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Test #2 Notes - ROMANTICSYMPHONIES Symphony(alongwithopera)...

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ROMANTIC SYMPHONIES Symphony (along with opera) considered the primary genre for romantic  expression (lyricism, color, emotion, harmonic exploration, virtuosity) by 19th  century composers.  Many used Beethoven ’ s 9 symphonies as the starting point  for their works.  Given the breadth of LvB ’ s symphonic styles (classicism but  with radical elements) the approaches he inspired were diverse.   Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) I.  Life a. Wealthy family, trained as a physician (never practiced) b. Studied composition  at conservatory c. Won prizes for compositions, published early d. Obsessed with  actress Harriet Smithson (1800-54) Pursued her until they married in 1833 (unhappily) e. Known as a writer,  including well-known treatise on orchestration   II.  Berlioz ’ s fame rests with his 4 symphonies: a. Symphonie fantastique (1830) b. Harold en Italie (1834) c. Romeo et Juliet (1839) d. Grande symphonie funebre et trimphale  (1840) III.  General characteristics: 1. huge orchestral forces, genius of orchestral color 2. cyclic treatment of  movements (recurrent themes, 3. programmatic elements 4. expanded number of  movements 5. counterpoint 6. use of chorus 7. autobiographical elements 8. low  voices (bass) carries melody against another in upper voices IV.  Symphonie fantastique (1830) (originally called:  An Episode in the Life of an Artist: Fantastic Symphonie  in 5 Parts) a. Large unified programmatic composition (5 movements should not be  separated) b. Based on id é e fixe : a recurrent theme, transformed or varied c.  Theme represented Harriet Smithson, his beloved (whom he married unhappily) d.  Orchestral color accomplished through:
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1. unusual instruments (Eb clarinet, bells, harp, english horn, ophicleides--brass  bugle-like) 2. huge orchestral forces (huge brass, 4 bassoons, 2 harps, percussion)  3. playing techniques (dictates mallet heads for timpani, col legno (bowing w. wood  part of bow) 4. orchestration (instruments used for emotional content and  pictureque potential) 5. Dies Irae chant melody juxtaposed with Witch ’ s music  depicts his own struggle with catholic upbringing and athiestic tendencies. I.  Romantic Choral Music A.  Beethoven’s use of chorus in 9th symphony started a trend for doing so.  While  symphonies and operas dominate romantic period, we see a trend for choral writing  (on their own, in symphonies, and in operas).  Classicists such as Mendelsson  (today) and Brahms (Requiem) steeped in choral traditions of the past, resisted  avant garde elements of romanticism.
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