Hector Berlioz was undoubtedly one of the pioneers among the great reformers of music of the 19th century. He was better able than anyone to make use of the potential of the orchestra, was highly expressive in his harmony, often took literary examples as his guide in shaping his theory of musical form, and pursued structural unity by means of a sort of leitmotiv, his ‘ide?e fixe’. We come across all these innovations, which were later eagerly put to use by Liszt and Wagner of the Neudeutsche Schule, both in Harold en Italie, a symphony with obbligato viola based on the literary work by Lord Byron, and in the Symphonie fantastique, an autobiographical work in which the composer is driven to madness by his passionate love. Both works are groundbreaking in many ways and are among the great masterpieces of French musical history. Alain Altinoglu, a famous exponent of this period, takes us on a musical journey.