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MUSC205 - Romantic Musical Styles

Art Song through Ballet

John Leupold

on 10 April 2011

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Transcript of MUSC205 - Romantic Musical Styles

Romantic Musical Styles The Art Song Program Music Ballet Piano Music Opera:
Realistic Nationalism in Music Late Period Orchestral Music Art song - a song for solo voice and piano accompaniment with high artistic apirations. Also called a Lied (pl. Lieder) - German for "song."
Developed intensely by German composers.
Song cycle - tightly structured group of individual songs that tell a story or treat a single theme. Many composers wrote art songs, but the master was Franz Schubert. 1797..............................1828 Born in Vienna. 1802 Began receiving music lessons on violin and piano. Admitted to the Vienna Boys' Choir. 1808 1810 Began studying composition with Salieri. Composed pieces at an astonishing rate. 1812 Voice changed = left the choir Enrolled in a teachers college. 1815 Became a teacher at his father's school.
Disliked teaching. 1818 Quit his "day job" to focus completely on music.
Had trouble making money. Schubertiads - Small gatherings in parlors where only his compositions were performed.
Most of his best songs premiered here. 1822 Contracted syphilis = basically a death sentence. Composed some of his greatest works between this time and his death. 1827 Torchbearer at the funeral of Beethoven. Death from typhoid fever. Output: 8 symphonies, 15 string quartets, 21 piano sonatas, 7 Masses, 4 operas, 600+ Lieder. Erlkönig Elf King Written in 1815 - text is a ballad by German poet Goethe. Story is about the evil King of Elves and his evil seduction of young boys.
Anyone touched by the King of Elves would die. Became Schubert's most famous song and one of the few which made him money. Opens with a father, cradling his feverish son, riding a horse quickly through the woods to an inn in an attempt to save the child. The terror of the situation and the sound of the galloping horse are captured in the opening accompanying figure. The Elf King beckons sweetly to the boy, singing a popular tune with simple accompaniment.
Charm gives way to threatening dissonant tones, as seduction gives way to abduction.
Frightened boy cries out to his father - ends with a chromatic ascent.
Each time it is repeated at a higher pitch with increasingly dissonant harmonies - mimics the boy's growing terror.
Father tries to calm him in low, steady, stable, repetitive tones. Melody and accompaniment support and enrich the text.
Piano nearly as important as the voice.
Through-composed - music unfolds continually, without significant repetition. Robert and Clara Schumann Forced into law by his mother.
"attended" the Univeristy of Heidelberg. 1830 - Moved to Leipzig to become a virtuoso.
Studied piano with Friedrich Wieck.
Injured his hand.
Became a critic/composer. 1810-1856 Fell in love with Wieck's daughter, Clara.
Her father opposed the union.
Began composing art songs to make money.
Robert won a legal battle allowing them to marry (1840). Frauenliebe und -leben (Women in Love and Life) 8 poems that speak of the hopes and desires of a young middle-class woman. Written in 1840, after his marriage to Clara. Text is strophic, music is a Rondo (ABACA). "Du Ring an meinem Finger" ("You Ring on my finger") 1819-1896 Great piano virtuoso of the 1800s. Married Schumann in 1840 - was already an international star. Wrote art songs and character pieces for piano.
doubted her talent as a composer (as did most women). Bore 8 children - wrote fewer pieces. "Liebst du um Schönheit" ("If You Love for Beauty") Written in 1841. Modified Strophic Form - AA'A''A'''
Stanzas 1-3 = why the lady should not be loved.
Stanza 4 = why she should be loved - for love alone. Lives of Tragedy R. Schumann was somewhat of a "streak" composer. Suffered from bipolar disorder nearly all his life.
Condition worsened as he aged.
Tried to kill himself.
Committed himself to an asylum, where he died of dementia. Clara lived 40 years after his death.
Toured as a piano virtuoso to pay bills.
Never composed music or remarried after his death. Their lives embody the Romantic spirit. Inspired by the Romantic love of literature. Program music vs. Absolute Music Instrumental music, usually for symphony orchestra, that seeks to re-create the events and emotions portrayed in some non-musical source (a story, legend, play, novel, or historical event). Relies on specific musical gestures being able to evoke particular feelings and associations. Music that has no extramusical or programmatic references. Johannes Brahms a major composer of absolute music.
Other composers refused to admit they used programmatic elements. Four main genres of program music. 1. Program symphony 2. Dramatic overture 3. Concert overture 4. Tone poem Symphony with the usual three, four, or five movements found in Romantic symphonies.
Together they depict a succession of specific events or scenes. Examples: Berlioz's (1830) and Liszt's "Faust" Symphony (1857) Symphonie fantastique Overture to an opera or a play. One-movement work usually in sonata-allegro form. Encapsulates in music the essential dramatic events of the opera or play.
Often performed today without the opera/play. Examples: Rossini's overture to his opera (1829)
Mendelssohn's overture to Shakespeare's play William Tell A Midsummer Night's Dream (1826) Similar to a dramatic overture, but not designed to precede an opera or a play. One-movement work of programmatic content intended for the concert hall. Examples: Tchaikovsky's (1882) and Mendelssohn's The 1812 Overture Hebrides Overture (1830). The only entirely new genre of programmatic music. Also called Symphonic Poem. One-movement work for orchestra that gives musical expression to the emotions and events associated with a story, play, political event, or personal experience. Little difference between the tone poem and the concert overture. Examples: Tchaikovsky's (1869)
Mussorgsky's (1867)
Strauss's (1896) Romeo and Juliet Night on a Bald Mountain Thus Spoke Zarathustra Hector Berlioz 1803-1869 Born in France - father was a doctor. Never learned to play piano. At 17, he went to study medicine in Paris.
Earned a degree.
Decided to be a composer instead. Became a music critic to pay for school.
His primary source of income throughout his life. Used Shakespeare as the basis of many of his works. Wrote for huge choral and orchestral forces.
Authored a treatise on musical instruments. Forward-looking compositional style.
rarely used traditional forms such as sonata-allegro. Colleagues found his compositions "bizzare." Symphonie fantastique (1830) - his most celebrated work. The first complete program symphony - most radical example of musical Romanticism. Five-movement symphony (instead of usual four).
Movements balance each other (symmetry). Uses an throughout the symphony. idée fixe Idée fixe (fixed idea) - single melody that reapears as a unifying force throughout. Fixed idea represents the protagonist's beloved within the story.
Melody varied from movement to movement as his feelings change. Berlioz prepared a written program to be read as the music was performed.
This was to make sure the listener knows what feelings the protagonist is feeling. 1. Reveries, Passions 2. A Ball 3. Scene in the Country 4. March to the Scaffold 5. Dream of the Witches' Sabbath Story is of unrequited love, attempted suicide, imaginary murder, and hellish revenge. Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Parents decided he should study law.
Received a degree and worked for 7 years.
Decided music was his calling. Enrolled in St. Petersburg Conservatory.
Graduated and became an instructor at the Moscow Conservatory. Supported by Madame Nadezhda vo Meck and Tsar Alexander III. Wrote a little of nearly every genre.
Best known for his programmatic music and ballets. Was manic-depressive, neurotic, and a hypochondriac.
Was also homosexual. Died suddenly after drinking unboiled water during a cholera epidemic. Romeo and Juliet A free, not literal, representation of the play's principal dramatic events. Only three themes:
Compassionate music of Friar Laurence.
The fighting music (between the families).
The love theme. Form is sonata-allegro = presentation, confrontation, resolution. Composed 1869, revised 1880 Began in the French court of King Louis XIV.
18th century - accompanied nearly all opera seria performances. 19th century - moved to the stage as an independent genre. Ballet - dramatic dance in which the characters tell the story. Ballet Music No need for polyphony or serious symphonic intervention. Short bursts of tuneful melody and captivating rhythms. Tchaikovsky's "short-segment style proved perfect for the demands of ballet. Rhythms must be fairly steady and danceable. Swan Lake Sleeping Beauty The Nutcracker (1836), (1889), and (1892) his famous ballets. Story springs from a fairy-tale dream - typical of the Romantic era. "Dance of the Reed Pipes" "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
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