Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It was at this period [in 1826] that I composed my first large-scale piece of instrumental music, the overture to Les Francs Juges... At the time I was so ignorant of the mechanism of some instruments that after writing the solo in D flat for the trombones I was worried it might be immensely difficult to perform. I anxiously went to show it to one of trombone players at the Opéra. He looked at the passage and put my mind completely at rest, saying 'On the contrary, the key of D flat is one of those most suited to this instrument, and you can be sure that your passage will be extremely effective.' I was so overjoyed by this assurance that on returning home, lost in my thoughts, I did not pay attention to where I was stepping, and I sprained my ankle. As a result every time I hear that piece my foot hurts. Others perhaps get a headache.

from 'Memoirs', Hector Berlioz