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Vocal Music of the Romantic Era

Music Listening Today Charles Hoffer Chapters 22-23, 26
by

Jennifer Brown

on 19 April 2016

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Transcript of Vocal Music of the Romantic Era

Romance and Romanticism
Subjects:
Heroic person or event
something far away and strange
something imaginative & full of wonder
Characteristics
mystery and the unknown, power of evil
distrust of reason and science
fascination with long ago and far away
fascination with unknown forces and struggles
ethralled by nature (the world untainted by humans)
resented rules
highly subjective and individualistic
self-centered & non-social, if not anti-social
belief in natural goodness of people
belief in unity of the arts
Romantic Art
http://facstaff.uww.edu/carlberj/romart.htm
More artistic examples:
Split
Personality
Optimistic, happy, and loved beauty
vs.
Fascination with evil and suffering
massive contradictions
1820-1900
Significant changes from Classical Era
Melodies
flowing and passionate,
sweeping and expansive
Harmonies
more notes
more chromaticism
Dynamics and Rhythm
freer
more contrasts
Features combined to create:
Richer tonal qualities
Outstanding beauty
Orchestration:
new instruments added
larger orchestra
longer works
Vocal Music
The Art Song (Lied)
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lied
musical setting of a poem
text more important than melody
voice and piano must express the mood
multiple characters may be portrayed by one singer
four characters:
narrator
father
son
erl king
through composed - no repetition
piano depicts horse galloping through the woods
Schubert's "Der Erlkönig"
Schubert's "Der Erlkönig"
alarie-tano.deviantart.com
poem by Goethe
alarie-tano.deviantart.com
Schubert's "Der Erlkönig"
poem by Goethe
father
son (being held by father)
Erl king &
his daughters
http://www.ljhs.sandi.net/faculty/MFiedler/Romantic.pdf
The Oratorio
continued in Handel's tradition:
distinct recitatives
arias
choruses
biblical text
Not a very prominent form.
Most composers wrote opera, solo and chamber music
continued in Mozart's tradition
bel canto - beautiful singing
Rossini
Bellini
Donizetti
Verdi
Puccini
Romantic Opera
Italian Style
Verdi's Rigoletto
"La donna è mobile" ("Woman is fickle")
Woman is flighty
Like a feather in the wind,
She changes her voice and her mind.
Always sweet,
Pretty face,
In tears or in laughter
she is always lying.
Always miserable
Is he who trusts her,
He who confides in her
his unwary heart!
Yet one never feels
Fully happy
Who on that bosom does not drink love!
Puccini's La Boheme
"Si mi chiamano Mimi" (0:00-5:15)
different, but not very distinct

Gounod
Bizet
Massanet
French Style
En fermant les yeux
Massanet's Manon
German Style
German language has more consonants &
does not allow for the same type of bel canto singing of the Italian style

subject: Nordic mythology
operas were longer & heavier than Italian or French
Weber
Wagner
Wagner's Music Drama
he wrote his own librettos and did his own staging
no longer divided music into recitatives, arias, & choruses
motives represented characters and ideas
orchestra kept up the drama by playing motives and themes
Wagner's Götterdämmerung
Immolation Scene
The End
Oratorio
View video here: http://tinyurl.com/lld3jts
Music Listening Today
Chapters 22,23,26
Romantic Era Vocal Music
Many composers, including Beethoven, tried to set the poem Erlkonig to music. Goethe had been told by Mendelssohn that this was an impossible task and no one would ever achieve it successfully. They thought this to be the case because they did not think it would be possible to portray the Erlking himself successfully. Both viewed the Erlking more as a spirit rather than the physical, elven being he was in Danish legend. Despite his opinion, Schubert's setting of the poem became famous and he was known as "The composer of the Erlkonig."
https://sites.google.com/site/folkloreoftheerlkonig/home/history-of-the-erlkonig-poem
Full transcript