Berlioz's final opera, Béatrice et Bénédict (1860–62) has generally been considered a light-hearted work, revelling in the simple joys of love. Yet his final development of the theme of love, which had preoccupied him at least since the Symphonie fantastique (1830), makes this opéra comique more serious than it might appear to be. Drawing on theories of the human subject by Badiou, Žižek, and Lacan, as well as on the resources of Schenkerian theory, this article invites a new attention on the ideological violence done both by conventional models of love (in this case, on the main characters in the opera) and by the language of tonality. Evaluation of the musical means by which Berlioz psychoanalyzes the characters of a masochist, Héro, and a hysteric, Béatrice, ultimately reveals a surprisingly provocative work of vivid psychological drama.
19th-Century Music publishes articles on all aspects of music having to do with the "long" nineteenth century. The period of coverage has no definite boundaries; it can extend well backward into the eighteenth century and well forward into the twentieth. The journal is open to studies of any musical or cultural development that affected nineteenth-century music and any such developments that nineteenth-century music subsequently affected. The topics are as diverse as the long century itself. They include music of any type or origin and include, but are not limited to, issues of composition, performance, social and cultural context, hermeneutics, aesthetics, music theory, analysis, documentation, gender, sexuality, history, and historiography.
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