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Period Romantic (1820 -1910) Frdric Chopin Waltz in C-sharp Minor Johannes Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G Minor Times of Change The term Romanticism describes a way of thinking that influenced much of the philosophy, literature, and visual arts of the early 19th century. The Romantics were excited by the upheavals that followed the French Revolution in European politics and were fascinated by the power of the individual. The expression of emotions became an important component of all art forms. Poetry, literature, theater, music, and the graphic arts often depicted individuals who gave full rein to their feelings and lived in a private world of emotions and solitary dreams. The idealistic "hero" figure represented the grandest possibilities of each individual. Romanticism began at the end of the 18th century as a literary concept and was more of an attitude of mind than an actual code. Romantics rejected the supposedly cold, intellectual, logical approach of the Classical period. Instead, they trusted in the instinctive truth of their own emotions. Rules no longer circumscribed what could be achieved. Arts One of the main characteristics of Romantic music is its strong relationship with other art forms, in particular with painting and literature. Romantic writers, fascinated by the macabre and fantastic, often chose to depict a supernatural world in works like The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe. The Romantic poetry of Byron and Goethe inspired the art of Eugne Delacroix (1768-1863), who, in turn, painted a portrait of his friend Chopin. Franz Schubert was enchanted by the poetry of Schiller, and created many beautiful songs from the texts of his poems. Romanticism gave new life to opera. The German composer Richard Wagner, among others, envisioned opera as a combination of all the arts. The Symphonie Fantastique One piece stands out during this time as a radical departure from musical norm. A symphony about a heartbroken man who takes opium and starts having wild hallucinations about the object of his unrequited love, is hardly a traditional topic. Starting with an unconventional five movement structure, the Symphonie Fantastiquewidely regarded as the embodiment of the program symphonyshowcases Berlioz's fierce individuality as an artist. The five individual movements are labeled: 1. Rveries - Passions (Dreams, Passions) 2. Un bal (A Ball) 3. Scne aux champs (Scene at the Country) 4. Marche au supplice (March to the Scaffold) 5. Songe d'une nuit de sabbat (Dream of a Witches' Sabbath) 6. Sociocultural influences on artists 7. Beethoven died in March of 1827 in Vienna. He was 56. The last of the great classical composers, he was also the first of the Romantics. The start of the Romantic movement in music traditionally dates from his death. Beethoven had broken just about every rule, and no one that lived after him could be anything but aware of his legacy. Not only did he change the face of music, he changed its image. He started the cult of the composer as an individual and refused to accept that the artist was subservient to his patron, as Haydn had been only some years earlier. Beethoven showed that the creative artist was above service to nobility. Music should be made for music's sake. This was to become a cornerstone of the Romantic creed. 8. The dissolution of the aristocracies and the rise of the Industrial Revolution meant that composers had to find new ways to earn a living. The men who became the pillars of 19th-century society were the new men: the bankers, the politicians, the generals, and the industrialists. Few had time for music unless it was for a ceremonial occasion. The old relationship between the artist and his patron vanished. The days when composers such as Haydn could live off the patronage of a royal family or work for the church for their entire career were over. Instead, composers now needed to earn their livelihood by performing, writing and publishing music, or from commissions. Some composers such as Franz Schubert, struggled under this new order of things. Franz Liszt and Frdric Chopin traded on their fame as performers and Robert Schumann on his reputation as a critic to finance their primary interest, which was composing. Still others, including Gaetano Donizetti, accommodated their compositions to public taste, knowing that the success of one piece meant the probability of being able to sell another. 9. Even though the standard of living for the majority of the population in the 19th century remained extremely low, higher wages allowed the emerging middle class to enjoy musical luxuries, such as learning an instrument or attending a concert. A rising middle class joined civic choruses, bands, and choral societies; in fact, choral music enjoyed its highest popularity since the Renaissance with the emergence of such choral groups. Johannes Brahms, Hector Berlioz, Giuseppe Verdi, and Felix Mendelssohn, are among the important choral composers of the 19th century that benefited from this trend. Romantics rejected the supposedly cold, intellectual, logical approach of the classical period. Instead, they trusted in the instinctive truth of their own emotions... 10.The dissolution of the aristocracies and the rise of the Industrial Revolution meant that composers had to find new ways to earn a living. The men who became the pillars of 19th-century society were the new men: the bankers, the politicians, the generals, and the industrialists. Few had time for music unless it was for a ceremonial occasion. The old relationship between the artist and his patron vanished. The days when composers such as Haydn could live off the patronage of a royal family or work for the church for their entire career were over. Instead, composers now needed to earn their livelihood by performing, writing and publishing music, or from commissions. Some composers such as Franz Schubert, struggled under this new order of things. Franz Liszt and Frdric Chopin traded on their fame as performers and Robert Schumann on his reputation as a critic to finance their primary interest, which was composing. Still others, including Gaetano Donizetti, accommodated their compositions to public taste, knowing that the success of one piece meant the probability of being able to sell another. 11.Even though the standard of living for the majority of the population in the 19th century remained extremely low, higher wages allowed the emerging middle class to enjoy musical luxuries, such as learning an instrument or attending a concert. A rising middle class joined civic choruses, bands, and choral societies; in fact, choral music enjoyed its highest popularity since the Renaissance with the emergence of such choral groups. Johannes Brahms, Hector Berlioz, Giuseppe Verdi, and Felix Mendelssohn, are among the important choral composers of the 19th century that benefited from this trend. Even though the standard of living for the majority of the population in the 19th century remained extremely low, higher wages allowed the emerging middle class to enjoy musical luxuries, such as learning an instrument or attending a concert... Painting Vincent Van Gogh (Self portrait in 1887) Romanticism in the visual arts extends roughly from 1800 to 1850. Where the Classical and Neoclassical Periods cultivated emotional restraint and clarity of form and expression, romantic outpouring is reflected in the paintings of Francisco Goya and Ferdinand Delacroix, although it is probably the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh that most aptly exemplifies the extremes of Romanticism. In the late 19th century, impressionists, such as Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, and Claude Monet, influenced all of the arts, including music. The work of Henri Rousseau, for example, anticipated 20th century primitivism. Sculpture Sculpture in the Romantic era was naturalistic and emotional. Two important pieces of the time were both called The Kiss: Auguste Rodins 1886 version was emotional and naturalistic; Constantin Brncuis, created in 1908, was much more simplistic, focusing more on the form rather than emotion. The Kiss Auguste Rodin (1886) Architecture The Kiss Constantin Brncui (1908) Eiffel Tower (Under construction in 1888) The Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889 for the Paris World Exhibition, where the composer Claude Debussy first heard the Javanese gamelan music that would have such a strong impact on him. The art of architecture was greatly affected by advances made in the Industrial Revolution. Cast iron as structural material revolutionized architecture. One of the great architectural accomplishments of the Romantic era was the Crystal Palace in London. Built by the greenhouse designer Joseph Paxton (1801-1856) for the Great Exhibition of 1851, and sponsored by Prince Albert, the Crystal Palace was the first prefabricated building and forerunner of the steel and glass architecture of the 20th century. As such, it is a significant step in the history of architecture. From 1887 to 1889, Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923) erected the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Mocked at first as a monstrosity, but soon after that an emblem of modernity, it was built of wrought iron on a reinforced concrete base. At its completion, it stood at 984 ft., which made it the tallest building in the worldit still is the tallest structure in Paris. It remained so until 1930 when the Chrysler Building was erected in New York City. Guaranty Building In the Industrial Age ornamental architecture gave way to functionality in design. The prime architectural expression of industrial and technical power inevitably became the skyscraper. In 1894, the American architect Louis Sullivan (1856-1924), mentor of Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) and considered by many as the "Father of Modernism," designed the Guaranty Building in Buffalo, New York. Embodying Sullivan's motto of "form follows function," this building exemplifies structural simplicity made possible only by its steel frame, a feature which did away with the limitations of masonry and allowed cities to grow upward for the first time. Literature In the early part of the century, writers emerged as some of Romanticisms leading proponents. Novelist Victor Hugo in France, poets John Keats and Percy Shelley in England, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in the United States are among the writers who reflected the Romantic aesthetic in their works. Later, Charles Dickens, Honor de Balzac, Georges Sand, Edgar Allan Poe, Alexandre Dumas, Henrik Ibsen, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Mark Twain created some of the worlds most enduring literary works. Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sren Kierkegaard wrote philosophical works that sought to change humanitys view of itself. In the mid-1880s the age of the realistic novel emerged with novelists, such as the Bront sisters and Herman Melville. The new reverence for nature that characterized Romantic thought was illustrated in Ralph Waldo Emersons works. Edgar Allen Poes The Raven exemplified a fascination with the irrational and the supernatural. Scientific Progress Charles Darwin The 19th century in Europe was an era of enormous progress, especially in science. Steam engines were invented, and railways began to crisscross the landscape. Louis Pasteur (18221895) developed and proved the theory that germs cause disease, invented pasteurization, and developed vaccines for deadly diseases including rabies. In 1859, Charles Darwin (1809-1882) presented to an astonished world his theory of evolution in the groundbreaking work On the Origin of Species. In 1899, the Viennese neurologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) laid the foundation for psychoanalytic theory in his most important work The Interpretation of Dreams. His work had a profound influence on 20th century art, especially on the surrealists, who, in their effort to gain access to the secrets of the unconscious, created new art forms and techniques. Freud's work had a profound influence on 20th century art, especially on the surrealists who, in their effort to gain access to the secrets of the unconscious, created new art forms and radically new techniques... Sigmund Freud General Characteristics of Romantic Music (1) Western art and music production and consumption grew exponentially in the 19th century. Music became increasing available to larger numbers of people. Composers were given a new role in society, fulfilling both the greater demand for music and the expressive freedom that was given to them. It is difficult to succinctly describe each of the characteristics that makes the music of this period uniquely Romantic. The following are, nonetheless, broad generalizations that describe some of the general trends and features that help us distinguish Romantic music from that of other time periods. Rhythm RHYTHM1 Composers in the Romantic period explored new ways to use rhythm to make their music emotionally expressive. They used faster tempos, and would often change tempos within a piece. For example, there are many tempo changes in the final two and a half minutes of the Triumphal March from Verdis opera Aida. Giuseppe Verdi Triumphal March from Aida (2:29) Romantic composers also created complex and irregular rhythm patterns and adopted folk rhythms. Rubatoslight variations in tempo that performers use to add expression to the music was a common practice in Romantic music to a much greater degree than in previous periods. The expressiveness of rubato can be heard in this excerpt from Waltz in C-sharp Minor by Frdric Chopin: RHYTHM4 Frdric Chopin Waltz in C-sharp Minor (0:54) Test Yourself Fast tempo with accented rhythms based on folk dances can be heard in the following excerpt from the Slavonic Dance No. 8 by Antonin Dvorak: Slaconicdance Antonin Dvorak Slavonic Dance No. 8 (1:28) An example of increasing tempo (accelerando) and the increasing excitement that goes with it, can be heard in this excerpt from the familiar In the Hall of the Mountain King by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg: RHYTHM3 Edvard Grieg In the Hall of the Mountain King (0:53) Test Yourself Melody Melody has always been an essential element of music, but it was particularly important to most Romantic composers. Romantic melodies tend to be long and flowing; they are very singable melodies and are considered to be emotionally expressive. Romantic composers often use long melodies as the themes in a composition, then use fragments of those melodies as material for other sections of the same piece. More importantly, composers of this period did not feel restricted to the seven tones of a particular scale, and freely made chromatic alterations in their melodies. A good example of a characteristic Romantic melody is found in the first movement of Franz Schuberts 8th Symphony known as the Unfinished Symphony. Notice the extraordinary richness with which Schubert treats the melody in the short two minutes that the following excerpt lasts: Unfinished Franz Schubert Symphony No.8 in B Minor, Unfinished - First Movement (2:00) The flowing quality of the melody in this excerpt from the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi is also typical of Romantic period melodies. Notice especially the upward sweep in the 4th and final phrase of this excerpt. Aidaflowing melody Giuseppe Verdi Aida (0:45) Another example of a flowing melodythis time we can almost say literally flowingcan be found in the River Theme from The Moldau by Bedrich Smetana: smetanarivertheam Bedrich Smetana River Theme from The Moldau (2:04) And still another in O Mio Babino Caro from Puccinis opera Gianni Schicchi: Giacomo Puccini O Mio Babino Caro from Gianni Schicchi (1:45) Meet Franz Schubert One of the mysteries of Franz Schuberts life is the large number of missing compositions. After his death, his brother Ferdinand found a treasure trove of unfinished works, sketches, and notebooks. Two movements of a symphony found posthumously amongst Schuberts scores are now known as the B-Minor Unfinished Symphony. Furthermore, the absence of a date for this work adds to the mystery. The first movement displays a range of musical ideas and emotions reminiscent of Beethoven. Yet, while the structure is clearly Romantic, Schuberts harmonic language reflects a much firmer commitment to Romanticism. Actually, he is often called the Classic Romanticist, because his music, at its core, is Classic with an overlay of Romantic form. General Characteristics of Romantic Music (2) Harmony in Romantic Music In their quest for new, more expressive sonorities, Romantic composers did not feel restricted to the harmonic limitations established in earlier times. The result was more dissonant sounds and frequent departures from tonal centers. This was accomplished by inserting unexpected tones in chords and melodies or by sudden shifts in tonal center. Felix Mendelssohn The following excerpt from Hear My Prayer by Felix Mendelssohn uses chromatically altered tones in a melody, i.e. tones that are not part of the scale on which the piece is built. This blurs the tonal center and establishes some unusual harmonic relationships. The excerptpart of a much larger work that includes a full choiris sung by a boy soprano. The melody at the beginning clearly establishes a tonality, but as the piece progresses there are more and more chromatic alterationsthose notes that don't belong in the scale. After a few chromatic passages, the original melody returns to re-establish tonality when the choir enters. Felix Mendelssohn Hear My Prayer (2:31) Richard Wagner Combinations of tones that create altered chords and dissonance can be heard in this excerpt from Richard Wagner's The Ride of the Valkyries. Wagner's music pushed the limits of the traditional Western European harmonic language to its breaking point and opened the door for future developments in chromaticism and atonal music, music without a tonal center. Richard Wagner The Ride of the Valkyries (1:24) March to the Scaffold from Berliozs Symphony Fantastique provides another example of the rich harmonies and massive orchestral effects that emerged during the Romantic period. Hector Berlioz March to the Scaffold from Symphonie Fantastique (1:55) Dynamics in Romantic Music Dynamics is a crucial element of musical expression, so it is not surprising that composers in the Romantic period explored the extremes of the dynamic rangeextremely soft or extremely loud soundsin their dynamic markings. These changes in dynamic level could be were gradual or extremely sudden. This excerpt from the beginning of Bruckners Symphony No. 4 in E-flat Major begins very softly, but soon increases to fortissimo, the Italian term meaning very loud. Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 4 in E-flat (0:55) Test Yourself Texture in Romantic Music Anton Bruckner It can be said that a significant percentage of Romantic music has a rich texture. Romantic composers continued to use polyphony to create multiple, independent layers of sound, but this texture was typically combined with more homophonic sections within the same piece. Given the larger orchestras and technically improved instruments at their disposal, Romantic composers were able to employ a much larger palette of sounds, both homophonically and polyphonically, and produce thicker sounds than was ever possible in earlier periods. Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 4 in E-flat, Movement I (0:55) Thick textures can be achieved in orchestral music by adding more and more instruments, as in the above example, later in the same first movement of Bruckners Symphony No. 4 in E-flat. Frdric Chopin Any of the examples on this page would be a good illustration of the wide array of sounds and effects used by Romantic composers. They come, however, from large groups. The following excerpt from Chopins Polonaise in A-flat, however, illustrates how Romantic composers sought to achieve the same effects on the pianothe quintessential Romantic instrument. In the closing moments of this Polonaise, Chopin was able to produce a large number of sustained tones, creating thick, full, rich-sounding chordal textures that convey powerful patriotic feelings. Frdric Chopin Polonaise in A-flat (1:12) Test Yourself Form in Romantic Music Many Romantic composers worked within the previously established structures, but pushed the limits in new and innovative ways to meet their expressive needs. For example, music from the Baroque and Classical periods typically consisted of phrases that had clear beginnings and endings. Romantic composers, on the other hand, frequently extended phrases, overlapping beginnings and endings as in this example from Wagners Overture to the opera Tristan and Isolde. Richard Wagner Overture to Tristan and Isolde (2:29) The sonata allegro form continued to provide a very useful basic structure for major works, such as symphonies, concertos, and sonatas. Composers in the Romantic period, however, saw the development section, as well as the transitions between sections as opportunities for creative expression and proceeded to expand those sections. Sometimes the transitions became longer than the thematic statements themselves. Romantic composers also frequently added introductions and codas to traditional forms. In some instances codas became second development sections. This resulted in longer and longer works. For example, a symphony by Mahler is over one hour in length, while some of the early symphonies of Mozart were only 12 minutes-long. Freer forms also emerged during this period, especially in the many pieces for piano and art songs. Tone poems were free-form works for orchestra. Romantic composers, nonetheless, still found ways to follow the basic artistic principle of unity and contrast. The Transition Into Romanticism The transition from Classicism to Romanticism begins with Beethoven, a man whose music synthesizes the Viennese Classicism of Haydn and Mozart with the emotional expressionism of Romanticism. During the first three decades of the new century, several other composers also wrote music that exhibited traits of both periods. These "transitional" composers include: Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, and the Italian opera composers, Gioacchino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, and Gaetano Donizetti. Schubert: The Classic Romanticist In music, as in all walks of life, there are figures who die prematurely, prompting us to wonder, "what if?" There is no shortage of composers who fall into this category: Mozart, Chopin, Mendelssohn, and Schumann immediately come to mind. Perhaps the question is no more tantalizing, however, than when we consider Franz Schubert. Schubert plays for his friends The transition from Classicism to Romanticism begins with Beethoven. a man whose music synthesizes the Viennese Classicism of Haydn and Mozart with the emotional expressions of Romanticism... Schubert: Early Life and Works Franz Peter Schubert was born in Vienna on January 31, 1797. His father was a schoolmaster, who, along with Franz' oldest brother, was responsible for the young composer's earliest musical training. Schubert was accepted into the Imperial Chapel-Royal at the age of 11 and became a fixture in the seminary's music program, where he was immersed in the religious works of Anton Diabelli, Mozart, Cherubini, and Haydn. His first two compositions, both religious choral works, were written in 1812. The next year he began lessons in composition with Antonio Salieri. Schubert's father desired that his son would become a teacher. Franz, however, turned to composing full-time in 1817. Test Yourself Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel Gretchen am Spinnrade (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel) is the tale of a young maiden spinning at the wheel, wondering if her lover will come home. The song, written in 1814, is a setting of words by Goethe, the first of Schubert's Goethe settings. Gretchen, seduced by Faust, awaits the return of her lover. Listen for the depiction of the spinning wheel in the accompaniment and how the wheel comes to a stop when she breaks down emotionally. Schubert: Early Works (continued) The Erlknig is only one of hundreds of songs that show Schuberts unfailing inspiration and his extraordinary coupling of words with music, in which both melody and piano accompaniment serve a dramatic purpose. The poems that he chose, however, vary in quality, with more than seventy settings by Goethe, and other verses by less gifted contemporaries and friends, works that the music has given life and eternity. Schubert wrote nearly 1000 compositions, including over 600 songs. In 1815 alone, at the age of 18, he wrote 144 songs and dozens of larger works... Manuscript of Schubert's Octet As we have seen, the traits of Romanticism first began to appear in songs. Schubert's genius is first apparent in his lieder of 1814 and 1815. He was equally comfortable writing strophic, modified strophic, or through-composed lieder. But three features stand out, even in his earliest works: Schubert's innate gift for lyricism, his innovative accompaniments, and his harmonic invention. The two songs you have heard, both written in 1815, show all three traits. Schubert's Mature Works: Style and Contributions The Unfinished Symphony stands as one of the most remarkable symphonic pieces of the early Romantic era. The first movement displays a range of musical ideas and emotions reminiscent of Beethoven. And yet while the structure of both of the final symphonies are clearly romantic in structure, Schuberts harmonic and expressive language reflects a firm commitment to Romanticism. Thus he is often called the Classic Romanticist, because his music is Classic at its core with an overlay of romantic form Symphony No.8 in B Minor, Unfinished: I. Allegro moderato Meet Franz Schubert Schubert was relatively unknown for 40 years after his death. It was not until Johannes Brahms began to bring to light some of Schuberts music that the entire musical world finally began to fully appreciate his genius. We can now say with certainty that Schubert and his music represent: 1. The rise of Romanticism: Schuberts music provides evidence that while Beethoven was still stretching the limits of Romantic form, some composers were prepared to step out of the mold entirely into new harmonic structures and expressive idioms. 2. A new, lyrical kind of melody: The most important element of his music is the lyrical, flowing melodic line that distinguishes all of his great work. Schubert was, above all else, a melodist. 3. A daring new harmony: While the Romantic composers primarily used the tonic/dominant key relationship in modulations, only rarely moving to more daring key changes, Schubert moved freely from the tonic to distant keys, creating startling key changes and daring harmonic shifts. In his Mass in A-flat major, Schubert moved in six short measures from the key of A-flat major, to B minor, to E major, to D-flat major. 4. Romantic themes: Particularly in his songs, Schubert used stories dealing with the natural (Die Forelle, Heidenrslein) or supernatural world (Erlknig). Although he died at the young age of 31, Schubert wrote nearly 1000 compositions, including over 600 songs. In 1815 alone, at the age of 18, he wrote 144 songs and dozens of larger works. His short life belies a musical mind overflowing with new ideas and a zeal for producing copious amounts of music. The fact that his greatest works were produced during his final five years lead us to ask the question what if? and marvel at the possible answers. Felix Mendelssohn Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny (1805-1847) grew up in a home surrounded by intellectuals. Their grandfather, Moses Mendelssohn, was a well-known Jewish philosopher. The model for G. E. Lessing's Nathan the Wise, Moses was admired as the epitome of tolerance in a generally intolerant world. Mendelssohn studied music with Carl Zelter, who regarded the boy as a second Mozart. In fact, Mendelssohn was not only an incredibly gifted musician, but was also an accomplished painter and writer. Fanny Mendelssohn by Carl Joseph Begas An accomplished pianist and composer in her own right, the social restrictions of the times didn't allow her to become a professional musician like her brother. Though Mendelssohn revered the music of Beethoven and Mozart, he also cherished the music of Bach. Mendelssohns admiration for Bach can be heard in his choral music. The polyphonic texture of his choral works such as St. Paul, Elijah, and Hear My Prayer, imitates Bachs choral treatment in his cantatas and passions. In 1829, the year after he completed his second cantata, entitled Jesu, meine Freude (Jesus, my friend), Mendelssohn conducted Bach's St. Matthew Passion to great critical acclaim. A second performance in honor of Bach's birthday was given that same year. Hear My Prayer Mendelssohn and Brahms, the two 19th century composers who best understood choral writing, also were the most knowledgeable about 17th and 18th century music. Furthermore, they were also the most resistant to the extreme tendencies of the Romantic era. Nevertheless, Mendelssohn also encouraged Contemporary composers, even those for whom he felt little sympathy. In 1843, he established the Leipzig Conservatory. On November 4, 1847, six months after the death of his beloved sister, Fanny, Mendelssohn died. He was only 38 years old. At the time of his death he was considered the most important figure in both German and English musical culture. A Midsummer Night's Dream: Scherzo Felix Mendelssohn Born: 1809 Died: 1847 Period: Romantic Country: Germany Felix Mendelssohn Meet Felix Mendelssohn Mendelssohn's Works Orchestral Works Mendelssohns symphonies adhere fairly strictly to Classical form and scope, particularly compared to the more effusive works of some of his contemporaries, such as Hector Berlioz. It is precisely this simplistic element of Mendelssohns music that makes him a Classicist at heart. There is, however, a Romantic sparkle in his instrumental works that places him among the transitional composers. Italian Symphony Manuscript Between the ages of 12 and 14, while still a child, Mendelssohn wrote 13 string symphonies. Already a mature composer, from the age of 15 onwards he wrote five more symphonies for full orchestra. The Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op 56 nicknamed Scottish was the second in conception and the last in order of completion. Dedicated to Queen Victoria of the United Kingdoma great admirer of his musicits inspiration came from a visit to Scotland in 1829, but Mendelssohn did not complete it until 1842. The Symphony No. 4 in A Major, nicknamed Italian was completed in 1831 but, due to the composer's dissatisfaction with it and his intention of revising the first movement, it remained unpublished in Mendelssohn's lifetime. He developed the ideas for the symphony during his stay in Italy in 1831. In both works, Mendelssohn relies on regional dance rhythms to accurately depict the landscape in musical terms. For example, the second movement of the Scottish Symphony is built on the bright rhythmic pattern and pipe sounds reminiscent of a Scottish country dance. The final movement of the Italian Symphony is based on two traditional Italian dances, the saltarello and the Neapolitan tarantella. The Symphony No. 5 in D Major, nicknamed Reformation, written in 1832 to celebrate the third centenary of the Augsburg Confession, and the Symphony No. 2, the choral Lobgesang, written in 1840 to mark the fourth centenary of the invention of printing, are performed less frequently. Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Scottish: II. Vivace ma non troppo Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Italian: IV: Saltarello Gewandhaus Concert Hall Watercolor by Felix Mendelssohn. The music below the image is from Luigi Cherubini's Ali Baba copied in Mendelssohn's hand. In the orchestral works that are not symphonies, Mendelssohn operates as a true Romantic artist. The concert overture is a single-movement work designed to be a short attention grabber at the beginning of a concert. The overture Ruy Blas, completed in 1839, is based on the play by Victor Hugo. One of the greatest early examples of a concert overture is Mendelssohns Hebrides Overture also known as Fingals Cave, based on a poem by Goethe, a writer who had received the young Mendelssohn at Weimar and prophesied a successful career for him. Inspired by the composers travels, the work evokes a visit to Scotland and the sight of the sea surging over the Giant's Causeway. This piece is remarkable for its orchestral representation of the ocean. Hebrides Overture Orchestral representation of the ocean Audiences in the Romantic era were fascinated with program music, music that tells a story or paints a musical picture. The four main types of program music in the Romantic era were: 1. The symphonic poem 2. The program symphony 3. The concert overture 4. Incidental music Mendelssohn's Room in Leipzig Mendelssohn was director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig from 1835 to 1840. He made the Gewandhaus concerts internationally famous. The symphonic poem, a single-movement work that tells a story, is most frequently found in the music of the late-Romantic period. The program symphony is a multiple-movement symphony with a program. One of the best examples of a program symphony is the Symphonie Fantastique by the French composer Hector Berlioz. Composers wrote incidental music to be performed during a play. Its modern equivalent is music for film. Perhaps the greatest example of incidental music is Mendelssohns music for Shakespeares play Midsummer Nights Dream, Op.61 (1826) written when the composer was only 17-years-old, the same year that Beethoven's late quartets, Op.130, Op.131, Op.133, and Op.135 were published. The Scherzo evokes a delightful world of fairies and nymphs. In works such as these, Mendelssohn comes closer to the ideals of the Romantic composers. A Midsummer's Night Dream: Scherzo Fairies and nymphs Chamber Music Mendelssohn wrote his first chamber pieces at the age of ten. One of his most delightful works is the Octet for double string quartet, which was written to celebrate the birthday of a violinist friend in 1825. His early precocity is also evident in the equally fine Sextet for violin, two violas, cello, double bass and piano, written in 1824. Mendelssohn also composed two string quintets, six string quartets, and two late piano trios. The two Cello Sonatas and the Variations Concertantes for cello and piano, along with a late Song without Words for cello and piano comprise an important part of 19th century cello repertoire. Concertos The best known of Mendelssohn's concertos is probably the Violin Concerto in E Minor, written in 1844 and first performed in Leipzig the following year. He also wrote two piano concertos, the first written in 1831 and the second in 1837. Piano Music The 19th century was the age of the piano, a period in which the instrument became an essential item of household furniture and the center of domestic music making. Short piano pieces always found a ready market, but none were more successful than Mendelssohn's eight albums of Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words), a novel title that perfectly describes the length, quality, and intention of these short pieces. Stage Works Mendelssohn's music for the theater includes full incidental music for Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, written for the new King of Prussia and first used at Potsdam in 1843, preceded by the Overture written in 1826. The music captures the enchanted fairy world of the play. In connection with the King's attempts to revive Greek tragedy, Mendelssohn also wrote incidental music for Antigone and Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles, as well as for Racine's Athalie. ossini and Italian Opera Due in part to the spectacular popularity of opera, Italy became the center of European music during the Baroque and Romantic eras. Italy was the place where a young composer could truly make his mark in the world. At the same time, Italian musicians, composers, and poets were in high demand throughout the principal cities of Europe: Paris, Vienna, Bonn, and Salzburg. Ironically, Italian opera had changed very little since its inception in the early 17th century. During the 18th century its refinements were primarily melodic and formal. Hence, the dramatic elements of opera leading into the 19th century were relatively consistent. In the early years of the 19th century, several composers made substantial changes to the operatic landscape thereby clearing the way for later musical giants. These early Romantic composers inherited Mozarts operatic style that adhered fairly strictly to Italian traditions and romantic form. Gioacchino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, and Gaetano Donizetti, however, changed Italian opera in a relatively brief period of time, and paved the way for Italys two great late-Romantic opera composers: Verdi and Puccini. Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) Rossini was a composer whose melodic gifts and comic flair were perfectly suited for opera buffa. His abilities for both are aptly demonstrated in the aria Una voce poco fa from his masterpiece, The Barber of Seville. The Barber of Seville: Overture Gioacchino Rossini Born: 1792 Died: 1868 Period: Romantic Country: Italy Gioacchino Rossini Meet Gioacchino Rossini Rossini was a composer whose melodic gifts and comic flair were perfectly suited for opera buffa... During this transition into the Romantic era, Italian opera composers slowly adopted French opera trends and showed an influence of Beethovens symphonic music. As the staging became more elaborate, opera orchestras became larger. The inclusion of more brass and woodwinds increased the colors in the composers palette. The line between opera buffa and opera seria blurred, as did the line between recitative, aria, ensemble, and chorus. To see how one part of the operatic structure changed, compare Rossinis overture to The Barber of Seville (1816) to his overture to William Tell (1829). The earlier work has a simplified sonata-allegro form with a medium-sized orchestra. The later work is considerably longer, has more passages for winds and brass, and exhibits a more complex form. The Barber of Seville: Overture William Tell: Overture Gioacchino Rossini Rossini settled in Paris after 1829, living in comfortable retirement until his death in 1868. Rossini enjoyed a short and extremely successful career as a composer. His first opera, La cambiale di matrimonio, was written in 1810. His final work for the stage, William Tell, was written in Paris in 1829 with a libretto by Etienne Jouy and Hippolyte Bis, which was based on Friedrich Schiller's popular drama by the same name. Other operas had been commissioned in Paris, but the fall of the Bourbon King Charles X in 1830 concluded these plans. In 1836, he returned to Italy and, in spite of ill health, was involved in the administrative and academic affairs of the Liceo Musicale, a famous music school in Bologna. In 1853, having already retired from operatic composition after William Tell, he returned to Paris, where he enjoyed a reputation as an arbiter of musical taste, a wit, and a gourmet. Rossini devoted the last forty years of his life to piano music and sacred choral works, and to the enjoyment of the continued popularity of his works. By the 1850s, he had already taken his place atop the pantheon of Italian opera composers. Pierre Beaumarchais (1732-1799) "As long as I don't write about the government, religion, politics, and other institutions, I am free to print anything." Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) is probably the best known opera by Rossini. The work was inspired by the Figaro trilogy by Pierre Beaumarchais; this literary material also inspired Mozart thirty years earlier. Examples of opera buffa by Rossini include: La Scala di Seta (The Silken Ladder - 1812) Il Signor Bruschino (1813) L'Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers - 1813) Il Turco in Italia (The Turk in Italy - 1814) La Cenerentola (Cinderella - 1817) La Gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie - 1817) Otello - 1816) Semiramide - 1823) Mose in Egitto (Moses in Egypt - 1818) Guillaume Tell (William Tell - 1829) Examples of opera seria by Rossini include: The overtures to many of these operas are still frequently played in the concert halls all over the world. Vincenzo Bellini Although he only wrote ten operas, all of them opera seria, Bellini exercised considerable influence over contemporaries and successors alike. His melodies are among the most beautiful in Italian opera. His work incorporates Romantic themes and ideals; Norma and La Sonnambula (The Sleep-Walker) produced in Milan in 1831, for example, are based on Romantic or historical themes, instead of the literary stories found in 18th century opera seria. La Sonnambula: Come per me sereno Vincenzo Bellini Born: 1801 Died: 1835 Period: Romantic Country: Italy Vincenzo Bellini Meet Vincenzo Bellini Bellini's melodies are among the most beautiful to be found in Italian opera... Yet Bellinis music is still conservative, as evidenced in the soprano aria Come per me sereno (See how the day serenely) from La Sonnambula, an opera which was first performed at the Teatro Carcano, Milan, in 1831. In this aria, Amina, foster-daughter of Teresa, owner of the village mill, is set to marry Elvino. However, she walks in her sleep, and is discovered in the bedroom of Count Rodolfo. Rodolfo eventually puts matters right by convincing the villagers and Elvino that Amina is a sleepwalker. In Come per me sereno, Act I, Amina sings of her happiness at her betrothal to Elvino. Come per me sereno Other Bellini operas include a version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, I Capuletti i Montecchi (The Capulets and The Montagues) and I Puritani, premiered in Paris in 1835. Gaetano Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor: Orrida questa notte Gaetano Donizetti Born: 1797 Died: 1835 Period: Romantic Country: Italy Gaetano Donizetti Meet Gaetano Donizetti Donizetti was a commercially successful composer who often wrote quickly and according to what he felt the public would want to hear... Together with Bellini, Donizetti is of the generation of Italian opera composers who fit between Rossini and Verdi. Along with other composers of the period, he found inspiration in the novels of Sir Walter Scott. His opera Lucia di Lammermoor (1835) is based on The Bride of Lammermuir, a story that contains the necessary dramatic elements of love, revenge, and madness. The plot concerns the dispossessed landowner, Edgardo, who has lost both his ancestral Ravenswood Castle and his beloved Lucia, sister of his enemy Enrico. Act III of the opera opens at Wolfscrag Castle, where Edgardo now resides. It is a stormy night, hence the title Orrida questa notte (Horrible is this Night), and Edgardo is deep in thought. Horses approach, and Enrico bursts in, resolved to avenge his honor. Enrico tells Edgardo that Lucia is now married and challenges him to a duel to be fought at dawn. Orrida questa notte for baritone and tenor is a splendid example of Donizetti's compositional style, particularly his approach to writing operatic duets. Orrida questa notte (Horrible is this Night) With close to 70 comic and serious operas to his credit, Donizetti was one of Italys most prolific composers. He was a commercially successful composer, who often wrote quickly and according to what he felt the public would want to hear. Perhaps his most lasting legacy comes from Lucia di Lammermoor (1835), La Fille du Rgiment (Daughter of the Regiment) (1840), Lelisir damore (Elixir of Love) (1832), and Don Pasquale (1843). Hector Berlioz Although there is some disagreement as to when the Romantic era actually begins, there is little doubt that 1830 was a monumental year. By this time, Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert were no longer alive and Rossini had retired; furthermore, Bellini passed away only five years later. The earliest works of Romanticism (Schubert's lieder, Mendelssohn's Midsummer Nights Dream, and Rossini's William Tell) had already been written. After surviving the rise and fall of Napoleon, Europe entered the age of the Industrial Revolution. The first major work that stands as a hallmark of Romantic ideals is the Symphonie Fantastique (1830) by Hector Berlioz. By all measures, this program symphony is an enormous step: It has five movements, following the pattern of Beethovens 6th Symphony. It uses a massive orchestra with instrumental writing that is so detailed, rich, and colorful that Berlioz is considered today as the first master of the art of orchestration. Symphonie Fantastique: IV. March to the Scaffold Hector Berlioz Born: 1803 Died: 1869 Period: Romantic Country: France Hector Berlioz Meet Hector Berlioz The first major work that stands as a hallmark of Romantic ideals was written by a French composer named Hector Berlioz... The symphony introduces Berliozs ide fixe, a compositional device whereby a musical motive symbolizes a thing, a concept or, in this case, a person. This is not necessarily a new thought in program musicVivaldi used melodies to represent birds, wind, or ice in his Four Seasons, and Beethovens use of motivic development has layers of symbolism. The ide fixe, however, is new in that it explicitly states that it represents a character while simultaneously acting as a motif. In this work, the ide fixe is used in some form or other in each of the five movements as a unifying device. In this way, Berlioz foreshadows Wagners use of leitmotifs thirty years later, as well as John Williams Darth Vader theme by 140 years. Here, in the 4th movement, the hero is being marched to the scaffold. Just as the end is imminent, the ide fixe, representing the heros beloved, returns to mock him as the trap door opens. Symphonie Fantastique: IV. March to the Scaffold Clara Wieck and Robert Schumann Clara Wieck (1819-1896) and Robert Schumann (1810-1856) are one of the most famous couples in music history. Of the two, Robert is undoubtedly the better known composer. However, in addition to being a fine composer, Clara was also one of the first women virtuoso performers. Unfortunately, during her marriage to Robert, she gave up her musical career. After his death, she toured extensively as a solo performer with her friend the violinist, Joseph Joachim. In many ways Robert was a typical product of the age in which he lived, combining a number of the principal characteristics of Romanticism in his music and his life. Born in Zwickau in 1810, the son of a bookseller, publisher, and writer, he showed an early interest in literature. After brief study at university, he was allowed by his widowed mother and guardian to undertake serious study of the piano with Friedrich Wieck, whose favorite daughter Clara was later to become his wife. An injury to his right hand, however, stopped his dreams of becoming a virtuoso pianist. Both Robert and Clara were greatly influenced by literature. Schumann himself was a writer, and in his mid-20s founded an influential musical periodical, the New Journal of Music, in which he frequently published his own musical criticism. He wrote very favorably about both Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) and Frdric Chopin (1810-1849). Piano Sonata in G Minor III. Scherzo and Trio Clara Wieck Schumann Born: 1819 Died: 1896 Period: Romantic Country: Germany Clara Wieck Schumann Meet Clara Wieck Schuman Clara Wieck and Robert Schumann are one of the most famous couples in music history... Schumann seems to have been subject to sudden bouts of depression, and, on one occasion, attempted to take his own life. After his final mental collapse, around 1854, and his eventual commitment to a local insane asylum, Brahms and Clara developed a deep attachment towards each other, which resulted in a wonderful, enduring friendship. Clara published between 20 to 30 compositions, including a piano concerto, a piano trio in G minor, pieces for piano, and songs (lieder). Piano Music of Robert Schumann The music of Schumann, whether written for himself, for his wife, or, in later years, for his children, offers a wealth of piano music material. In fact, his entire early work as a composer (Opp. 1-23), except his one piano concerto, was written for piano solo. A master of the miniature, Schumann's piano compositions are, for the most part, loose collections of cycles unified by fanciful literary titles. From the earlier period comes Carnaval Op.9 (1835), a series of short musical scenes based on the letters of the composer's name and that of the town of Asch, home of Ernestine von Fricken, a fellow-student of Friedrich Wieck, to whom Schumann was briefly engaged. The same period brought the Davidsbndlertnze (Dances of the League of David) Op.6 (1837), a reference to the imaginary league of friends of art against the surrounding Philistines. This decade also brought the first version of the monumental Symphonic Studies Op.13 (1837) based on a theme by the father of Ernestine von Fricken, the Fantasy in C Major, Op.17 (1838), and the well known Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood) Op.15 (1838). Kreisleriana Op.16 (1838) has its literary source in the Hoffmann character Kapellmeister Kreisler, much as Papillons (Butterflies) Op.2 (1830) is based in the work of the writer Jean Paul. Noveletten shows a clear literary reference in the title itself. Later piano music includes the Album fr die Jugend (Album for the Young), Op.68 (1848), Waldszenen (Scenes of the Forest), Op.82 (1849), and the collected Bunte Bltter, Op.99 (1852) and Albumbltter Op.124 (1854) drawn from earlier work. Schumann's compositions also include a very popular Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op.54 (1845), violin, and cello concertos, four symphonies, a Piano Quintet in E flat Major, Op.44 (1842), and an extensive song output (more than 140), based on the writings of outstanding poets of his time including Goethe, Byron, and Heine among others. Piano Quintet in E flat Major, Op. 44: Scherzo Robert Schumann Born: 1810 Died: 1856 Period: Romantic Country: Germany Robert Schumann Virtuosos In every age there have been virtuoso performers. Vivaldi and Bach were considered virtuosos in their time, as were Mozart and Beethoven in theirs. The standards and expectations of one time period are bested by the next, as competition compels musicians to "out do" one another. During the 19th century, two remarkable musicians reached such a degree of mastery over their instrument; to this day, their names are still synonymous with virtuosity: Niccol Paganini and Franz Liszt. Niccol Paganini Twenty-four Caprices for the violin: Capriccio No. 1 Niccol Paganini Born: 1782 Died: 1840 Period: Romantic Country: Italy Niccol Paganini c.1819 Drawing by Jean Ingres Meet Niccol Paganini The virtuoso who set the standard for all performers to follow was violinist Niccol Paganini. In addition to his ability to play incredibly fast and complicated musical passages, Paganini was a consummate showman. He is said to have commented one time: I am not handsome, but when I play music, women throw themselves at my feet. Alessandro Rolla (1757-1841) Widely acknowledge during his time as a composer, teacher, and viola and violin virtuoso, he played an essential role in the development of the technique for both instruments. Having been taught the violin and the mandolin by his father from an early age, Paganini made his public debut when he was eight years old. After that early success, his father took him to Parma to study with Alessandro Rolla, a widely acknowledged violin and viola virtuoso, composer, and teacher, whose technical innovations such as left-hand pizzicato, double stops, chromatic scales, and octave passages influenced the young Paganini. Other influences include the now-forgotten August Duranowski, himself a pupil of the great Italian violinist Giovanni Battista Viotti, the French violinist Rodolphe Kerutzer, also influenced by Viotti, and the composer Pietro Locatelli, who a century earlier had also written a set of Twenty-four Caprices. Paganini was also a violist, guitarist, and composer, and delighted in writing extremely difficult pieces that only he could play, such as the Capricio No.1 from the Twenty-four Caprices for the violin, a collection written when he was only 16 years old, which, to this day, remains a compendium of technique for the instrument. The virtuoso who set the standard for all performers to follow was violinist Niccol Paganini... Poster advertising a Paganini concert in London, 1832 Despite losing enormous amounts of money at gambling, Paganini amassed a fortune as a virtuoso violinist. The poster above advertises a London concert at Covent Garden. It was not until 1809, however, that Paganini became a traveling virtuoso, first only in Italy, and later, at the age of 46 throughout the rest of Europe. He was 55 years old when he last appeared in public. However, his virtuoso career had a tremendous impact despite its brevity. Wherever he touredfor example, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, and London in 1828he performed to sold-out halls. Allegedly, every performer of the age longed to play his or her instrument with the same excellence and charisma as the famous Paganini. He was, without doubt, the most famous musician of his time. To his detractors, however, he was a charlatan who had entered a pact with the devilwhich was the only way to explain the incredible technical and musical feats that he was able to perform on the violin. 24 Caprices for Violin: No. 1 Paganini died in Nice on May 27, 1840. In his will, he left his famous Guarnerius violin to the city of Genoa. Denied burial by the catholic church for many years because of his alleged pact with the devil, his body was finally laid to rest in a cemetery in 1896. Paganini's 24 Caprices were published in 1820. He dedicated them "to the artists," probably knowing quite well that few, if any of the violinists of his day would be able to perform them. These masterful pieces have influenced entire generations of musicians. Among the most prominent composers that have written works based on them are Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Witold Lutoslawski. The beginning of the 19th century also saw the emergence of the guitar as a popular instrument. Originally, the guitar was dismissed as an instrument for gypsies a characterization that was not entirely untrue. The lute had been a favorite instrument in the Renaissance, but, with the development of the harpsichord, a more expressive and versatile instrument, fell into disuse in the Baroque era. The emergence of a middle class around the turn of the 18th century, meant that many more people could afford to buy an instrument, more often than not a guitar and sometimes a piano, and learn how to play it. As the guitar became more popular, virtuoso performers emerged. Among these figures were Ferdinando Carulli (1770-1841), Fernando Sor (1778-1839), Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829), who was a friend of Beethoven and Rossini, and Dionisio Aguado (1784-1849). The instrument that captured the musical hearts of audiences more than any other, however, was the piano. Since its development in the 18th century, the piano enjoyed a steady increase in popularity, due in part to the compositions of composers such as Mozart, Clementi, and Beethoven. In the early Romantic era, piano works by Schubert, Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann gained almost immediate popularity among amateurs and professionals alike. Franz Liszt Transcendental Etude No.3: La Campanella Franz Liszt Born: 1811 Died: 1886 Period: Romantic Country: France/Germany Franz Liszt Liszt is the embodiment of Romanticism and one of the most contradictory and influential figures in the history of Western music. He was born in Hungary, in the state of Prince Nicholas Esterhzy, where his father, Adam, was a cello player in the court orchestra. Although many think of him as a "Hungarian" composer, and the Hungarians themselves have claimed him as a national treasure, the fact remains that he was very much an international artist, a 'man of the world'. When he was ten, Liszt's family moved to Vienna, where he took piano lessons from Beethoven's pupil, Carl Czerny, and composition from Antonio Salieri. Two years later, in 1823, Liszt moved to Paris, where he became friends with, among many other figures of the day, Chopin, Victor Hugo, and Berlioz. By this time, Liszt was already famous throughout Europe. In 1830, Liszt heard the phenomenal violinist Paganini, and decided that he would develop similar technical wizardry at the keyboard. After three years of near seclusion, he emerged as the most astonishing pianist of his day. Transcendental Etude No.3: La Campanella Transcendental Etude No.5: Feux follets From 1835 until 1847, when he gave his last paid public concert, Liszt toured widely from England to Turkey, performing to adoring crowds wherever he went. His dazzling technique and personal magnetism made him into one of the first true performing celebrity artists. Even Clara Schumann, who tended to think of him as a showman, had to admit that "he can be compared to no other virtuoso. He is unique. He arouses fright and astonishment." Homer, the Bible, Plato, Locke, Byron, Hugo, Lamartine, Chateaubriand, Beethoven, Bach, Hummel, Mozart, and Weber are all about me. I study them meditate on them, devour them furiously. I also practice from four to five hours of exercisesthirds, sixths, octaves, trills, repeated notes, and cadenzas. Oh, if only I don't go mad, you'll find an artist in me...an artist such as we need today!... Liszt coined the term recital, which suggests something more important than simply playing an instrument, and he is also largely responsible for the accepted norm of playing in public from memory. In 1844 he separated from his mistress, the Comtess D'Agoult, mother of his three children, Blandine, Cosimawho would became the wife of Hans von Blow and later, Richard Wagnerand Daniel, who died at age 20. In 1848, accompanied by the Princess Carolyne SaynWittgenstein, Liszt settled in Weimar as Director of Music. Within a few years, he transformed Weimar into one of Europe's main musical centers, the headquarters of the Music of the Future. He concentrated his efforts on championing new composersWagner, Cornelius, Berliozon composition, in particular on the creation of a new form, the symphonic poem, and on teaching without ever charging a pennythe most important pianists of the following generation who flocked to Weimar to learn at the feet of the master. Photo of Liszt c.1881 In 1861, Liszt moved to Rome, where in 1866 he took minor religious orders. From 1869 on, he returned regularly to Weimar, where he continued teaching hundreds of students, promoting, playing, and reviewing new works, and following his religious interests. Later, he accepted similar obligations in Budapest, where he was regarded as a national hero. He died in Bayreuth in 1886, four years after the death of his son-in-law, Richard Wagner. As a composer, his work offered a glimpse of the new course that music was to take half a century later. As a composer, Liszt's work offered a glimpse of the new course that music was to take half a century later... Liszt's symphonic poems met with strong criticism from champions of pure music, who took exception to his attempts to translate into musical terms the greatest works of literature. The best known of the symphonic poems are Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne, based on Victor Hugo; Les prludes, based on Lamartine; Tasso, Mazeppa, and Prometheus based on Byron; the so-called Faust Symphony in Three Character-Sketches after Goethe; and the Symphony on Dante's Divina Commedia. Other orchestral works include two episodes from Lenau's Faust, and the First Mephisto Waltz, to which a second was added twenty years later, in 1881. All these works had a profound influence on a younger generation of composers. Smetana's Ma Vlast, Frank's Psych, and Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini are just a few examples of pieces that followed the model established by Liszt. Faust Symphony: Final Chorus Frdric Chopin Polonaise in A-flat, Op. 53 (Heroic) Frdric Chopin Born: 1810 Died: 1849 Period: Romantic Country: Poland/France Frdric Chopin Photograph taken a few months before his death Meet Frdric Chopin A native of Poland who spent most of his adult life in Paris, Chopin reinvented the way the piano was played... Born in the village of Zelazowa Wola near Warsaw on March 1, 1810, the son of a French migr and a Polish mother, Chopin was one of the first composer/pianists to emerge as a true poet of the instrument. After achieving early fame in the relatively limited circles of his native country, he sought his fortune abroad, eventually settling in Paris. His departure from Warsaw coincided with the unsuccessful national uprising against Russian domination. In 1821, Chopin arrived in Paris, and very quickly became closely associated with the most prominent intellectuals, artists, musicians, political activists, and financiers of his day. His circle of friends included the writers, Victor Hugo and Balzac, the painter, Delacroix, and fellow musicians, Liszt and Berlioz. Despite being widely admired as a performer and improviser, Chopin hardly ever performed in public. When he did, however, it was almost always at small gatherings, or soires musicales, where he felt that his music was appreciated and understood by a select audience and friends. Much sought after as a teacher, especially by the ladies of the Parisian aristocracy, the money he made allowed him to lead a comfortable life, and devote a significant amount of time to composing. A shrewd businessman, he also managed to make advantageous financial deals with his music publishers. The famous French novelist George Sand, the pen name of Amantine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin, was Chopin's companion and lover from 1836 until 1847. She provided this frail and shy composer with the care and nurturing environment that he needed to produce much of his most important compositions. After she left him, Chopin's health, which had never been strong to start with, declined drastically. Two years later, he died of tuberculosis at the age of thirty-nine. His compositions, principally for the piano, make remarkable use of all of its capabilities, exploring its sound and poetic possibilities, while avoiding the more obvious superficial flamboyance of the Paris school of performers. Two sets of 12 studies each, Op. 10dedicated to Franz Lisztand Op.25dedicated to Liszt's mistress, Marie d'Agoultplus the three Nouvelles tudes, are a comprehensive compendium of piano technique that demand musical imagination and extreme technical dexterity. It can be argued that in this pieces Chopin reinvented the way the instrument was played. Chopin was particularly fond of dance forms. He used the waltz in a number of such compositions, of which the so-called Minute Waltz is probably the best known. His 16 polonaises, written between 1817 and 1846, and 57 mazurkas are based on typical Polish dance rhythms. The best-known polonaises are, probably, the Polonaise in A Major, Op. 40, No. 1, the Polonaise in A=flat, Opus 53, and the Polonaise-Fantaisie, Opus 61. Polonaise in A-flat Major (Heroic) Mazurka No. 23 in D Major The four ballades, allegedly based on patriotic poems by his friend the Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz, evoke narrative works without any precise, extra-musical association. The 21 nocturnes continue an evocative form invented by the Irish pianist John Field (1782-1837). Chopin wrote 26 Preludes; 24 of them were completed during an ill-fated winter with George Sand in the island of Majorca. Other compositions for solo piano include four scherzos expansions of the earlier form into a more extended virtuoso piecethree sonatas, a Berceuse, a Barcarolle, four Impromptus and a number of smaller works. His two piano concertos, Op.11 in E Minor and Op.21 in F Minor are established as popular pieces in the classical concerto rpertoire. Even though the majority of his output was written for solo piano, Chopin did write chamber works for cello and piano, and 20 songs in Polish for voice and piano. In his own words... "Bach is like an astronomer who, with the help of ciphers, finds the most wonderful stars...Beethoven embraced the universe with the power of his spirit...I do not climb so high. A long time ago I decided that my universe will be the soul and heart of man." Frdric Chopin Filled with melodic brilliance, complex and original use of harmony, and, frequently, with considerable technical demands, Chopins music exemplifies all that is daring about Romantic music. Romantic Period (1820 -1910) The Nationalists After 1850, new ideas replaced the old. This became increasingly apparent in the compositions of some of the most beloved composers in the history of music including Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Verdi, Wagner, Bruckner, Johann Strauss, Faure, Dvork, Grieg, and Mussorgsky, and later, Debussy, Puccini, Richard Strauss, and Mahler. There were different opinions, however, about how music should move towards the future and how much of the old ways it should abandon. Composers of the late Romantic period can be classified into three groups: the nationalists, the traditionalists, and the anti-traditionalists. It was the differences between these three groups that led to the monumental changes in music during the opening years of the 20th century. Most composers of the era, however, were influenced to some extent by nationalism. Girls Sifting Corn by Gustave Courbet In the second half of the 19th century, increasing numbers of composers turned to folk idioms as the basis for their compositions. These composers used folk dances, melodies, and rhythms to portray the soul of a people. Their music combined the basic characteristics of folk music with the complexity and depth of art music. Their work is not far from the ideals artistic or the realist movement in art. Austria While there was no particularly Austrian nationalistic movement, one form of popular music is worth noting. Using the waltz, a dance form popular throughout Europe, and especially in Vienna, a father and son, Johann Strauss, Sr. (1804-1849) and Johann Strauss, Jr. (1825-1899) composed some of the worlds most enduring and compelling dance music. Although composers since the time of Haydn had been writing waltzes, everyone agrees that it was Johann Strauss Jr. who wrote the most defining waltz of all time, The Blue Danube Waltz. This famous waltz was, according to Strauss's publisher, the most profitable property in the history of music. Strauss was a prolific composer and an effective self promoter; he toured extensively and frequently with his own orchestra. He toured not only within Austria but also internationally. In fact, in 1872, he received $100,000 US Dollars to conduct one composition fourteen times on a tour of United States. The Blue Daube Waltz Johann Strauss Jr. was one of eleven children. His father was one of the most popular composers and conductors of dance music. However, he strongly opposed the idea of any of his children pursuing a career in music. As a result, Johann Strauss Jr. sneaked lessons, and managed to become an accomplished musician in his own right, probably surpassing his father's long held reputation. In addition to his numerous waltzes, Strauss Jr. also composed overtures, polkas, and vocal works. Johann Strauss Jr. Blue Danube Waltz Johann Strauss Jr. Born: 1825 Died: 1899 Period: Romantic Country: Austria Johann Strauss Jr. Meet Johann Strauss Jr. Strauss was a prolific composer and an effective self promoter who also toured extensively and frequently with his own orchestra... England England didn't produced any noteworthy composers after the death of Henry Purcell in 1695. However, England was a favorite destination for many composers. For example, Handel, Haydn, and Mendelssohn spent many years in the United Kingdom; the three of them were Germans by birth. The history of native English music changed with Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934). His music, such as this Pomp and Circumstance March, eloquently reflects the self-confident patriotism of Victorian England. Sir Edward Elgar Pomp and Circumstance March Sir Edward Elgar Born: 1857 Died: 1934 Period: Romantic Country: England Sir Edward Elgar Meet Edward Elgar Elgars music eloquently reflects the self-confident patriotism of Victorian England... France French composers were the first to recognize the need to explore new directions in music. Some of their work can be described as nationalistic, because, like Elgar in England, through mimicking folk songs and specific cultural influences they were able to capture the spirit of French culture. Charles Gounod (1818-1893), Cesar Franck (1822-1890), and Camille SaintSans (1835-1921) for example, each display an elegance of melodic line in their music, which is not unlike the fluidity of the French language. Opting to avoid more harsh, officious, Germanic sounds, these composers chose smaller gestures (chamber music, art songs, smaller orchestras) instead of the massive statements of their German contemporaries like Wagner and Bruckner. Although Francks style is the most typically Romantic of those listed here, smaller displays of line and repose are abundant in his chamber music, such as the second movement of his Piano Quintet in F Minor (1879). Piano Quintet in F Minor: II. Lento Saint-Sans colorful Danse macabre provides a strong contrast to Franck's more somber piece. Danse macabre Norway Norwegian music and folklore can be traced back to the age of the Vikings, but Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) is recognized as Norways first art music composer of distinction. Edvard Grieg In the Hall of the Mountain King Edvard Grieg Born: 1843 Died: 1907 Period: Romantic Country: Norway Edvard Grieg Meet Edvard Grieg Edvard Grieg is generally recognized as Norway's most important composer of the nineteenth century. However, he was widely celebrated and respected not only in his homeland, but also internationally. His life long objective was to bring the world's attention to Norwegian music. Grieg and Nina Hagerup in 1906 In 1867, Grieg married the soprano Nina Hagerup, who was his first cousin. They often performed together throughout Europe to rave reviews. Grieg was born in Bergen, Norway, a son of a merchant. The Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, a friend of his parents, noticed the young Grieg's talent and encouraged his parents to send him to the Leipzig Conservatory, where Grieg started studies at the of 15. Grieg's own performances of Norwegian music, often with his wife, the singer Nina Hagerup, established him as a leading figure in the music of his own country. This success brought subsequent collaborations in the theater with Bjrnson and with Norway's greatest author, Henrik Ibsen. As well as promoting Norwegian music, he conducted the Harmoniske Selskab, started plans for a Norwegian Academy of Music, and helped found the Christiania (Oslo) Musikforening. Despite chronic ill health, he continued to divide his time between composition and his activities in the concert-hall until his death in 1907. Grieg was, above all, a lyrical composer. He produced one symphony; six different orchestral works, including the famous incidental music to Ibsen's Peer Gynt; chamber music; piano music, including the Lyric Pieces and the famous Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A minor, Op.16; and over 150 songs. In the Hall of the Mountain King Anitra's Dance Finland A national Finnish hero, Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was born in Tavastehus, the son of an army doctor. As intensely nationalistic and patriotic as Smetana, Borodin, and Rimsky-Korsakov before him, his music played a crucial role in the creation of the Finnish national identity. Although he lived into the late 1950s, some argue that because of his traditional treatment of melody and harmony, Sibelius's music belongs more in the late 19th than the 20th century. While certainly more conservative than his peershe was strongly influenced by Wagner, Bruckner, and Tchaikovskyhis music does posses a certain amount of modern tendencies. His best known pieces include his Seven Symphonies, the Violin Concerto in D minor, and the symphonic poem Finlandia, which evokes the Finnish struggle for independence from the Russian Empire. Russia Nowhere is the influence of musical nationalism more evident than in the music of Russia. The development of music in Russian followed a slightly different path than other European countries; this discrepancy was due primarily to the musical and liturgical differences between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. (You may recall that the final split between the two occurred in 1054 AD, long before advances in Western music had taken place). While Italian and German musicians had always visited to Russia to compose and perform their works, the dissolution of the European monarchies along with the end of the Napoleonic wars brought an increased exchange of ideas between Russia and the rest of Europe. Mikhail Glinka A Life for the Tsar: Overture Mikhail Glinka Born: 1804 Died: 1857 Period: Romantic Country: Russia Mikhail Glinka Meet Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka In the early years of the 19th century, new centers of composition arose in the urban centers of St. Petersburg and Moscow. By 1836, the musical scene had blossomed, and Russia produced one of its first major works, the opera A Life for the Tsar by Mikhail Glinka. Widely regarded as the founder of Russian nationalism in music, Glinkas influence on Balakirev, the self-appointed leader of the later group of nationalist composers, was considerable. Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov and The Mighty Five Sheherezade, Op. 35 Part III Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov Born: 1844 Died: 1908 Period: Romantic Country: Russia Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov Meet Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov The Mighty Handful From the top and left to right: Mily Balakirev, Cesar Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikoloai RimskyKorsakov, and Alexander Borodin. Rimsky-Korsakov embarked at first on a career as a naval officer, following his family tradition. Later, he resigned from the service to devote himself entirely to music. Greatly respected as a teacher, his pupils included Alexander Glazunov, Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky, and Ottorino Respighi among others. Although best known for his orchestral compositions, Rimsky-Korsakov also wrote songs, choral works, chamber music, and works for the piano. His legacy also includes his memoirs, Chronicle of My Musical Life, and two influential musical treatises: the Practical Manual of Harmony (1885) and Principles of Orchestration (begun in 1873 and published posthumously in 1922). Rimsky-Korsakov was the youngest member of a group of Russian nationalists known as The Five or The Mighty Handful, which gathered around Mily Balakirev (1837-1910), and included Alexander Borodin (1833-1887), Cesar Cui (1835-1918), and Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881). The Mighty Five stood for music that was closer to the authentic spirit of Russian music than the works of composers such as Tchaikovsky and Anton Rubinstein, who had a formal conservatory training and connections with the aristocracy of the period. Strongly influenced by Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857), who is widely regarded as the father of Russian classical music and had produced operas on Russian subjects, the group made a conscious effort to incorporate a wide variety of elements from everyday Russian musical life and heritage, including Cossack and Caucasian dances, village songs, and church chants. The tastes of the circle leaned towards Glinka, Schumann, and Beethoven's last quartets ... they had little respect for Mendelssohn ... Mozart and Haydn were considered out of date and naive ... J. S. Bach was held to be petrified ... Chopin was likened by Balakirev to a nervous society lady ... Berlioz was highly esteemed ...Liszt was comparatively unknown ... Little was said of Wagner ... They respected Dargomyzhsky for the recitative portions of Rusalka ... [but] he was not credited with any considerable talent and was treated with a shade of derision. ...Rubinstein had a reputation as a pianist, but was thought to have neither talent nor taste as a composer... Rimsky-Korsakov (Chronicle of My Musical Life, 1909) Slovakia For geographical and political reasons, Austrian and German composers such as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven exerted a direct influence over the music of Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). Symphony No. 9, From The New World: II. Largo Antonin Dvork Born: 1841 Died: 1904 Period: Romantic Country: Bohemia Antonin Dvork Meet Antonin Dvork Antonin Dvorks symphonies are firmly rooted in Classical traditions, and, as such, should be considered among the traditionalists. His musical language was influenced by visits to the United States, as can be heard in the slow movement of his Symphony No. 9, From The New World. The Moldau Nationalistic influences are also evident in the music of Bedrich Smetana. The Moldau from Ma Vlast (My Country) Bedrich Smetana Born: 1824 Died: 1884 Period: Romantic Country: Bohemia Bedrich Smetana Meet Bedrich Smetana His most famous piece, the tone poem Ma Vlast (My Country) includes the Moldau, a musical portrait of the Moldau River that runs through the region, along with a depiction of Bohemia's landscape and the spirit of its people. It is amazing to consider that Smetana composed this glorious piece of music after he was completely deaf. Listening Guide: The Moldau Listening Guide Period Work Genre Launch The Death of Ostap from Taras Bulba by Leos Janacek (1854-1928) is another example of Czech folk music influence on art music. Taras Bulba: The Death of Ostap The Traditionalists By the mid-19th century, only a handful of composers remained to dominate the musical landscape. Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Chopin died prematurely, Rossini retired, and Berlioz and a few others were left to toil under the long shadow of Beethoven. If there was one dominant figure in Europe in 1850, it was Franz Liszt, whose charismatic personality and programmatic approach to composition introduced new musical ideas and expressions and attracted many followers. A number of young composers who emerged from this time period shared several traits: a reverence for the music of the masters, a commitment to established tradition, and an unparalleled knack for expanding traditional forms without discarding them. We have already discussed one of these composers, Antonin Dvork, (remember the second movement of his 9th Symphony?) whose works are expansive odes to Classical form alongside traditional Czech folk elements. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), and Anton Bruckner (1824-1896), whose late-Romantic symphonies are among the most powerful of the era, are four of the most important composers of the period that look at tradition as the basis for their compositions. Johannes Brahms Romantic The Moldau Orchestral Composer Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884) Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was a firm believer in preserving the musical traditions of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. By focusing on thematic development, choral voicing, and orchestration, he expanded traditional Classical forms. At the same time, his startling changes in harmonic structure and rhythmic variety distinguish him as one of the most original composers of this era. In spite of the changes, tradition remains intact in Brahms music. He even returned to pre-Classical forms and harmony at times, employing Baroque forms such as the passacaglia, and using modal harmonies reminiscent of Renaissance choral music. Violin Concerto in D Minor Johannes Brahms Born: 1833 Died: 1897 Period: Romantic Country: Germany Johannes Brahms Meet Johannes Brahms Johannes Brahms was a firm believer in preserving the musical traditions of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert... As a young child of ten, Brahms played the piano for money in the bars and brothels of his native Hamburg. During this time, a prominent violinist, Joseph Joachim, befriended the young Brahms and arranged for him to meet Robert and Clara Schumann. This meeting was a defining moment in Brahms' life. The Schumanns immediately recognized the young pianists ability and charisma and offered him direction and support. Clara, a brilliant pianist and composer in her own right, also became a guiding force in Brahms life. Brahms' work Brahms interest in German folk music is manifested in his early choral works, including the Liebeslieder Waltzes (Love-Song Waltzes), and his early songs. His greatest contribution to the choral repertoire is his masterpiece, A German Requiem (1868), a seven-movement work with text from the German Bible. The German Requiem is not in the same vein as Mozarts or Berlioz setting of the traditional Latin text, but rather a highly personal work created to memorialize his mother. In contrast to the Dies irae (Day of Wrath) text found in the Latin version, the texts are meant to console and to illustrate the redemptive power of death. In the peaceful fifth movement, Brahms shows a masterful treatment of harmony that shifts through unexpected keys and cadences. A German Requiem Op. 45 Fifth Movement It is in his chamber and symphonic music that his traditional tendencies become most apparent. The Piano Quintet, Op. 34 (1864) illustrates a feature common to many of Brahms compositions: a complex texture or thickness that comes from the composers interest in thematic integration. Piano Quintet, Op. 34 In his chamber music and symphonies, Brahms is the true descendent and inheritor of the Beethoven tradition. Extremely self-critical, Brahms was hesitant to finish his first symphony because he felt an overwhelming responsibility to match Beethovens symphonic greatness. Thus, his First Symphony, one of only four that he composed, was not completed until 1876. All four symphonies, however, are massive achievements in the genre, unparalleled in scope and execution, and in perfect Classical form. The final movement of the Fourth Symphony in E Minor is a passacaglia with 32 variations. A work based on such a demanding form would be daunting to most composers. In the hands of Brahms, however, it is one of the most compelling movements in the symphonic repertoire. Symphony No. 4 in E Minor: IV. Allegro energico e passionato Romantic Period (1820 -1910) Giuseppe Verdi Giuseppe Verdi devoted his life to refining and expanding traditional Italian opera; his music embodies the grandest and most elaborate Romantic gestures. After growing up in relative poverty in northern Italy, Verdi studied in Milan before returning home and, at the age of 23, getting married. His first opera, which met with encouraging success, was produced at Milans famous La Scala Theater in 1839. At the urging of the theater director, he composed Nabucco, the story of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. At the time, Italy was struggling to free itself from Austrian rule; the story of the Jews struggle for freedom from Babylon, and their desire to return to their homeland struck a nerve with the Italian public. The chorus Va pensiero sull ali dorate became a de facto national anthem, and the opera turned Verdi into a national hero. Va pensiero sull' ali dorate Despite occasional retirements, most notably between 1871 and 1887, Verdis artistic success continued until his death at age 87. Although Verdis style at times trespasses into Grand Opera (Don Carlos), he more often retains the traditional Italian forms of opera seria and opera buffa. Entry Choir from the opera Nabucco Giuseppe Verdi Born: 1813 Died: 1901 Period: Romantic Country: Italy Giuseppe Verdi Meet Giuseppe Verdi Verdis works retain the typical Italian forms of chorus, aria, recitative, and ensemble even in his late operas... Unlike the opera/music dramas of German composers such as Weber and Wagner, or French composers like Berlioz and Bizet, Verdis works, even in his late operas, retain the typical Italian forms of chorus, aria, recitative, and ensemble. While the dramatic aspect of his operas becomes increasingly important, it remains subservient to the melodic line and traditional form, allowing the aria, recitative, and ensemble to maintain a sense of completeness. The independence of such musical numbers can be heard in the recitative Ebben? Che diavol fate? from La Traviata, the famous aria La donna e mobile from Rigoletto, and the duet, Desdemona rea, si, per ciel, that closes the first act of Otello. Ebben? Che diavol fate? La donna e mobile Desdemona rea, si, per ciel Peter Illych Tchaikovsky For the most part, Tchaikovsky is considered a conservative composer. Younger than Brahms, Verdi, and Wagner, he continued to write four-movement symphonies and fairly traditional music long after many composers had moved on to other realms. He was not a true nationalist and, at times, seemed more intent upon paying homage to the music of the German Classicists than incorporating Russian folk music into his works. This reprioritization placed him at odds with the goals of the Mighty Five. Despite this discrepancy, because of his brilliant orchestration, beautiful melodies, and eloquent harmonies, Tchaikovsky remains one of the significant composers of his era. Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat Minor, Op. 23 II. Andantino semplice P. I. Tchaikovsky Born: 1840 Died: 1893 Period: Romantic Country: Russia P. I. Tchaikovsky Meet Illych Tchaikovsky In many texts, Tchaikovsky appears as a tragic figure, wracked with guilt over his homosexuality, hampered by bouts of depression, and haunted by rumors of suicide and scandal. Indeed, to some, his highly emotional Symphony No. 6, the Pathetique (the last he wrote), resembles a musical suicide note. The Pathetique Symphony aside, Tchaikovskys music is not characterized by overt sadness or depression. On the whole, his music is full of joy and color. He felt a special affinity for ballet, a dance form that had been popular in Paris since the 18th century. Although ballet had clearly worked its way into the hearts of Russian audiences, until Tchaikovsky, no significant composer had written music for the ballet. His best known ballets are Swan Lake (1876), Sleeping Beauty (1890), and The Nutcracker (1892). In all three, Tchaikovsky employs popular dances, such as the waltz, the march, and Russian folk dances. The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66: Valse The Nutcracker, Op.71: March The Progressives During the Romantic era, the programmatic works of Hector Berlioz and Franz Liszt were strongly admired. Some felt that Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert had exhausted the possibilities for Classical forms, and that new ways to express the Romantic ideals of the age (the composer as artist, the natural and supernatural worlds, conflict between man and God/nature/self) were greatly needed. After 1850, music moved away from Classical (absolute) forms. In this sense, composers such as Grieg, Mussorgsky, and Smetana can be thought of as anti-traditionalists. The one composer, however, who best represents the departure from Classical form is Richard Wagner (1813-1883). Richard Wagner Perhaps no figure in the history of music has simultaneously inspired such devotion and loathing as Wagner. On one hand, he was, by all accounts, mean-spirited, intolerant, anti-Semitic, and focused on his art at the total expense of those around him. On the other hand, he was a devoted husband, a visionary, an iconoclast, and a pivotal figure in the history of music whose theories had far-reaching consequences, not only in music, but in theater as well. Overture to the Opera Tannhuser Richard Wagner Born: 1813 Died: 1883 Period: Romantic Country: Germany Richard Wagner Meet Richard Wagner Born in Leipzig, Germany to a police official and bakers daughter, Wagner was raised by his mother and a family friend. (His father died a few months after Wagner was born). Theater was a regular part of the young mans life; he was particularly taken with the incidental music that often accompanied the plays. Wagner began writing his own plays, and said that theonly reason he began composing was to write his own incidental music. Even initially, he had an inclination for drama before music. Tannhuser depicted in the Medieval Codex Manesse His career began slowly, but by 1843 he had his first two operatic successes with Rienzi and The Flying Dutchman, and therefore received an appointment as Director of the Dresden Opera. With each successive opera his reputation and confidence increased. Tannhuser (1845) and Lohengrin (1850) firmly established Wagner as the heir apparent to the German Romantic opera throne vacated by Carl Maria von Weber. In 1851, Wagner wrote Opera and Drama, one of a series of essays outlining his theories on opera. He felt that the traditional Italian form paid too much attention to the divisions of aria and recitative, and not enough to the dramatic flow of the opera. Wagner argued that the drama stopped with each break following an aria or chorus in Italian opera. He advocated a drama where music flowed continuously. Therefore, since the word opera was so inextricably linked to Italian music, Wagner created the term music drama for his works. These new ideas also made Wagner rethink his harmonic structures that required tension and resolution, since every resolution meant a potential stopping point. By 1862, Wagner had completed four more music dramas: Tristan and Isolde Die Meistersinger von Nrnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremburg) Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung): Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold) Die Walkre (The Valkyrie) The Ring of Nibelungen, often known simply as The Ring, is a massive set of four dramas that includes the two listed above, as well as Siegfried and Gtterdmmerung (The Twilight of the Gods). Together, they form a cycle that tells the story of the Gods of Norse mythology. In terms of scope, it is arguably the largest undertaking in the history of Western music, as each of the operas in the cycle often extends over four hours. Wagner had a theater built in Bayreuth specifically to stage The Ring. The theater included several innovations that influenced theatrical design for years to come. It is still the home to an annual revival of The Ring. In order to establish thematic unity in the music drama, Wagner introduced the leitmotif, a musical theme or motive that represents a character, object, or idea. (This was a concept not too dissimilar from Berlioz ide fixe). Whenever a person or object appears onstage, a specific leitmotif appears in the music. Occasionally the leitmotif is used when that character or object is not present, in order to make the listener think of the subject. Thus, the leitmotif becomes a powerful psychological tool. An example of this technique is the appearance of the Siegfried motive at the end of Die Walkre. The motive does not represent a character in Die Walkre, but the main character in Siegfried, the next music drama in The Ring. This scene also includes at least three other leitmotifs. (The leitmotif concept is used today in motion picture music). Another aspect of Wagners music that places him at the forefront of his generation is his bold use of harmony. The Overture to Tristan und Isolde begins on a single note, A. (The opening two measures form the Isolde leitmotif). However, Wagner immediately moves away from A minor and returns to it only briefly about 30 measures later. Overture to Tristan und Isolde Especially in his late dramas, Wagner stretches the fabric of tonality almost to its breaking point. If the major/minor tonal system is built on the premise that chord progressions need to lead to a resolution on the tonic, then what happens if we never reach the tonic? The net result is a sense of restlessness or endlessness in the harmony. If we dont use the tonic, then why bother with it? Wagners contributions to Romantic music can be summarized as follows: Completing the restructuring of the traditional opera that began in the 18th century, leading to a new conceptualization of the art as music drama. Creating the leitmotif. Stretching the harmonic advances of Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt and others to new limits. The Post-Romantics and a New Age One reason for studying music appreciation is to understand why the composers of a given era write the music that they do. This understanding, however, can only be achieved in hindsight. While in 1890 neither Verdi, nor Brahms, nor Tchaikovsky could have anticipated the transformations that would reshape the Western musical world, these changes had already begun in France, Germany, Russia, and the United States. We call the final twenty years of the Romantic period Post-Romanticism, although, in reality, two completely different musical trends were unfolding simultaneously. One school of thought originated in France and Russia, while the other came from both the traditionalist and anti-traditionalist camps in Austria and Germany. The two schools of thought did agree on the premise that the major/minor tonal system, which had guided composition since the Baroque era, was exhausted. Also, there was a general consensus that, for artistic as well as economic reasons, the Romantic trend of creating incrementally longer works with larger orchestras and choirs could not continue. New Ideas in France The French had long been working against the dominant movement of German Romanticism. While they admired the musical ideals of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert, and couldn't help being influenced by Wagner, French composers were also trying to create new forms of music whenever possible, as seen in their development of popular ballet and of opera forms substantially different from Italian opera. Gabriel Faur Because of the harmonic and melodic modernity of his music, Gabriel Faur won acceptance with difficulty in the rigid official musical establishment of Paris in the second half of the 19th century. He studied at the cole Niedermeyer, where his teachers were Gustave Lefvre, from whom he received a deep understanding of harmony, and Camille Saint-Sans, who introduced him to the music of Schumann and Liszt. A prominent organist, he served at various Paris churches, including the Madeleine where he replaced Saint-Sans in 1874. In 1897, he became an influential teacher at the Conservatoire, where his pupils included Maurice Ravel, Nadia Boulanger, and the Romanian Georges Enescu. In 1905 he became director of the Conservatoire in the aftermath of the scandal of the refusal of the Prix de Rome to Ravel, and introduced a number of important reforms. After his retirement in 1920, he was able to turn again more fully to composition, producing, notably, a Piano Trio, Op.120, a String Quartet, Op.45, and a Piano Quintet, Op.115. He died in Paris from pneumonia in 1924. Faur is generally regarded as the master of French song. Among many pieces in this genre, he wrote six important cycles that include settings of poetry by Verlaine. With Faur's work, French-ness in music is carried to a new level. The first movement from his masterful Requiem, Op. 48 shows deep attention to harmony as an element of color rather than as a unifying force that propels the music forward. Note how chords seem to float independently from one another. There is also an exquisitely delicate quality to his compositions that can be heard clearly in the beautiful song Aprs un rvearranged here for the organ. Faur also made a significant addition to the piano repertoire, particularly in a series of thirteen Barcarolles and a similar number of Nocturnes, five Impromptus, and a single Ballade. The delightful piano duet Dolly Suite was written in the 1890s for the daughter of Emma Bardac, a singer who later became the wife of Debussy, after the scandalous divorce from her banker husband. Other significant works in larger forms include the opera Penelope and the orchestral suite Masques et Bergamasques. Post-Romantic Music in Italy A new form of opera appeared in Post-Romantic Italy that depicted everyday people in ordinary situations suddenly thrust into violent action. Known as verismo, an Italian term that can be roughly translated into "realism," this type of opera was created by Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945), Ruggiero Leoncavallo (1858-1919), and Giacomo Puccini (18581924). Mascagnis masterpiece of verismo is Cavalleria rusticana (1890), while Leoncavallo is best known for I Pagliacci (1892). Pagliacci is the story of a circus clown whose unrequited love for the beautiful Columbina eventually leads him to murder his romantic rival. In Pagliaccis famous recitative and aria, Vesti la giubba, he decries the fact that he must now wear a clowns fake smile while, inside, he is in agony. This new awareness of the subconscious workings of the inner mind is also exhibited in the work of psychologists of the time like Sigmund Freud. Giacomo Puccini The greatest (and most eclectic) of the Italian post-romantic composers is Puccini. If the history of Western music through the 20th century is envisioned as a steady march from a simple chant to an expressive, lush, and beautiful form of emotional expression, then Puccini and Mahler are the masters of that transformation. Born into a family with five-generation musical tradition, it was surprising that Puccini showed little interest in music as a child. The turning point came, however, in 1876, when he say a production of Verdi's Aida in Pisa, and decided to follow in the older composer's footsteps. In Milan he became a student of Amilchare Ponchielli, best remembered for the opera La Gioconda. Puccini's first opera, Le villi (1884), became a success that lead to its publication by the Ricordi publishing house, who would remain his publishers for the rest of his career. Few opera houses have a season that doesn't include at least one of the operas that followed. These include Manon Lescaut (1893), the only opera without a credited librettist; La bohme (1896), whose premiere was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini; Tosca (1900), Puccini's first work using the verismo (realism) approach pioneered by Bizet's Carmen and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci; and Madama Butterfly (1904) in which he uses authentic Japanese folk tunes. Three one-act operas were composed late in life: Il tabarro (The Cloak), Sour Angelica (Sister Angelica), and the comedy Gianni Schicchi, which contains O mio babbino caro, one of Puccini's most popular arias of all time. A final opera Turandot, was left unfinished. Puccini was a skilful composer with a genius for melody and a flair for drama. In the aria O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi, the soprano sounds as though she is singing about the heavens unfolding. In reality, she is singing to her father, threatening to throw herself off a bridge in an impetuous fit if he does not let her marry. Vissi darte from Tosca may be the composers greatest moment in verismo opera. Aprs un rve Gabriel Faur Born: 1845 Died: 1924 Period: Romantic Country: France Gabriel Faur Because of the harmonic and melodic modernity of his music, Gabriel Faur won acceptance with difficulty in the rigid official musical establishment of Paris in the second half of the 19th century. He studied at the cole Niedermeyer, where his teachers were Gustave Lefvre, from whom he received a deep understanding of harmony, and Camille Saint-Sans, who introduced him to the music of Schumann and Liszt. A prominent organist, he served at various Paris churches, including the Madeleine where he replaced Saint-Sans in 1874. In 1897, he became an influential teacher at the Conservatoire, where his pupils included Maurice Ravel, Nadia Boulanger, and the Romanian Georges Enescu. In 1905 he became director of the Conservatoire in the aftermath of the scandal of the refusal of the Prix de Rome to Ravel, and introduced a number of important reforms. After his retirement in 1920, he was able to turn again more fully to composition, producing, notably, a Piano Trio, Op.120, a String Quartet, Op.45, and a Piano Quintet, Op.115. He died in Paris from pneumonia in 1924. Faur is generally regarded as the master of French song. Among many pieces in this genre, he wrote six important cycles that include settings of poetry by Verlaine. With Faur's work, French-ness in music is carried to a new level. The first movement from his masterful Requiem, Op. 48 shows deep attention to harmony as an element of color rather than as a unifying force that propels the music forward. Note how chords seem to float independently from one another. There is also an exquisitely delicate quality to his compositions that can be heard clearly in the beautiful song Aprs un rvearranged here for the organ. Faur also made a significant addition to the piano repertoire, particularly in a series of thirteen Barcarolles and a similar number of Nocturnes, five Impromptus, and a single Ballade. The delightful piano duet Dolly Suite was written in the 1890s for the daughter of Emma Bardac, a singer who later became the wife of Debussy, after the scandalous divorce from her banker husband. Other significant works in larger forms include the opera Penelope and the orchestral suite Masques et Bergamasques. Post-Romantic Music in Italy A new form of opera appeared in Post-Romantic Italy that depicted everyday people in ordinary situations suddenly thrust into violent action. Known as verismo, an Italian term that can be roughly translated into "realism," this type of opera was created by Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945), Ruggiero Leoncavallo (1858-1919), and Giacomo Puccini (18581924). Mascagnis masterpiece of verismo is Cavalleria rusticana (1890), while Leoncavallo is best known for I Pagliacci (1892). Pagliacci is the story of a circus clown whose unrequited love for the beautiful Columbina eventually leads him to murder his romantic rival. In Pagliaccis famous recitative and aria, Vesti la giubba, he decries the fact that he must now wear a clowns fake smile while, inside, he is in agony. This new awareness of the subconscious workings of the inner mind is also exhibited in the work of psychologists of the time like Sigmund Freud. Giacomo Puccini The greatest (and most eclectic) of the Italian post-romantic composers is Puccini. If the history of Western music through the 20th century is envisioned as a steady march from a simple chant to an expressive, lush, and beautiful form of emotional expression, then Puccini and Mahler are the masters of that transformation. Born into a family with five-generation musical tradition, it was surprising that Puccini showed little interest in music as a child. The turning point came, however, in 1876, when he say a production of Verdi's Aida in Pisa, and decided to follow in the older composer's footsteps. In Milan he became a student of Amilchare Ponchielli, best remembered for the opera La Gioconda. Puccini's first opera, Le villi (1884), became a success that lead to its publication by the Ricordi publishing house, who would remain his publishers for the rest of his career. Few opera houses have a season that doesn't include at least one of the operas that followed. These include Manon Lescaut (1893), the only opera without a credited librettist; La bohme (1896), whose premiere was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini; Tosca (1900), Puccini's first work using the verismo (realism) approach pioneered by Bizet's Carmen and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci; and Madama Butterfly (1904) in which he uses authentic Japanese folk tunes. Three one-act operas were composed late in life: Il tabarro (The Cloak), Sour Angelica (Sister Angelica), and the comedy Gianni Schicchi, which contains O mio babbino caro, one of Puccini's most popular arias of all time. A final opera Turandot, was left unfinished. Puccini was a skilful composer with a genius for melody and a flair for drama. In the aria O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi, the soprano sounds as though she is singing about the heavens unfolding. In reality, she is singing to her father, threatening to throw herself off a bridge in an impetuous fit if he does not let her marry. Vissi darte from Tosca may be the composers greatest moment in verismo opera. Meet Gabriel Faur Because of the harmonic and melodic modernity of his music, Gabriel Faur won acceptance with difficulty in the rigid official musical establishment of Paris in the second half of the 19th century. He studied at the cole Niedermeyer, where his teachers were Gustave Lefvre, from whom he received a deep understanding of harmony, and Camille Saint-Sans, who introduced him to the music of Schumann and Liszt. A prominent organist, he served at various Paris churches, including the Madeleine where he replaced Saint-Sans in 1874. In 1897, he became an influential teacher at the Conservatoire, where his pupils included Maurice Ravel, Nadia Boulanger, and the Romanian Georges Enescu. In 1905 he became director of the Conservatoire in the aftermath of the scandal of the refusal of the Prix de Rome to Ravel, and introduced a number of important reforms. After his retirement in 1920, he was able to turn again more fully to composition, producing, notably, a Piano Trio, Op.120, a String Quartet, Op.45, and a Piano Quintet, Op.115. He died in Paris from pneumonia in 1924. Faur is generally regarded as the master of French song. Among many pieces in this genre, he wrote six important cycles that include settings of poetry by Verlaine. With Faur's work, French-ness in music is carried to a new level. The first movement from his masterful Requiem, Op. 48 shows deep attention to harmony as an element of color rather than as a unifying force that propels the music forward. Note how chords seem to float independently from one another. There is also an exquisitely delicate quality to his compositions that can be heard clearly in the beautiful song Aprs un rvearranged here for the organ. Faur also made a significant addition to the piano repertoire, particularly in a series of thirteen Barcarolles and a similar number of Nocturnes, five Impromptus, and a single Ballade. The delightful piano duet Dolly Suite was written in the 1890s for the daughter of Emma Bardac, a singer who later became the wife of Debussy, after the scandalous divorce from her banker husband. Other significant works in larger forms include the opera Penelope and the orchestral suite Masques et Bergamasques. Post-Romantic Music in Italy A new form of opera appeared in Post-Romantic Italy that depicted everyday people in ordinary situations suddenly thrust into violent action. Known as verismo, an Italian term that can be roughly translated into "realism," this type of opera was created by Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945), Ruggiero Leoncavallo (1858-1919), and Giacomo Puccini (18581924). Mascagnis masterpiece of verismo is Cavalleria rusticana (1890), while Leoncavallo is best known for I Pagliacci (1892). Pagliacci is the story of a circus clown whose unrequited love for the beautiful Columbina eventually leads him to murder his romantic rival. In Pagliaccis famous recitative and aria, Vesti la giubba, he decries the fact that he must now wear a clowns fake smile while, inside, he is in agony. This new awareness of the subconscious workings of the inner mind is also exhibited in the work of psychologists of the time like Sigmund Freud. Giacomo Puccini The greatest (and most eclectic) of the Italian post-romantic composers is Puccini. If the history of Western music through the 20th century is envisioned as a steady march from a simple chant to an expressive, lush, and beautiful form of emotional expression, then Puccini and Mahler are the masters of that transformation. Born into a family with five-generation musical tradition, it was surprising that Puccini showed little interest in music as a child. The turning point came, however, in 1876, when he say a production of Verdi's Aida in Pisa, and decided to follow in the older composer's footsteps. In Milan he became a student of Amilchare Ponchielli, best remembered for the opera La Gioconda. Puccini's first opera, Le villi (1884), became a success that lead to its publication by the Ricordi publishing house, who would remain his publishers for the rest of his career. Few opera houses have a season that doesn't include at least one of the operas that followed. These include Manon Lescaut (1893), the only opera without a credited librettist; La bohme (1896), whose premiere was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini; Tosca (1900), Puccini's first work using the verismo (realism) approach pioneered by Bizet's Carmen and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci; and Madama Butterfly (1904) in which he uses authentic Japanese folk tunes. Three one-act operas were composed late in life: Il tabarro (The Cloak), Sour Angelica (Sister Angelica), and the comedy Gianni Schicchi, which contains O mio babbino caro, one of Puccini's most popular arias of all time. A final opera Turandot, was left unfinished. Puccini was a skilful composer with a genius for melody and a flair for drama. In the aria O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi, the soprano sounds as though she is singing about the heavens unfolding. In reality, she is singing to her father, threatening to throw herself off a bridge in an impetuous fit if he does not let her marry. Vissi darte from Tosca may be the composers greatest moment in verismo opera. Requiem, Op. 48: I. Introit e Kyrie There is also an exquisitely delicate quality to his compositions that can be heard clearly in the beautiful song Aprs un rvearranged here for the organ. Faur also made a significant addition to the piano repertoire, particularly in a series of thirteen Barcarolles and a similar number of Nocturnes, five Impromptus, and a single Ballade. The delightful piano duet Dolly Suite was written in the 1890s for the daughter of Emma Bardac, a singer who later became the wife of Debussy, after the scandalous divorce from her banker husband. Other significant works in larger forms include the opera Penelope and the orchestral suite Masques et Bergamasques. Post-Romantic Music in Italy A new form of opera appeared in Post-Romantic Italy that depicted everyday people in ordinary situations suddenly thrust into violent action. Known as verismo, an Italian term that can be roughly translated into "realism," this type of opera was created by Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945), Ruggiero Leoncavallo (1858-1919), and Giacomo Puccini (18581924). Mascagnis masterpiece of verismo is Cavalleria rusticana (1890), while Leoncavallo is best known for I Pagliacci (1892). Pagliacci is the story of a circus clown whose unrequited love for the beautiful Columbina eventually leads him to murder his romantic rival. In Pagliaccis famous recitative and aria, Vesti la giubba, he decries the fact that he must now wear a clowns fake smile while, inside, he is in agony. This new awareness of the subconscious workings of the inner mind is also exhibited in the work of psychologists of the time like Sigmund Freud. Giacomo Puccini The greatest (and most eclectic) of the Italian post-romantic composers is Puccini. If the history of Western music through the 20th century is envisioned as a steady march from a simple chant to an expressive, lush, and beautiful form of emotional expression, then Puccini and Mahler are the masters of that transformation. Born into a family with five-generation musical tradition, it was surprising that Puccini showed little interest in music as a child. The turning point came, however, in 1876, when he say a production of Verdi's Aida in Pisa, and decided to follow in the older composer's footsteps. In Milan he became a student of Amilchare Ponchielli, best remembered for the opera La Gioconda. Puccini's first opera, Le villi (1884), became a success that lead to its publication by the Ricordi publishing house, who would remain his publishers for the rest of his career. Few opera houses have a season that doesn't include at least one of the operas that followed. These include Manon Lescaut (1893), the only opera without a credited librettist; La bohme (1896), whose premiere was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini; Tosca (1900), Puccini's first work using the verismo (realism) approach pioneered by Bizet's Carmen and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci; and Madama Butterfly (1904) in which he uses authentic Japanese folk tunes. Three one-act operas were composed late in life: Il tabarro (The Cloak), Sour Angelica (Sister Angelica), and the comedy Gianni Schicchi, which contains O mio babbino caro, one of Puccini's most popular arias of all time. A final opera Turandot, was left unfinished. Puccini was a skilful composer with a genius for melody and a flair for drama. In the aria O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi, the soprano sounds as though she is singing about the heavens unfolding. In reality, she is singing to her father, threatening to throw herself off a bridge in an impetuous fit if he does not let her marry. Vissi darte from Tosca may be the composers greatest moment in verismo opera. Aprs un rve (Organ arrangement) Faur also made a significant addition to the piano repertoire, particularly in a series of thirteen Barcarolles and a similar number of Nocturnes, five Impromptus, and a single Ballade. The delightful piano duet Dolly Suite was written in the 1890s for the daughter of Emma Bardac, a singer who later became the wife of Debussy, after the scandalous divorce from her banker husband. Other significant works in larger forms include the opera Penelope and the orchestral suite Masques et Bergamasques. Post-Romantic Music in Italy A new form of opera appeared in Post-Romantic Italy that depicted everyday people in ordinary situations suddenly thrust into violent action. Known as verismo, an Italian term that can be roughly translated into "realism," this type of opera was created by Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945), Ruggiero Leoncavallo (1858-1919), and Giacomo Puccini (18581924). Mascagnis masterpiece of verismo is Cavalleria rusticana (1890), while Leoncavallo is best known for I Pagliacci (1892). Pagliacci is the story of a circus clown whose unrequited love for the beautiful Columbina eventually leads him to murder his romantic rival. In Pagliaccis famous recitative and aria, Vesti la giubba, he decries the fact that he must now wear a clowns fake smile while, inside, he is in agony. This new awareness of the subconscious workings of the inner mind is also exhibited in the work of psychologists of the time like Sigmund Freud. Giacomo Puccini The greatest (and most eclectic) of the Italian post-romantic composers is Puccini. If the history of Western music through the 20th century is envisioned as a steady march from a simple chant to an expressive, lush, and beautiful form of emotional expression, then Puccini and Mahler are the masters of that transformation. Born into a family with five-generation musical tradition, it was surprising that Puccini showed little interest in music as a child. The turning point came, however, in 1876, when he say a production of Verdi's Aida in Pisa, and decided to follow in the older composer's footsteps. In Milan he became a student of Amilchare Ponchielli, best remembered for the opera La Gioconda. Puccini's first opera, Le villi (1884), became a success that lead to its publication by the Ricordi publishing house, who would remain his publishers for the rest of his career. Few opera houses have a season that doesn't include at least one of the operas that followed. These include Manon Lescaut (1893), the only opera without a credited librettist; La bohme (1896), whose premiere was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini; Tosca (1900), Puccini's first work using the verismo (realism) approach pioneered by Bizet's Carmen and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci; and Madama Butterfly (1904) in which he uses authentic Japanese folk tunes. Three one-act operas were composed late in life: Il tabarro (The Cloak), Sour Angelica (Sister Angelica), and the comedy Gianni Schicchi, which contains O mio babbino caro, one of Puccini's most popular arias of all time. A final opera Turandot, was left unfinished. Puccini was a skilful composer with a genius for melody and a flair for drama. In the aria O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi, the soprano sounds as though she is singing about the heavens unfolding. In reality, she is singing to her father, threatening to throw herself off a bridge in an impetuous fit if he does not let her marry. Vissi darte from Tosca may be the composers greatest moment in verismo opera. Vesti la giubba Giacomo Puccini The greatest (and most eclectic) of the Italian post-romantic composers is Puccini. If the history of Western music through the 20th century is envisioned as a steady march from a simple chant to an expressive, lush, and beautiful form of emotional expression, then Puccini and Mahler are the masters of that transformation. Born into a family with five-generation musical tradition, it was surprising that Puccini showed little interest in music as a child. The turning point came, however, in 1876, when he say a production of Verdi's Aida in Pisa, and decided to follow in the older composer's footsteps. In Milan he became a student of Amilchare Ponchielli, best remembered for the opera La Gioconda. Puccini's first opera, Le villi (1884), became a success that lead to its publication by the Ricordi publishing house, who would remain his publishers for the rest of his career. Few opera houses have a season that doesn't include at least one of the operas that followed. These include Manon Lescaut (1893), the only opera without a credited librettist; La bohme (1896), whose premiere was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini; Tosca (1900), Puccini's first work using the verismo (realism) approach pioneered by Bizet's Carmen and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci; and Madama Butterfly (1904) in which he uses authentic Japanese folk tunes. Three one-act operas were composed late in life: Il tabarro (The Cloak), Sour Angelica (Sister Angelica), and the comedy Gianni Schicchi, which contains O mio babbino caro, one of Puccini's most popular arias of all time. A final opera Turandot, was left unfinished. Puccini was a skilful composer with a genius for melody and a flair for drama. In the aria O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi, the soprano sounds as though she is singing about the heavens unfolding. In reality, she is singing to her father, threatening to throw herself off a bridge in an impetuous fit if he does not let her marry. Vissi darte from Tosca may be the composers greatest moment in verismo opera. Turandot: Act III, Scene I: Nesum Dorma Giacomo Puccini Born: 1858 Died: 1924 Period: Romantic Country: Italy Giacomo Puccini The greatest (and most eclectic) of the Italian post-romantic composers is Puccini. If the history of Western music through the 20th century is envisioned as a steady march from a simple chant to an expressive, lush, and beautiful form of emotional expression, then Puccini and Mahler are the masters of that transformation. Born into a family with five-generation musical tradition, it was surprising that Puccini showed little interest in music as a child. The turning point came, however, in 1876, when he say a production of Verdi's Aida in Pisa, and decided to follow in the older composer's footsteps. In Milan he became a student of Amilchare Ponchielli, best remembered for the opera La Gioconda. Puccini's first opera, Le villi (1884), became a success that lead to its publication by the Ricordi publishing house, who would remain his publishers for the rest of his career. Few opera houses have a season that doesn't include at least one of the operas that followed. These include Manon Lescaut (1893), the only opera without a credited librettist; La bohme (1896), whose premiere was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini; Tosca (1900), Puccini's first work using the verismo (realism) approach pioneered by Bizet's Carmen and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci; and Madama Butterfly (1904) in which he uses authentic Japanese folk tunes. Three one-act operas were composed late in life: Il tabarro (The Cloak), Sour Angelica (Sister Angelica), and the comedy Gianni Schicchi, which contains O mio babbino caro, one of Puccini's most popular arias of all time. A final opera Turandot, was left unfinished. Puccini was a skilful composer with a genius for melody and a flair for drama. In the aria O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi, the soprano sounds as though she is singing about the heavens unfolding. In reality, she is singing to her father, threatening to throw herself off a bridge in an impetuous fit if he does not let her marry. Vissi darte from Tosca may be the composers greatest moment in verismo opera. Meet Giacomo Puccini The greatest (and most eclectic) of the Italian post-romantic composers is Puccini. If the history of Western music through the 20th century is envisioned as a steady march from a simple chant to an expressive, lush, and beautiful form of emotional expression, then Puccini and Mahler are the masters of that transformation. Born into a family with five-generation musical tradition, it was surprising that Puccini showed little interest in music as a child. The turning point came, however, in 1876, when he say a production of Verdi's Aida in Pisa, and decided to follow in the older composer's footsteps. In Milan he became a student of Amilchare Ponchielli, best remembered for the opera La Gioconda. Puccini's first opera, Le villi (1884), became a success that lead to its publication by the Ricordi publishing house, who would remain his publishers for the rest of his career. Few opera houses have a season that doesn't include at least one of the operas that followed. These include Manon Lescaut (1893), the only opera without a credited librettist; La bohme (1896), whose premiere was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini; Tosca (1900), Puccini's first work using the verismo (realism) approach pioneered by Bizet's Carmen and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci; and Madama Butterfly (1904) in which he uses authentic Japanese folk tunes. Three one-act operas were composed late in life: Il tabarro (The Cloak), Sour Angelica (Sister Angelica), and the comedy Gianni Schicchi, which contains O mio babbino caro, one of Puccini's most popular arias of all time. A final opera Turandot, was left unfinished. Puccini was a skilful composer with a genius for melody and a flair for drama. In the aria O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi, the soprano sounds as though she is singing about the heavens unfolding. In reality, she is singing to her father, threatening to throw herself off a bridge in an impetuous fit if he does not let her marry. Vissi darte from Tosca may be the composers greatest moment in verismo opera. The greatest (and most eclectic) of the Italian postromantic composers is Puccini... Born into a family with five-generation musical tradition, it was surprising that Puccini showed little interest in music as a child. The turning point came, however, in 1876, when he say a production of Verdi's Aida in Pisa, and decided to follow in the older composer's footsteps. In Milan he became a student of Amilchare Ponchielli, best remembered for the opera La Gioconda. Puccini's first opera, Le villi (1884), became a success that lead to its publication by the Ricordi publishing house, who would remain his publishers for the rest of his career. Few opera houses have a season that doesn't include at least one of the operas that followed. These include Manon Lescaut (1893), the only opera without a credited librettist; La bohme (1896), whose premiere was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini; Tosca (1900), Puccini's first work using the verismo (realism) approach pioneered by Bizet's Carmen and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci; and Madama Butterfly (1904) in which he uses authentic Japanese folk tunes. Three one-act operas were composed late in life: Il tabarro (The Cloak), Sour Angelica (Sister Angelica), and the comedy Gianni Schicchi, which contains O mio babbino caro, one of Puccini's most popular arias of all time. A final opera Turandot, was left unfinished. Puccini was a skilful composer with a genius for melody and a flair for drama. In the aria O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi, the soprano sounds as though she is singing about the heavens unfolding. In reality, she is singing to her father, threatening to throw herself off a bridge in an impetuous fit if he does not let her marry. Vissi darte from Tosca may be the composers greatest moment in verismo opera. Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro Tosca: Act II: Vissi d'arte Post-Romantic Music in Germany Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, and Wagner each unlocked doors that gave succeeding composers the freedom to further stretch the bounds of harmony. The main German PostRomantic composersHugo Wolf (1860-1903), Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), and Richard Strauss (1864-1949)effectively mark the end of a long tradition. Extremes of musical material (emotional expression, harmonic changes, dynamics, size of orchestra) characterize the style of these composers. They also shared a desire to continue the style of German Romanticism found predominantly in the music of Wagner. Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 9 III. Rondo - Burleske: Allegro assai Gustav Mahler Born: 1860 Died: 1911 Period: Romantic Country: Austria Gustav Mahler Meet Gustav Mahler Mahler was known as a conductor as well as a composer, serving as Director of the Vienna Opera from 1897 to 1907 and as conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra from 1909 to 1911. Throughout his life, he was tormented by his decision as a young adult to convert from Judaism to Catholicism. This duality is expressed through sudden and dramatic changes of dynamics and moods in his music. Mahler was subject to bouts of depression and prone to superstition. His superstition about Beethovens nine symphonies led him to believe that he would die after writing his ninth symphony, a belief which so terrified him that he called his ninth symphony a song cycle, Das Lied von der Erde. Ironically, he immediately began a tenth symphony, but died before completing it. Mahlers symphonic works are massive in scope. All are at least an hour in length and require huge orchestral forces. Symphony No. 8 is nicknamed the Symphony of 1000 because of the number of performers required to perform it. Symphony No. 2 calls for a huge chorus, two soloists, 17 wind players, 25 brass players, numerous percussion players, 4 harps, an organ, and strings. His scores are enormously detailed and display a precise sense of orchestration. Nonetheless, a level of intimacy can also be found in all of his works. Amidst the gargantuan scoring for anvil and percussion are passages of exquisite beauty for solo mandolin (Symphonies 7 and 8) and delicate lndler (an Austrian folk dance). Mahler can also be classified as a traditionalist, for he worked in a standard symphonic form with occasional forays into lieder and song cycle. Two excerpts from his Symphony No. 9 display the extremes of Mahlers expressive capabilities. The third movement is a grotesque rondo with violent harmonic changes that blur the A-minor tonality to near extinction. The fourth movement finale begins (and ends) with a heartfelt string exposition that is both slow and dramatic. Symphony No. 9: III. Rondo - Burleske: Allegro assai After his death, Mahlers compositions were rarely performed during the first decades of the 20th century, except under the baton of his good friend Bruno Walter. As composers in the 20th century turned to smaller and more abstract musical gestures, Mahlers grand emotions fell out of favor. After World War II, however, due largely to another composer who conducted the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, his music regained popularity. Bernstein programmed and recorded Mahlers music as often as he could and admitted a special affinity for the masters life and music. Richard Strauss Richard Strauss Born: 1860 Died: 1911 Period: Romantic Country: Germany Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 Richard Strauss Meet Richard Strauss The last great German Post-Romanticist was Richard Strauss. Unlike Mahler, Strauss excelled at opera. Salome (1905), Elektra (1909) and Der Rosenkavalier (1910) rank as some of the finest in the German Romantic repertoire. The exploration of the boundaries of tonality characterize Strauss style, particularly in Elektra. He often uses dissonance to create comic effects, most successfully in his tone poems. In one memorable moment from Don Quixote, he uses dissonance to portray the bleating of a flock of sheep, mistakenly identified by Don Quixote as an advancing army. Between 1886 and the end of the century, Strauss composed the eras most significant tone poems: Aus Italien Macbeth Don Juan Tod und Verklrung Till Eulenspiegel Also Sprach Zarathustra Don Quixote Ein Heldenleben Tod und Verklrung (Death and Transfiguration) (Death and Transfiguration) portrays an emotional deathbed scene, which exemplifies his extreme emotional and harmonic style. Strauss never succumbed to the lure of 20th century compositional styles. All the way through to his last major work, Metamorphoses (1945), he remained true to his own brand of Romanticism. Unfortunately, he is also remembered for his association with Germanys National Socialist Government. The Post-Romantics Romanticism did not completely disappear at the turn of the century. Despite the alteration of the musical landscape by 1920, some more traditional composers continued to write in wellestablished harmonic idioms. Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano concerto No. 2: I. Moderato Sergei Rachmaninoff Born: 1873 Died: 1943 Period: Romantic Country: Russia Sergei Rachmaninoff Meet Sergei Rachmaninoff Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer and pianist who, at the turn of the century, conquered the musical world as a piano virtuoso. His compositions employ a personal brand of Romanticism that, like that of Tchaikovsky, contains elements of Russian nationalism. His four piano concertos are among the most demanding in the repertoire, as evidenced by the 1st movement from his Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor. Piano concerto No. 2: I. Moderato Rachmaninoff's compositions employ a personal brand of Romanticism that, like that of Tchaikovsky, contains elements of Russian nationalism... Jean Sibelius Finlandia Jean Sibelius Born: 1865 Died: 1957 Period: Romantic Country: Finland Jean Sibelius Meet Jean Sibelius Finlands greatest Romantic composer is Jean Sibelius, a nationalistic composer who worked in the Romantic idiom well into the 20th century. In fact, the main theme from the tone poem Finlandia (1899) became the de facto Finnish national anthem. Finlandia, Main theme Gustav Holst An English composer whose music exists somewhere between Romanticism and impressionism is Gustav Holst (1874-1934). From the orchestral suite The Planets, the movement entitled Jupiter is at times reminiscent of Elgars work in its nobility, yet the size of the orchestra owes more to the influence of Mahler. The Planets: Jupiter Alexander Scriabin Two more composers who resist classification are Scriabin and Ives. The Russian Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) experimented with tonality and the relationship of music to the arts in a way that anticipated 20th-century techniques. Charles Ives (1874-1954) was arguably the first great original American composer. In an effort to re-create a youthful impression gained from listening to several marching bands coming into town from separate directions, his music juxtaposed two halves of the orchestra playing different tunes in various keys and rhythms, thus anticipating Stravinskys polytonality. ... View Full Document

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