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The Romantic Period
Transcript of The Romantic Period
Ludwig van Beethoven
Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn
Robert and Clara Schumann
In contrast to the ideals of the Enlightenment, the Romantic outlook valued the individual and the subjective over the universal, the emotional and spiritual over the rational.
In other words, this was a period of artistic freedom, personal expression, imagination, and creativity.
The Romantic outlook preferred instrumental music, since the feelings provoked use of the individual's imagination.
Romanticism was associated with Idealism-the philosophical movement that established a realm beyond reason and words. For example: music-the most abstract of the arts- is beyond the physical state and lies in the realm of the spiritual and infinite.
Caspar David Friedrich Wanderer above the sea of fog
Social and Technological Progress
The Industrial Revolution accelerated rather quickly:
Railroad improvements-more efficient.
Invention of the telegraph in 1837-Samuel Morse.
First transatlantic cable was laid in 1866.
Invention of the telephone in 1876-Alexander Graham Bell.
Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, which made it possible to record, preserve, and reproduce sound for the first time in history!
Developments in medicine and agricultural fields.
The first photograph was successfully taken by Nicephore Niepce in 1826.
One of the earliest photographs taken of a composer was Frederic Chopin in 1849.
The Romantic Period was also called the age of revolutions.
Advances in weaponry made the Crimean (1853-1856), Franco-Prussian (1870-1871), and the American Civil War (1861-1865) more violent than previous wars.
The Third of May 1808
Artists and Literary Figures
Francisco Goya, Caspar David Friedrich, Eugene Delacroix, Auguste Rodin
Later impressionist artists of the 19th century: Edhuard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gaughin, Vincent van Gogh.
Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Heinrich Heine, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe.
Later: Friedrich Nietzsche
A Changed and Advanced Musical World
Advances in music printing, instrument building, growth of public concerts, music journalism, and music education.
Aristocratic patronage declined, so the selling of music became an important source of income for composers. Most composers of the era had other jobs.
Schubert was a teacher, Berlioz and Schumann were music critics, Chopin taught piano.
The Romantic was the first period to name itself and preserve musical works of the past-Mendelssohn was the first to conduct Bach's St Matthew Passion.
The social status of composers rose profusely-they were now called demigods.
Composers wrote about themselves and there was an increase in biographies.
Major Music Characteristics
New instrumental genres
Obsession with originality
Autobiographical references-ideas and stories
Melody became the main focus
Heightened dissonance and chromaticism
Orchestra doubled in size-in some cases 100 players!
Increase in length of symphonies
Dependence on middle-class audiences, since public concerts were the suppliers of their livelihoods.
Conductors became a necessity
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
"What is in my heart must come out and and so I write it down"
Beethoven's Death Mask
Born in Bonn, Germany on December 16, 1770
His father, Johann recognized Beethoven's talent and hoped he would become "another Mozart."
Unfortunately, his father was a harsh and abusive teacher. "An early rebellion against his father's unjust strictness laid the foundation for the revolt against every kind of authority."
1787: Beethoven made a trip to Vienna and played for Mozart.
1792: Haydn invites Beethoven to Vienna to study with him.
This did not last long, since Beethoven's ego refused to accept criticism.
Beethoven's musical life is often divided into
three style periods:
First period 1792-1801: represents influence of Haydn and Mozart.
First symphony (1799), first 3 string quartets, 15 piano sonatas including the Pathetique Sonata (1798).
This first period also marked the onset of his deafness and despair.
Symphony No. 1 in C Major
Second style period 1802-1814 "Heroic Period"
Beethoven's deafness was consuming him: "my ears buzz day and night, I can say that I am living a wretched life because it is impossible to say to people: I am deaf."
1802: the Heiligenstadt Testament-"Only art held me back, ah it seemed impossible for me that I should leave the world before I had produced all that I felt I might, and so I spared this wretched life."
This period became his happiest and most productive.
Psychological progression- especially the 3rd, 5th, and 9th symphonies.
Movement I represents struggle
Movement II-death, funeral march
Movement III-rebirth, scherzo
Beethoven's landmark work-Symphony 3 "Eroica" forever changed Western music.
He also composed Symphonies Nos. 4-8, the first version of Fidelio (1805), several of the most famous piano sonatas-Waldstein, Appasionata, Emperor, the violin concerto, piano concertos 4 and 5.
Symphony No. 3 Eroica
Symphony No. 5 1st & 2nd movement
Third Period 1815-1827
1815: Beethoven's brother Caspar dies. He became guardian of his brother's son Karl, which burdened his musical productivity.
Piano Sonata in B-flat "Hammerklavier," the last five string quartets, Missa Solemnis, the Ninth Symphony.
By 1817, Beethoven was stone deaf and the music from this final period represents a man drawn into his silent world, no longer composing to please anyone, only composing to justify his artistic existence.
The Ninth Symphony (1823) premiered in Vienna on May 7, 1824 with only two rehearsals!
Beethoven died on March 26, 1827 due to a long illness. Around 20,000 people turned out for his funeral.
"It represented everything the Romantics thought to be the essence of Beethoven-a defiance of form, a call for brotherhood, a titantic explosion, a spiritual experience."
Ode to Joy
Symphony No. 9 Complete
Beethoven's Total Output
5 Piano Concertos
1 Violin Concerto
16 String Quartets
10 Violin Sonatas
5 Cello Sonatas
32 Piano Sonatas
9 Concert Overtures
21 Sets of Piano Variations
2 Masses: Missa Solemnis, C Major
"The Poet of Music"
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Born in Lichtenthal, Vienna on January 31, 1797.
1808: Schubert became a soprano in the choir at the Imperial and Royal Seminary and later in the year became a composition student of Salieri.
1811: He began to compose little pieces.
Beethoven's Tombstone in Vienna
1814-1818: Schubert worked as a teacher at his father's school while steadily composing.
By 1818, Schubert left teaching for good and became part of a bohemian circle-later known as the Schubertains- made up of his closest friends-who were musicians, artists, poets, and literary figures.
Distinguished baritone, Johann Vogl began to present Schubert's music in public, which in turn attracted publishers.
Schubert's reputation grew but few works were published in his lifetime. About 40 years after his death, his genius was realized and influenced many later Romantic composers.
Despite Schubert's short life, his total output is enormous.
Schubert died on November 19, 1828, a year after carrying the torch to Beethoven's grave either from typhoid fever or syphilis.
He is most recognized for his collection of 600 art songs/lieder, which were composed to the poems of
Goethe, Schiller, Heine, and his friends.
Lied: German for art song.
Du bist die Ruh
(You are peace, the mild peace)
9 Symphonies (one unfinished)
22 Piano Sonatas
35 Chamber works
2 Song Cycles (Winterreise)
The Modern Orchestra
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805-1847)
Born into a wealthy German-Jewish family in Hamburg. Fanny-November 14, 1805 and Felix-February 3, 1809.
Fanny and Felix received the same musical education that consisted of a strict regimen that began at 5 am every day.
Their parents, Abraham and Leah, decided to move to Berlin three years after Felix was born. Their home became the center of musical and intellectual thought.
Fanny and Felix parallel Mozart and his talented sister Nannerl, however, Fanny and Felix remained close all their lives and depended on each other musically.
The main difference was that Felix was able to enjoy a prosperous career, while Fanny had to tend to her "woman's work."
1825: When Felix was sixteen he had composed 4 operas, concertos, symphonies, cantatas, and piano music.
Every Sunday morning there were musicales at the Mendelssohn home, where Felix was able to rehearse his works with a full orchestra.
His music was and still is regarded as flawless and his composition methods are comparable to Mozart's.
Felix's career reached its peak with the performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion in 1829.
1840s: He established the Leipzig Conservatory, remained active as a composer, conductor, pianist, teacher, traveler and so on.
Felix was exhausted and he was killing himself.
Unlike Felix's prodigious career, Fanny made three public performances.
The Sunday musicales-known as salons-became her main and only musical outlet.
Fanny became the most important salonniere in music history.
1820: By age fourteen, her father separated the equal paths of
brother and sister up until this point:
"while music might become
Felix's profession, it is to remain an ornament for Fanny's life."
Fanny's music is more adventurous and risky as compared to Felix's. However, she lacked opportunity and her upper-class status forbid her to publish and perform publicly. She published some of her works under Felix's name.
Fanny composed mostly for keyboard-the main instrument she had access to-sonatas, contrapuntal works, vocal music, oratorio, and orchestral works.
Fanny collapsed suddenly and died of a stroke on May 14, 1847. Felix had a stroke the instant he heard of her death and died 6 months later.
Fanny's obituary exalted her credibility as a composer-her class and gender were no longer barriers.
Genius and Tragedy
Felix's Romanticism was the most restrained of any other Romantic composer. He was a Classicist, but did produce a few Romantic works.
A Midsummer Night's Dream Overture
Song Without Words
Fanny composed over 400 works and the process of reviving them is still in progress.
Piano trio in D minor-1846
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)
Born on December 11, 1803 in Saint-Andre, France.
Berlioz received no musical training and was discouraged to do so. As a result, his composition style was self-evolved.
He was the first French Romantic, the first to express himself autobiographically, advanced the modern orchestra, one of the first composer-music critics, and became one of the seminal forces of the 19th century.
The Hector Berlioz Museum
"The high forehead, curving hawk nose, the enormous shock of hair of which the barber could do nothing-whoever had seen this head would never forget it."
1821: Berlioz was sent to Paris to become a doctor but he attended the Paris Conservatory instead!
While in Paris, Berlioz attended Shakespeare's Hamlet and became wildly obsessed with the actress who played Ophelia.
The image of actress, Harriet Smithson, ruled Berlioz's life, but she had no idea who he was.
Berlioz decided to attract her attention through music. The Symphonie Fantastique (1830) is an expression of Berlioz's obsession for her and is clearly an autobiographical work.
Each performance is accompanied with a program that explains the work in detail and remains a necessary component for understanding the music.
A young musician of unhealthy sensitive nature and endowed with vivid imagination has poisoned himself with opium in a paroxysm of lovesick despair. The narcotic he had taken was too weak to cause death but it has thrown him into a long sleep accompanied by the most extraordinary visions. In this condition of sensations, feelings and memories find utterance in his sick brain in the form of musical imagery. Even the beloved one takes the form of melody in his mind, like a fixed idea that is ever-returning, that he hears everywhere.
Symphonie Fantastique is a great piece of program music and contains an
idee fixe: fixed idea-a melodic idea representing "the beloved" (Smithson) haunts the piece.
Unfortunately for Berlioz, Harriet did not attend the premiere in 1830.
Symphonie Fantastique has five movements:
I. Visions. Passions.
II. A ball
III. In the countryside
IV. The procession to the scaffold
V. Dream of a witches' sabbath
Pure coincidence led Harriet Smithson to another performance of Fantastique in 1832.
Berlioz's wild opium dream came true... (sort of)
She finally fell under Berlioz's spell of music and they married a year later.
Their happiness did not last-since her acting career was failing, she turned into a jealous alcoholic!
Berlioz composed other symphonies, operas, choral works, and songs-everything was big, avant-garde, and became known as the music of the future.
Berlioz died in Paris on March 8, 1869, possibly from an opium overdose.
Berlioz dreamed (besides opium) of an orchestra of over 400! Of course, this is impractical, but he did expand the orchestra as well as heighten instrumental techniques and timbre (tone color).
Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
"I am affected by everything that goes on in the world-politics, literature, people...that is why my compositions are sometimes difficult to understand, because they are connected with distant interests, because anything that happens compels me to express it in music."
Born on June 8, 1810 in Zwickau (Saxony), Germany.
Schumann grew up conditioned by literature and juggled between the careers of a composer and a writer. He essentially became both.
1830: Schumann became a student of piano teacher, Frederich Wieck, where he first met Clara Wieck, the nine-year old prodigy and daughter of Wieck.
They became musical confidants and later married without the consent of Mr. Wieck.
Schumann is most recognized for his character pieces and small piano works. His career as a concert pianist ended before it started due to a hand injury.
Schumann's contraption; an attempt to achieve a shortcut to finger independence backfired and permanently damaged his
Clara Wieck Schumann (1819-1896)
Born on September 13, 1819 in Leipzig, Germany.
Clara was a child prodigy-trained by her father-and made her debut as a concert pianist at age nine.
"There is nothing greater than the joy of composing something oneself and then listening to it"
She became one of history's most regarded performers and was highly esteemed by Chopin, Mendelssohn, and Brahms.
Clara often premiered Robert's work and after they married, she dedicated much of her time to him instead of composing.
Performing came easy for her, however Clara thought she was an inferior composer next to Robert and constantly needed his approval.
As a 19th century woman, Clara achieved way beyond the expected-she was an artist, composer, mother of eight (five survived), and wife.
Frederich Wieck was not pleased with Clara's choice of husband.
Robert and Clara influenced and inspired each other profusely.
Robert's character pieces (piano miniatures, instrumental counterpart to song that evokes
a particular idea or mood) contained hidden
messages and autobiographical references.
Within his piano cycle Carnaval, "Chiarina" represents Clara (her pen name), and Florestan and Eusebius were Robert's two characters that he used within his critical writings.
Clara's music was often called Schumannesque and Chopinesque.
Google dedicated this Doodle to Clara in celebration of her 193rd birthday on September 13, 2012.
After suffering from mental illness and experiencing hallucinations, Robert Schumann died on July 29, 1856.
Clara Schumann stopped composing, but continued to perform and support their children. She published and edited Robert's work until she died in 1896.
Romanze 1 op. 11
Frederic Chopin (ca 1809-1849)
"Cannon buried in flowers"-Schumann
Born in Zelazowa Wola, Poland either on February 22 or March 1, 1809-1810 of a Polish mother and French father.
At age eight, Chopin published his first compositions.
He arrived in Paris in 1831 and spent the rest of his days there.
Chopin gave few concerts in his life and preferred intimate salon settings.
Chopin revolutionized piano playing and elevated the piano into a singing, intimate, poetic, and heroic instrument full of infinite color.
Aside from a few piano concertos and a cello sonata,
Chopin composed entirely for piano.
He remains the only composer bound to one instrument.
He was an "absolute" composer and supplied nothing but abstract titles:
waltz, mazurka, etude, polonaise, nocturne, scherzo, prelude, fantasy, impromptu, ballade, variations.
mazurkas and polonaises
echoed the melodies that Chopin heard throughout his early life.
Two important things about Chopin's style:
Rubato-a displacement of rhythm and meter-and his Classical bent
, from influences of Bach and Mozart.
Prelude in E minor
From a set of 24 preludes that were influenced by Bach's Well Tempered Clavier
A Taste of Chopin's Sound...
Ballade No. 1 in G minor
Mazurka in A minor
When Franz Liszt introduced Chopin to novelist,
George Sand (Aurore Dudevant)
his life was forever changed.
By 1838 they were living together and spent the winter in Majorca, but Chopin's health was fading fast.
He had weak lungs and developed tuberculosis. Sand and Chopin split in 1846, and it nearly
killed him-also marked the end of his creativity.
Chopin died on October 17, 1849. Mozart's Requiem was sung at his funeral.
Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
"I am not made like other people...the world owes me what I need. I can't live on a miserable organist's pittance like your master, Bach."
Born in Leipzig, Germany on May 22, 1813.
Wagner's legal father died when he was 6 months old, but there is some evidence that his real father was actor, Ludwig Geyer.
He decided to become a composer after hearing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at fifteen. Wagner was self-taught and received no formal training.
At age 21, Wagner composed his first opera-a genre he would revolutionize- he called it "music drama." The music was continuous, the orchestra plays nonstop, and it was saturated with leitmotifs-similar to Berlioz's idee fixe.
After composing more music dramas, Wagner arrived at the concept-
a unified artwork.
Die Walkure (1856) is the second of four operas that make up "The Ring Cycle," a seventeen-hour, four-night event.
"The Ride of the Valkyries"
Tristan und Isolde (1859)
Perhaps, the greatest Wagnerian music drama, Tristan und Isolde transformed the second half of the 19th century and would influence well into the 20th.
The "sustained erotic delirium" that was Tristan was inspired by an affair Wagner was having with a supporter's wife, Mathilde.
Tristan combines intensity, harmonic richness, massive orchestration, sensuousness, and brings together the deepest impulses of man and woman.
Complete Music Drama
Wagner married Cosima, the daughter of Franz Liszt in 1857. Their first daughter was named Isolde.
Together they formed the Bayreuth Festival-the first was held in 1876-that celebrates Wagner's music.
Despite Wagner's egocentric, and often racist views, his music continues to endure. Wagner became one of the most influential composers of his time, either loved or hated.
After a series of heart attacks, Wagner died on February 13, 1883 and was buried in Bayreuth.
Hope you enjoyed the Romantic Period..
Stay tuned for the
Missa Solemnis: Kyrie
"Das Jahr" (The Year) 1841
Three Romances for oboe and piano
Symphony No. 7
Pyotr (Peter) Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
"Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy."
"Truly there would be reason to go mad were it not for music."
Born in Votkinsk, Vyatka Province, Russia (outside of Moscow) on May 7, 1840.
His talent was apparent at age four and he surpassed all of his piano teachers.
The death of Tchaikovsky's mother in 1859 fueled the fire of composition
but also led to nervous breakdowns.
1866-After studying at the St Petersburg Conservatory, he relocated to Moscow and composed his First Symphony among other works.
Tchaikovsky is best known for his ballets, which was a genre that steadily
rose to prominence by the end of the 19th century.
Swan Lake (1875-76)
The Nutcracker (1892)
Around 1876 Tchaikovsky started receiving commissions from a mysterious patron-Madame von Meck. They retained a relationship for years, but never met.
1877-Tchaikovsky married despite grappling with his homosexuality.
Tchaikovsky's ballets made him a staple of the dance stage worldwide
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
More of Tchaikovsky's sound
1812 Overture (1880)
Romeo and Juliet Overture (1870)
Piano Concerto No. 1
On November 2, 1893 Tchaikovsky drank unboiled water during cholera season and died six days later on November 6.
Waldstein Sonata No.21 1st movement