Hector Berlioz (11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869) was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts (Requiem). Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works; as a conductor, he performed several concerts with more than 1,000 musicians. He also composed around 50 songs. His influence was critical for the further development of Romanticism, especially in composers like Richard Wagner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and many others.
C'est la vraie voix féminine de l'orchestre, voix passionnée et chaste en même temps, déchirante et douce, qui pleure et crie et se lamente, ou chante et prie et rêve, ou éclate en accents joyeux, comme nulle autre pourrait le faire. - That is, in fact, the true female voice of the orchestra – a voice at once passionate and chaste, heart-rending, yet soft, which can weep, sigh, and lament, chant, pray, and muse, or burst forth into joyous accents, as none other can do. - Grand Traité d'Instrumentation et d'Orchestration Modernes (1844) ; Mary Cowden Clarke (trans.) A Treatise upon Modern Instrumentation and Orchestration (London: J. Alfred Novello, 1856) p. 25. - Of the violin.