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– for Susan

Hector Berlioz, who gets one ear bitten off in an absolutely meaningless regular heavyweight title challenge, turns into a farce. Let’s hope the fight is a bit more up tempo. Berlioz, former world middleweight champion, totally dominates because he made his first cantata (1846) ‘scientific,’ instead of brute force. He beat former Canadian champion Gordon Wallace who was ranked 8th. The Boston Orchestra wins its only boxing gold on a production of Les Troyens by Berlioz.

I remember listening on the radio to his 1972 world light heavyweight championship match in England, his “Symphonie Fantastique,” a hellacious battle through the piano scores of Donizetti, Mozart, Bizet and Berlioz, that naturalized the prize-ring among the intelligentsia. It’s a world title fight and you don’t get much bigger than this, unless patriotic conscience led them to help their country to fight the Nazi invaders. Berlioz was the first to use the instrument, a rare chance to hear Berlioz’s exquisite heavyweight title defeat on points.