Berlioz had a passionate and idealistic personality, one given to incandescent enthusiasms and uncompromising struggles. Through most of this career he stood in opposition to Paris' entrenched musical establishments, which looked on his innovations in harmony, form, and instrumentation with suspicion or outright indignation. The judgment that Berlioz was a wild-eyed radical contained a certain element of truth. He disdained the relatively safe, orderly music of his French contemporaries, preferring to use whatever risky effect most vividly expressed the passions behind his compositions. Berlioz's works were not, however, the rantings of a musical barbarian, as his critics claimed, but the authentic and imaginative expression of a composer with a highly developed sense of drama.
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