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Image of Tuba Mirum Spargens Sonum

Henri Fantin-Latour (aka Ignace Henri Jean Theodore Fantin-Latour)
French, 1836–1904

Tuba Mirum Spargens Sonum


Object Type: Print
Creation Place: Northern Europe, French
9 3/16 in. x 6 1/4 in. (23.34 cm x 15.88 cm)
Medium and Support: Lithograph on paper
Accession Number: 1982.0014

Credit Line: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase

"Tuba Mirum Spargens Sonum" (i.e., “the shrill sound of the trumpet”) depicts the composer Hector Berlioz (French, 1803–1869) posthumously, baton in hand, standing at a podium with his music before him. A band of angels responds to his direction with their trumpets. The angel floating in the middle of the composition, her wings spread and eyes closed, appears to be enraptured by the music, which is surely the passage from the "Tuba mirum" portion of Berlioz’s "Requiem" ("Grande messe des morts", 1837) commissioned by the French government and composed in memory of French soldiers who fell capturing the town of Constantine in 1837. In addition to orchestrating a symphony of unprecedented size for the music’s premier, Berlioz featured four groups of trumpets positioned on the corners of the stage to evoke the effect on Judgment Day, when trumpets will sound from the four corners of the earth, calling all believers to heaven.

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