Berliozs opera Benvenuto Cellini was first produced in Paris in 1838 but was withdrawn as a failure, and it was not until the production in Dresden in 1888 that it was finally acclaimed by the Germans as a triumph. Adapted from certain episodes recorded in the memoirs of Benvenuto Cellini, Tuscan sculptor and goldsmith, the story, laid in Rome during the mid-sixteenth century, is not strictly historical. The short opening Allegro, marked deciso con impeto, is conceived in the most brilliant Berlioz manner, utilising full instrumentation. In the Larghetto we meet at once the first of the opera themes “ the Cardinals aria (from the last act) introduced in the bass, quasi pizzicato. A second melody leads to a resumption of the Allegro, the contrasting second subject in the tenor horns being an adaptation of Teresas aria (Act I). Towards the end the Cardinal theme is re-introduced by trombones, fortissimo against an energetic cornet and euphonium passage (senza stringendo “ without hurry, says the score). After a unison passage storming skywards, there is a sudden, dramatic three-bar silent pause broken by Eb basses alone, again stating the Cardinal theme. A simple molto crescendo on the dominant, begun piano, leads to the long, resounding chord.