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Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in music
One of Berlioz’s finest and most original works was inspired by an 1827 Paris performance he attended of 'Romeo and Juliet' (pictured) which starred his beloved Harriet Smithson. The eventual composition was made possible by a generous gift from Paganini. After hearing a performance of Berlioz's ‘Harold en Italie,’ the great violinist knelt before the composer and hailed him as the heir of Beethoven.