Berlioz, writing to his sister about his work on the Requiem

I found it hard to get on top of my subject; to begin with, I was so wildly intoxicated by the poetry of the Prose des morts that my brain could form no clear ideas, my head was boiling and I was giffy. Today the eruption is under control, the lava has formed its bed and, with God’s help, all will be well. It’s a grand affair. No doubt I shall once more bring upon myself the reproach of innovation, because it has been my wish to recall this area of the art to the truth from which Mozart and Cherubini seem to me too often to have strayed. Then there are some startling combinations which, I’m glad to say, have never been tried before and which, I think, I’m the first to consider.

-written April 17th, 1837. Translated by Roger Nichols