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MUSC205 - Romantic Musical Styles II

Piano Music through Opera

John Leupold

on 10 April 2011

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Transcript of MUSC205 - Romantic Musical Styles II

Romantic Musical Styles The Art Song Program Music Ballet Piano Music Opera:
Realistic Nationalism in Music Late Period Orchestral Music Advances in the construction of the piano. Larger and more powerful. Industrial Revolution - frame could be made of cast iron. Added foot pedals - Sustain pedal and soft pedal. Cross-stringing - gave a more resonant sound. Frédéric Chopin - The "poet of the piano" (1810-1849) Born in Warsaw, Poland. Attended the Warsaw Conservatory. 1831 - Arrives in Paris. Not a good virtuoso.
Introverted, physically slight, and sickly. 1836-1847 - Relationship with Baroness Aurore Dudevant (George Sand). Mazurka in Bb Major , Opus 7, no. 1 (1832) Dance from Poland with native folk tunes.
Harmony suggests the drone of a village bagpipe. Fast dance in triple meter with an accent on the second beat. Form - ABACA
C section changes character to the Polish village. Parisians listened, Poles danced to this style. Nocturne in C# minor , Opus 27, no. 1 (1835) Night piece - slow, dreamy genre of piano music. Characterized by ittersweet melodies and softly strumming harmonies Form is ABCA
A section is lyrical and expressive.
B and C sections are passionate and anxious. Output Basically all piano music.
Either solo piano or an ensemble with an important piano part. Wrote many Polish dances - mazurkas (58) and polonaises (18), 3 piano sonatas, 24 piano preludes, 24 etudes, 21 nocturnes, 20 waltzes, 2 concertos for piano and orchestra, and other character pieces for piano. Franz Liszt - the most flamboyant artistic personality of 1800s. 1811..........................................................................1886 Born in Hungary to German-speaking parents. 1822 Father takes him on tour to Vienna and Paris. Wanted him to be the next Wunderkind. Father played piano, violin, cello, and guitar.
Worked in the Esterházy court.
Knew Haydn and Beethoven personally. While in Vienna, he received piano lessons from Czerny and composition lessons from Salieri. Met Beethoven and Schubert while in Vienna. 1827 Father dies. Lives with mother in Paris, quits touring. Entered a dark time in his life. 1832 Attended a concert of Paganini. Inspired him to become a virtuoso on piano. Met Berlioz while in Paris, who became a major compositional influence on Liszt. Began to practice long hours.
Developed many techniques no one else could do.
Could play the incredibly fast.
Eventually became the greatest pianist of the Romantic period. 1833 Elopes with Countess Marie d'Agoult. Decides to live a domestic life. They move to Switzerland, then Italy. 1839 Begins touring again (tours until 1847).
plays over 1,000 concerts. Sparked Lisztomania in Europe. Developed into the modern-day piano recital. 1844 Ends relationship with the Countess. Continues to tour and amasses a large fortune.
Gives much of his earnings away to charities. 1847 Late in the year, quits touring and settles in Weimar.
Urged to by Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein Became court music director and composer-in-residence.
Focused mainly on orchestral composition. Composed a dozen tone poems, 2 program symphonies, and 3 piano concertos here. 1861 Moves to Rome initially to marry the Princess. Decides to retreat to a solitary life as a member of the Catholic Church. Becomes known as Abbé Liszt. Wrote most of his 60 religious works while living near Rome. Dies in Bayreuth, Germany. Travelled here to hear the premier of an opera by his son-in-law, Wagner. Cause of death officially listed as pneumonia. Liszt in 1880. Etude Transcendental Etude no. 8, "Wild Jagd" ("Wild Hunt"; 1851) Short, one-movement composition designed to improve one or more aspects of a performer's technique. Examples include fast scales, rapid note repetition, leaps, etc. Before 1840, many composers wrote boring etudes.
Chopin and Liszt took the etude to a new level, showing it could embody artistry as well as mechanics. Suggests a nocturnal chase in a supernatural forest. Performer must go on a "wild hunt" in order to perform this correctly.
Many try and fail. Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) Maintained Italian opera in the Early 1800s. More popular than Beethoven in the 1820s. Last great composer of opera buffa. The Barber of Seville William Tell , 1816 - Opera Buffa. , 1829 - More serious style. Bel Canto Opera Bel canto - Beautiful Singing. Two leaders were Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) and Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) Solidifies the position of the prima donna (first lady) and the diva (1880s). Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) From the 1840s until the 1890s, he dominated Italian opera. His 26 operas are more available today than any other composer. Verdi Born in northern Italy. Rejected from the Conservatory in Milan at the age of 18.
Remained in Milan to study composition. First opera produced in 1839 to mild success. Second opera, , in 1842 was a huge success.
His reputation quickly spread through all of Europe, to North and South America. Nabucco Became a leader in the Risorgimento movement for a united, free Italy (1840s).
Eventually would become a member of the country's first parliament.
Later (1874), he was elected to Italy's senate. 1850s - moves to Paris, disillusioned with politcs.
Writes (1851), (1853), and (1853) Rigoletto La traviata Il travatore Returned to Italy in 1857 and slowed down his composition.
Wrote in 1871 for the opening of the Suez Canal then "retired." Aida Verdi's Drama and Musical Style Conflict is the root of every emotion.
Expressed conflict by juxtaposing clearly contrasting units of music. Result is not musical and dramatic subtlety, but rather banner headlines Creates a new recitative style called recitativo accompagnato.
Recitative accompanied by orchestra. Writes perhaps the most beautiful of the bel canto arias.
They are simple and memorable.
Still have intensity and passion. La traviata (1853) Tells the story of the sickly Violetta Valery, a courtesan, who first resists and then succumbs to the love of a new suitor, Alfredo.
Violetta leaves Alfredo to spare his family from learning of her reputation.
Alfredo publicly insults Violetta.
Learns of her sacrific and runs to her side.
Too late! She is dying of tuberulosis. Act 1, Scene 4 Scena - scenic plan made up of diverse movements. Act 1, Scene 6 In this case, slow aria, to recitative, to fast-concluding aria. Cabaletta - fast-concluding aria.
allows the soloist(s) to race off stage at the end of a scene or act. Act 1, Scene 6 Richard Wagner (1813-1883) Born in Leipzig, Germany - mostly self-taught. 1839 - Leaves for Paris to get his operas produced - met by indifference. 1842 - First opera produced in Dresden, where he became director of the Dresden Opera. Wrote (1844), (1845), and (1848) here. Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) Tannhäuser Lohengrin 1848 - Fled to Switzerland where he lived for 12 years or so.
Wrote The Ring cycle while here. Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) Made up of four operas to be performed over four nights: Das Rheingold
Die Walküre
Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) - 2.5 hours
- 4.5 hours
- 4.5 hours
- 5.5 hours He wrote the music and the librettos. An allegory exploring themes of power, greed, honor, bravery, and race in 19th-century German society. 1864 - Rescued by King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
Paid off his debts, gave him an allowance, and built the Festival Theater in Bayreuth, Germany. Wagner's "Music Dramas" Wagner basically only wrote operas.
Wanted them to be different, so he called them "music dramas."
Wanted them to combine all the arts - poetry, music, acting, mime, dance, and scenic design.
Called this Gesamtkunstwerk (total art work). "Endless melody" - no more individual numbers (arias, recitative, duet, etc.)
Everything flowed together seamlessly. Removed ensemble singing almost entirely. Abandoned traditional tuneful aria.
avoids melodic repetition, symmetry, and regular cadences.
writes long-flowing, nonrepetitive, not particularly song-like lines. Orchestra is everything - thought the orchestra represented the true drama.
Expanded the orchestra to massive proportions - mainly brasses. Tristan und Isolde Written between 1857 and 1865. Story is a medieval legend from the time of King Arthur. Isolde, an Irish princess, and Tristan, a knight for the King of England, fall in love.
They drink a magic love potion that makes them forget their duties.
Tristan allows himself to be mortally wounded and flees for England.
Isolde follows him only to catch him as he dies in her arms.
Knowing their union can only be consummated through death, she dies as well. Leitmotif - signature tune - a brief distinctive unit of music that represents a character, object, feeling, or idea, which returns in order to show how the drama is unfolding. "Liebestod" Subject matter treats issues of everyday life in a realistic way. Georges Bizet (1835-1875) - Parisian composer of mainly opera. Carmen (1875) Set in 19th-century Spain. Sensual, young, sexually assertive gypsy woman (Carmen) allures the population with her song and dance.
Seduces a young army corporal, Don José.
He falls in love and deserts his military post and "marries" Carmen.
Carmen soon abandons him for the bullfigther Escamillo.
The humiliated Don José stabs Carmen to death in a bloody ending. Shocking for 19th-Century Paris. Many memorable melodies based on Spanish folk songs. Flamenco songs - songs of southern Spain infused with gypsy elements. Habanera - "the thing from Havana."
A dance song developed in Cuba during early 19th-century.
Rhythm is key to the dance's sensuality.
Introduces Carmen, her sensuality, and her destructive qualities. "Habanera" Carmen: A Hip Hopera Muppet "Habanera" Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) - late-blooming Italian opera composer. Verismo opera - Italian realistic opera in the late 19th century. La bohème (Bohemian Life) - 1896 Bohemians - unconventional artists living in abject poverty. Hero = Rodolfo (a poet).
His pals are Schaunard (musician), Colline (philosopher), and Marcello (painter)
Together they live in an unheated attic on the Left Bank of Paris. Heroine = Mimi, their neighbor, is a poor seamstress with tuberculosis. Plot? - Rodolfo and Mimi fall in love.
He leaves her as she becomes more ill
Reunite just before she dies of tuberculosis. Musically - uses bel canto singing style of the Romantic period.
gradually soaring melodies suggest a much better world beyond the stage. "Che gelida manina" - "Ah, What a Frozen Little Hand."
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