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Berlioz�s leanings towards music were an anomaly in his family. His father, a doctor and prominent citizen of La Cote-St-Andre, Isere where Hector was born on 11 December 1803, intended his son to follow his own profession, so at the age of 17 he went to Paris to pursue a medical career. He became a habitu� of the Opera, and in the face of an increasing weakening of his slight interest in medicine and parental displeasure he soon abandoned his medical studies in favour of a career in music. His modest income as a professional musician was eked out at first by singing in a theatre chorus and by giving guitar lessons. Berlioz wrote no solo music for the piano and no chamber music exists; he composed mainly for voices and instruments in many combinations and genres. The shepherds bid farewell to the Holy Family (to give it it�s full title) comes from the second part of his Sacred Trilogy L�Enfance du Christ; it was originally scored for two oboes, two clarinets, chorus and strings � here it is in an arrangement for string quartet.
This series of arrangements for string quartet is aimed at string quartets� that are building a repertoire of incidental popular classics and �easy listening� music for social functions of every kind. In preparation also at the time of writing is a collection of the most popular hymns taken from the English Hymnal for string quartet with optional chamber organ. From time to time I shall add further pieces thus building the availability of music that is well known to the general public. String quartets should contact me if they have any particular requests, but here I must stress that strict copyright restrictions may apply for certain commissions.
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