Talk:Les Troyens, H 133 (Berlioz, Hector)



The complicated performing and publishing history is partially evident in the extant scores of Les Troyens; only with the publication of the New Berlioz Edition volumes in 1969 was the complete music for the opera published for the first time, in as close an accordance with Berlioz’s intentions as far as these can be ascertained. The information below is provided to document the numerous cuts, alterations, and variations between the various early editions of the full and vocal scores.

Full Scores

IMSLP64920, “Part I” – La prise de Troie

The majority of the full score is exceptionally well typeset and faithful to the original Acts I and II of Berlioz’s conception.

The major alteration is the caesura required to split Act I into two smaller Acts, which as explained on the work page, takes place at page 80. Along with the addition of a fermata on the fourth last bar, the last three bars of page 80, the entirety of page 81, and the first two bars of page 82 before figure A, replace a shorter, continuous transitional passage of nine bars’ duration (eight in the previous tempo, the ninth in the new tempo of the Hymne troyenne).

There are several small differences, such as page 29, where the sustained note from an oboe functions as a pivot to effect the join from scene 1 to scene 2 (omitted here), and on page 174, where the cymbal clash from the interior of the Wooden Horse follows, rather than preceding, the comment of “Qu’est-ce donc?” from the choir.

Pages 81–105 are an interpolation of previously typeset material by Choudens, consisting of the Hymne troyenne and Combat de Ceste – Pas de lutteurs. Some of the additional instrumentation for the Hymne is unfortunately omitted, unlike the remainder of the typesetting (probably by Breitkopf) which is more diligent in incorporating all of the instrumental music, notably in the Marche troyenne with its three separate instrumental groups besides the main orchestra.

Owing to this score being bilingual (French/German), there appear to be a small number of places where the rhythm of Berlioz’s original French text has been altered for the convenience of having the same rhythm for both sets of words.

IMSLP64989, “Part II” – Les Troyens à Carthage

Whereas the full score of “Part I” includes the various on- and off-stage instruments, the full score for “Part II” is more indicative of the reduced orchestral forces Berlioz had available in 1863, which Berlioz dealt with by cueing most of the extra instrumentation into the main orchestra, and generally is subject to a variety of authorised and unauthorised cuts (as indeed was the 1863 vocal score – see below IMSLP20310).

The full score of Les Troyens à Carthage includes the 1863 Prélude à Les Troyens à Carthage composed for the first performances of the abridged opera; Berlioz incorporates an arrangement of some of the music from the Act I duet Quitte nous de cès soir (IMSLP64920, pp.61–74).

To make amends for the omission of the first two acts, in 1863 Berlioz added a prologue (or Legende, as evident from the vocal score IMSLP20310, pp.8–25), a version with chorus of the Marche troyenne and then closed with an Allegro agitato derived from the end of Act I (IMSLP64920, p.181 starting at the seventh bar, to the end of page 182). All of these are omitted.

Act III proper then begins with a chorus, De Carthage les cieux, leading into the Chant national (see IMSLP20310, pp.26–31). This likewise is omitted.

The Act III ballets, which should fall directly between pages 40 and 41, are omitted. These are the Entrée des constructeurs, Entrée des matelots, et Entrée des laboureurs. These are followed by a short recitative by Didon (Peuple tous les honneurs) and chorus (Vivent les laboureurs) leading to the return of the Chant national on page 41 of the full score (see IMSLP20310, last bar of page 56; then pp.57–62, and first two bars of p.63). The recitative and chorus are also omitted.

Some of the music for the Coryphées and the Chœur supplémentaire is partially missing on page 44 (cf IMSLP20310, p.65). The remainder of Act III is intact.

Act IV begins with a pantomime comprising the first tableau; the music is the Chasse royale et orage (Royal hunt and storm) in its full version with on-stage bands. This is omitted.

The second tableau of Act IV begins with a recitative (Dites, Narbal, qui cause vos alarmes?) and duet (De quels revers menaces-tu Carthage) for Anna and Narbal. This is also omitted.

The entirety of page 124 is an 1863 interpolation, intended to cover the absence of the previous material. Berlioz’s original Act IV continues on from the first bar of page 125, until the sixth bar of page 173.

The recitative (Iopas, chante nous) and Iopas’ air (O blonde Cérès) falls directly after the sixth bar of page 173 (see IMSLP20310, pp.171–175, and the first two bars of p.176). This is omitted. The remainder of Act IV is intact.

Berlioz’s original Act V consisted of three tableaux; the first becomes the new “Act III”, the remainder becomes “Act IV”, in two tableaux.

Four bars of interjections from two sentinels are missing on pages 212–213 (cf IMSLP20310, p.209)

A duet Par Bacchus! ils sont fous avec leur Italie (Deux soldats) should follow directly after page 226. This is omitted (and was also cut from the 1863 VS, where pages 222–225 are missing).

Another air Errante, sur tes pas (Didon), which Berlioz was himself uncertain about including, should follow after the third-last bar of page 261. This is omitted from both the full score and the 1863 vocal score. The remainder of the first tableau follows intact to the end of page 265.

Pages 266–279 comprise the interpolation of an Intermezzo, which is an abridged version of the Marche troyenne (comprising IMSLP58511 pp.1–12, the upbeat and last two bars of p.28, and pp.29–32)

The opening of the second tableau of Act V, Va, ma sœur, l’implorer (Didon) is largely omitted, replaced by first six bars of page 280 (also partially cut from IMSLP20310, pp.257–262, and the first bar of p.263).

A cut of 47 bars (Et voilà donc la foi) after the fourth bar of page 285 (see IMSLP20310, p.265, beginning at tenth bar; finishing at the third-last bar of p.267).

A partial cut of 11 bars (Son regard m’épouvante) starting after fourth-last bar of page 286 (see IMSLP20310, p.269, beginning at the third bar in the vocal parts, and finishing at the second-last bar).

A cut of 2 bars directly after the first beat on p.288, and Didon’s cries from these and the following three bars of p.288 (cf IMSLP20310, p.270).

A large cut to the Ceremonie funèbre (Dieux de l’oubli, etc.) after the second bar of p.295, comprising the first section and middle of the movement (see IMSLP20310, p.275, beginning at the third bar and finishing at the third bar of p.280).

The remainder of the Act V is intact; the full score finishes with the short version of the Imprecation rather than the longer version Berlioz originally composed and rejected (see the New Berlioz Edition, volume 2c).

Vocal Scores

IMSLP27406, “Part I” – La prise de Troie

This vocal score is the second edition with a new piano reduction replacing Berlioz’s original, and its production probably precedes the full score, because of the curious division of the final tableau into two parts. This division does not appear in the full score (correctly).

IMSLP20310, “Part II” – Les Troyens à Carthage

The first vocal score was privately published by Berlioz in 1862; five final copies, and three draft versions, are the only extant examples of this score (the drafts preserve the only known music for the earlier revision of Act I, including the scene with a Greek spy).

In 1863 Choudens reprinted the vocal score in two volumes, reflecting the alterations forced upon Berlioz by the abridged performance in that year. As performances suffered further cuts, Choudens trimmed the vocal score on sale to match. This volume of Les Troyens à Carthage therefore represents one of the stages in the abridgment of the opera. Acts I and II are of course relegated to Choudens’ other volume; the score includes the 1863 additions, consisting of the Prélude à Les Troyens à Carthage and the prologue (Legende) incorporating the Marche troyenne and the final section of Act I, which were composed and re-arranged to cover the omission of those acts.

There are three further cuts in this score, in Acts IV and V: the Act IV duet of Anna and Narbal; the Act V duet of two Trojan soldiers, and the confrontation between Énée and Didon at the end of the same tableau.

Note: Act III is renamed as “Act I”; the two tableaux of Act IV become “Acts II and III” respectively; the first tableau of Act V is renamed as “Act IV”, and the remainder of the Act remains as “Act V”. (Note that in the full score, the first tableau of the original Act IV is omitted entirely, so that in its renamed guise there are only four acts, not five as in this vocal score.)