite these setbacks, Berlioz was beginning to receive international recognition for his music, and his writings, particularly his Treatises on harmony and orchestration, became standard textbooks.

In 1862, Berlioz completed his last work, the comic opera Beatrice et Benedict, based on Shakespeare. Marie died in the same year, and in 1867 his son Louis died of yellow fever. Berlioz became ill in January 1869, and died in March that year.

A true

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