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Servitude and Greatness

David Cairns

In this magnificent biography, the author describes the genesis of the famous works of Berlioz’s maturity and in particular his crowning masterpiece, The Trojans. Against the backdrop of the composer’s professional life and his struggle for artistic recognition, David Cairns traces his personal struggles in the pursuit of love and financial security, to his ultimate search for inner happiness.

First published:
Published by:
Allen Lane
Hardcover 907 pages
What the judges said

“If it is possible to have an unflawed human endeavour, then this is it. This may be a book that satisfies the scholar but in every sense of the word it is a special work; it is a book which will also seduce the general reader.”

About the author

David Cairns was chief music critic of The Sunday Times and has been music critic and arts editor of The Spectator and has written for the Evening Standard, the Financial Times and the New Statesman. From 1967 to 1972 he worked for the London branch of Phonogram. He has been Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California at Davis, a visiting scholar at the Getty Center in Santa Monica, and a visiting fellow of Merton College, Oxford. In 1991, in recognition of his services to French music, he was made Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He was co-founder the Chelsea Opera Group and is now conductor of the Thorington Players. David Cairnslives in west London.