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Romantic Era (1820-1900)

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Matthew Postle

on 7 September 2018

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Transcript of Romantic Era (1820-1900)

Expressive Tone Color
Colorful/Complex Harmony
- breaking away from tonality
Expanded Range
of Dynamics, Pitch, and Tempo
- Miniature: (soloist or chamber ensemble, shorter works)
- Monumental (large ensembles, longer works)
Romanticism in Music
- imagination, emotion, and
- Classical forms/ensembles used
- Compared to classical period:
- Greater range of tempo, dynamics, pitch.
- more tension
-less balance/resolution.
- Expressive Moods/Subjects
- Universal Feelings
- Nature
Program Music
Romantic Era (1820-1900)
Romantic Composers: Lifestyle
- Beethoven
- Contemporaries/future gen.
- Upper class = no $$ for music
- Middle class: population/$$ grow
- New music
- Demand = printed music
- Music schools: Europe/USA.
Composers: similar social class as audience.
Romantic composers: financially unsuccessful.
Piano Music
Franz Liszt
(1811-1886); Hungary
- Piano "pop star"
- 20s: practice at least 12 hours per day
- Toured: 1839-1847.
- 36: court conductor/
- musical/$$ support (for others)
- Piano Music foreshadows experimental 20th century
- Musical Style:
- "controversial"
- extroverted
- exploits piano
- "three hands at once"
- Transcendental Etude in F Minor (1851)
- Etude = study piece
- Left hand workout
Program Music
Instrumental Music
- story, poem, idea, or scene.
- emotions, events, nature..etc..
- popular in romantic era.
- Tchaikovsky’s
Romeo and Juliet
- Smetana’s

: explanation by composer of nonmusical ideas in the work.
Mostly written: piano or orchestra.
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-93)
The Orchestra
Importance of Timbre.
Orchestra: larger ~100 members.
B/W/P: more active
~ 25 brass
New woodwinds introduced
Favorite instrument of composers
Much improved from classical
Other Piano Composers
Robert Schumann
(Germany; 1810-56)
- autobiographical music (mostly piano)
- Destroyed R.H. (devices/exercises)
- Tried to drown himself, committed to asylum.
Frederic Chopin
(1810-1849; Poland)
- Lives in Paris (center of Romanticism)
- No "program" music
- compositions = variety of moods
-Miniature works
- Greatly studied/performed
Hector Berlioz (1803-69)
- One of 1st French comp in Romantic era.
- "Orchestration"
- "Anti-French" sound
- irritated public
- larger scale works (gigantic ensembles)
- Funded concerts w/ his $$
- musical journalist/critic
- Musical Style
- Abrupt: contrast, tempo, dynamics
- Large works (100's of musicians)
- Most for orch, orch w/choir
Symphonie Fantasique
- 5 mov program symphony (obsession with an actress)
- idee fixe (or fixed idea) : simple melody represents his love
- found in all 5 mov.
-Very large orchestra:
- Piccolo, flutes, oboes, English horn, clarinets, 4 bassoons, 4 French horns, cornets, trumpets, 3 trombones, tubas, 4 timpani, bass drum, snare drum, cymbals, bells, harps, and strings.
- most famous Russian composer.
- 21: begins to study music
- Music Prof: Moscow Conservatory.
- 30:
Romeo and Juliet.
(1st great orch work)
- 1877: Marries
- hid homosexuality
- attempted suicide twice.
- 1877: Benefactress funds career (until 1891)
- 1893: dies after premier of 6th symph.
- Most influence from Western Europe composers
- thought of himself as Russian Nationalist
Music: (Famous works)
- 4th-6th symph
- Romeo and Juliet Overture
- Ballets: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker
- 1812 Overture
- Operas
- strong connection to culture/country
Revolution/Wars brought countries together
Music: distinctive national identity.
- folk songs, original melodies w/ folk traits
- Program Music
- Politically-charged
- most common in Eastern Europe
Bedrich Smetana
- Smetana = founder of Czech national music.
- Music: folk music/legends
The Moldau
(1874) (Nationalist/Program)
- contrasting sections representing scenery and episodes
- Banned by Nazis in WW2
Antonin Dvorak
-Follows Smetana (Czech Nationalist)
- Music: spirit of folk song/dance.
- Rarely quotes folk songs
-1892: NYC = director of National Conservatory of Music
- promotes nationalism.
- Interest in Native American/African American music.
1895: Prague Conservatory (home) as director.
- Written in US.
- folk elements: Czech/American.
- Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
- Dvorak on African-American Music: "...all that is needed for a great and noble school of music (in USA)."
- US Critics: labeled Dvorak as "negrophile"
- Pentatonic Scale: five-note scale.
- Modal Scales
- 1893: Debuted in NYC (Carnegie Hall)
- New York Times "one of the finest work's since Beethoven's 9th"
9th Symphony:
From The New World
"The composition depicts the course of the river, beginning from its two small sources, one cold the other warm, the joining of both streams, then the flow of the Moldau through forests/meadows, through the countryside where feasts are celebrated; water nymphs dance in the moonlight; on nearby rocks can be seen the outline of ruined castles, .... The Moldau swirls through the St. John Rapids and flows in a broad stream toward Prague. It passes Vyšehrad [where an ancient royal castle once stood], and finally the river disappears in the distance as it flows majestically into the Elbe." - Bedrich Smetana
The Moldau (1873)
- http://www.mhhe.com/socscience/music/kamien/student/olc/61.htm
(Vyšehrad in Prague)
- 1100 years of history
Frédéric Chopin
Nocturne in E-Flat Major
Hector Berlioz
Symphonie Fantastique
The Art Song:
Franz Schubert
pg. 217-221
Art Song:
- solo voice w/ piano.
- performed in homes.
- Poetry/music fused
- native language.
- Themes: yearning, nature, legends, past times/places
Song Cycle
- grouping of songs
- unified by theme
- Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
- Vienna, freelance
- Creator of Art Song
- composed ~600
Der Erlkönig
- Narrative Ballad
- Supernatural theme
- pg. 220-221
Romantic Era Opera
Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
First well known for his opera
Manon Lescaut.
Most famous operas:
-La Boheme
-Madame Butterfly
-Melodies: short, memorable phrases, emotional.
-Continuity: minimized differences between aria/ recitative
-reuses material in acts.
La bohème
Boy (Rodolfo) meets girl (Mimi),
boy loses girl,
boy and girl are reunited as girl dies of consumption in boy’s arms and curtain falls.
copied this storyline)
Act I:
- Cold Christmas eve night
- Mimi's candle burns out
- Knocks on Rodolfo's door
- Rodolfo invites Mimi in
- Mimi (sick) faints
- Rodolfo revives her
- Mimi loses her key (coughing)
- lights go out, hands touch
- Aria is sung by Rodolfo (
How cold your little and is, Che gelinda manina
- Mimi sings aria (fragile/tender)
- Eventually both voices unite
= love
Richard Wagner
German-born (arts-oriented family)
massive impact on Romantic era
- Opera
- Artistic Philosophy
Design his own Opera house
- only for his music
Age 15: influence of Beethoven
- Studies music.
- little formal training
- never masters any instrument
Lived off other’s $$ (debt)
(1842) = great success.
- conductor of the Dresden Opera (six years).
1848: Revolutions alter life (participated).
-for several years:
- did not compose music
- new theories in art ( essay writing),
- completed text: set of four operas (Der Ring des Nibelungen)
- Myth story: consumed life for 25 years.
Several opera = failures
personality: Selfish, ruthless, Nationalist, self-conviction
Ring cycle (1876) most important musical event of the century
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47)
- German
-Classical tradition.
-Age 9: brilliant pianist
-13: writing symphonies, concertos, sonatas, and vocal works.
-1829: Conducted Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, the first performance since Bach’s death.
- Rekindled public interest in Bach.
- Played frequently for Queen of England.
- Had a conventional life (married, children) unlike a lot of romantic composers
-Founded Leipzig Conservatory
- elegance and balance
- Variety of moods, no extremes
- No operas (like Bach)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
(E minor, 1844)
Premiered in 1845 with great success
Three movements, no pauses
One of the most played violin concertos
Giuseppe Verdi: 1813-1901
- Italy
- 1839: 1st opera,
- Produced at La Scala (Milan)
- modest success
- wife/children died. (unexplained illness).
- Next opera failed (Verdi quits)
- Read libretto about Ancient Jews exiled from homeland, decided to compose again
- Saw similarities in oppression of Italians
- For rest of life, Verdi was seen as a national hero, his operas symbolized Italian independence
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
- German: updated classical forms
- "serious musician" (piano, theory, composition),
- "pop" musician: bars/cafés.
20: Robert Schumann helped to promote his music.
Spent his life in Vienna.
- Reintroduced works of Bach, Handel, and Mozart.
- wide knowledge of baroque and classical music.
Brahms' Music:
- all forms (except Opera)
- Lyrical/Melancholic melodies
- lots of polyphonic texture
- Rhythmically-exciting
- syncopation
- rich, dark tone colors
Orchestral works: favor mellow inst.
- viola, clarinet, French horn
Symphony #3, 3rd movement:
Rigoletto (1851, Act III)
La donna e mobile
- The most famous aria in all of Opera
- Rigoletto: Operatic Hero, hunchbacked court jester
- Gilda: Rigotello's daughter
- Duke: Rigoletto's master/obsessed with Gilda

- Rigoletto wishes to protect Gilda from the Duke by murdering him. Gilda finds out and sacrifices herself in order to save Rigoletto.
Die Walkure
: Act I Conclusion
Clara Wieck Schumann
- 1819-1896
- German Pianist and Composer
- one of most important pianists
- Child Prodigy
- several instruments, composer..etc..
- Age 11: first tour of Europe
- Piano Teacher: Robert Schumann
- later married (8 kids)
- Performed works:
- own compositions
- Robert Schumann
- J.S. Bach
- Johann Brahms
- One of first pianists to perform from memory
- was not the standard
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