Dates of the Romantic Era.
Fostered rise of a middle class (bourgeois) society.
Technical advances in instruments, made them more flexible and affordable.
Appeared across Europe and the Americas for music education in the Romantic era.
Music takes place in a faraway country.
Born in Vienna. Early music prowess: violin, piano, member of Vienna Boys' Choir. Wrote as many as 5-7 songs in one morning. His music centered around home and salon concerts. Appreciated by Viennese public. Lived Bohemian lifestyle, die at 31, probably from syphilis. Wished to be buried near Beethoven, his hero. Last years of music shows deep emotional maturity. Wrote more than 600 lieder.
Showed both 18th and 19th century traits. Symphonies are classical, but lieder and piano pieces are wholly Romantic--"sing" with lyricism. Chamber music ends with a line of Viennese Classicism--reflections of style of Haydn and Mozart.
Written at age 18. Set to poem by Goethe. Legend--touched by elves, you must die. Through-composed. 4 characters, eerie atmosphere, obsessive triplets to emulate galloping of horse.
Music follows action.
German composer and critic. Left law studies to pursue music. Wanted to be a pianist, studied with Friedrich Wieck, but troubles with his right hand ended piano career. Turned then to composition and criticism. Established "New Journal for Music". Courted Clara Wieck, married against her father's wishes. She played his piano pieces. He had increasing bouts of depression, failed attempt at suicide, institutionalized for last 2 years of life, died at 46.
True Romantic artist--Impassioned melody, novel harmony, driving rhythms. Attached literary meaning to music. Prolific composer of lieder, wrote several song cycles. 4 symphonies. Requested performers play with certain feeling, like in "Spring Symphony".
Several pieces that work together.
Schumann's "In the Lovely Month of May"
Written in 1840, year of his marriage. Speaks of fragility of new love.
19th century pianos
Piano builders of the late 1800s improved tone quality and dynamic range of the piano. Felt hammers replaced leather hammers. Cast iron frames.
sentimental salon music, show pieces with technical display
Two styles of piano music/playing in Romantic era.
Clara Schumann, Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt
Virtuoso pianists of the Romantic era.
Clara Wieck Schumann
Composed lieder, piano, and chamber music. Child prodigy, her father had her perform all over Europe. Premiered her husband's music as well as Brahm's.
"Poet of the Piano". Wrote almost exclusively for piano. Shy and preferred to play in salons rather than concert halls. Conceived the short piano piece: nocturnes, preludes, waltzes. Credited with originating modern piano style.
Half French (dad), half Polish (mom). Studied music from an early age. At 21, began career in Paris. Close friend with leading composers. George Sand--the woman he had a relationship with, novelist. Died of tuberculosis at 39.
Romantic Era piano pieces
Short, lyrical pieces evolved. Equivalent to lieder. Prelude, Intermezzo, Interlude, Impromptu, Nocturne, Waltz. Chopin and Liszt wrote etudes. Chopin produced keyboard versions of Mazurka and Polonaise. Larger genres: ballade, fantasy, sonata, concerto.
Highly virtuosic and technical study piece.
Mazurka and Polonaise
Polish dances that Chopin produced piano versions of. Rubato.
"The Paganini of the Piano." Composed "Transcendental Etudes". Invented piano recital. Always memorized his music. Turned piano sideways so audience could see his hands and profile. Developed new style of program music: The Symphonic Poem/Tone Poem.
Symphonic Poem/Tone Poem
Created by Liszt. One-movement orchestral composition with contrasting sections to develop a poetic idea, suggest a scene, or create a mood. Much freer in form than the concert overture.
Melody. Indian drumming
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel
Recognized during her lifetime as a gifted composer, but remained reluctant to make her compositions public because she was a woman. Married court artist Wilhelm Hensel, had son together. She was a composer, pianist, and participant in regular salon concerts at her residence each Sunday. Especially close throughout her life with younger brother Felix, a renowned composer and conductor.
Hensel's "The Year" ("Das Jahr")
A set of 12 pieces, each named for a month of the year.
Instrumental music with a literary or pictorial association: story, poem, idea, scene, or painting. Specified by title or by composer's comments in program.
"Music for music's sake."
concert overture, incidental music, symphonic poem/tone poem, program symphony
Four types of Romantic orchestral program music.
Overture not associated with an opera. Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet".
Accompanied dramatic works, is sometimes played as an overture at the beginning of a play or between the acts of a play. (Felix) Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream: The Wedding March."
Created by Berlioz. "Symphonie Fantastique".
French composer and conductor. First proponent of music Romanticism in France. Left medical school to study music in Paris. Developed affection for works of Beethoven and Shakespeare. Doomed love affair with Shakespeareian actress, Harriet Smithson. In 1830, he won coveted Prix de Rome. Married Smithson against wishes of both families. Success in capitols of Europe, except Paris.
Affinity for vividly dramatic or pictorial programs. Instrumental music: program symphonies, concert overtures. Vocal music: operas, sacred works. Considered a master of orchestration. Scores called for largest orchestration yet. "Creator of Modern Orchestra". "Symphonie Fantastique" based on love for Smithson. Put different instruments together. Wrote treatise on orchestration.
The five movements of Symphonie Fantastique are unified by a recurring theme (idee fixe). Movements: 1. Reveries, passions. 2. A ball. 3. Scene in the fields. 4. March to the Scaffold. 5. Dream of a witches' sabbath.
Recurring theme unifying movements. Used by Berlioz in "Symphonie Fantastique".
Expressed through: 1. Use of folk songs and dances, 2. References to folklore or peasant life, 3. Programs based on national heroes, historic events, or the scenic beauty of a composer's homeland. The strongest impact of nationalism was felt in countries whose musical heritage had been dominated by music of Italy, Germany, France, and Austria. Prominent national schools of composers in Russia, Scandinavia, Spain, England, and Bohemia. Censors often monitored political implications. Sometimes powerful symbolism behind works.
Bohemian (Czech). Nationalist composer. Lived in Prague, moved to Sweden, then back to Prague. First Bohemian to achieve international reputation. Music contains folk songs and legends of Bohemia.
Smetana's "My Country"
His best known composition. Cycle of six symphonic poems.
Smetana's "The Moldau"
The second of the programmatic poems in "My Country". The river becomes poetic symbol of beloved homeland. Music suggests scenes along the shore of the river.
Norwegian composer, pianist. Promoted Scandinavian folk music. Wrote "A Minor Piano Concerto", which uses folk songs. Also wrote "Peer Gynt" Suite.
Grieg's "Peer Gynt" Suite
Incidental music. For a play by Henrik Ibsen. Based on Norwegian folk tale. Accompanied play. Two famous movements are "Morning Mood" and "In the Hall of the Mountain King".
The Russian National School
1856-1870. Represented by a group of musicians called "The Mighty Five" or "The Mighty Handful". Their leader was Mily Balakirev, a self-taught composer who persuaded his four disciples--Alexander Borodin, Cesar Cui, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Modest Musorgsky--that they should free themselves from the influence of German symphony, Italian opera, and French ballet.
Russian nationalist music
Use of Russian folk songs. Melodies in modal or minor tonalities. Melodies have narrow range. Melodies contain obsessive repetition. Tend to be irregular in meter (5/4, 9/8, 7/8). Russian music contains bells, gongs, and chimes.
Educated at military academy and became an officer. Left military for music. Pianist, wrote everything for piano then transcribed for orchestra. His music reflects spirit of Russian folk songs; contains the rhythms, accents, and pitch fluctuations of Russian speech. Works include "Pictures at an Exhibition" (piano, orchestra), "Boris Godunov" (opera), and "Night on Bald Mountain" (symphonic poem).
Musorgasky's "Night on Bald Mountain"
Symphonic poem. Originally intended for piano. Represents Mt. Triglav near Kiev. The legendary witches' Sabbath is held there every year. Score begins with wild, whirring figures in high violins. Octave melody. Theme suggests prancing of witches. Then silence. Bells suggest dawn. Angelic arpeggios end piece.
Spectacular elements of production, large crowd scenes, ballets, choruses, and fantastic scenery.
Used spoken dialogue instead of recitative, less pretentious than grand opera, smaller, fewer performers.
Italian nationalist composer known for 28 operas. First of his operas performed at La Scala in Milan in 1839. Composed for middle class and they loved it; critics scandalized by subject matter.
"Beautiful melodies". Never allowing voice to be overshadowed by orchestra. Used by Verdi.
Writer Victor Hugo was inspiration. Plot features lechery, deformity, irony, and assassination. Revolves around a hunchbacked jester, Rigoletto.
Most influential German opera composer of the 19th century. Brought opera to its consummation. Created new innovations in harmony and orchestration.
New form created by Wagner. Dealt with weighty, philosophical issues. Wagner freely adapted the text from the myths of the Norse sagas and legends associated with a medieval German poem "the Nibelungenlied".
"Leading motives"--musical theme created by Wagner. The motive (melody) is associated with a person, thing, idea, or symbol in the drama. Similar to Berlioz's fixed idea in his Fantastic Symphony. The melody carries a specific meaning.
"The Ring of the Nibelung"
Wagner's most famous music drama. Consists of four dramas.
Wagner promoted the building a special opera house for his music dramas, which still today performs only Wagner.
George Bizet's "Carmen"
Contains exoticism (takes place in a faraway land with different culture). First performed in 1875 and categorized as comique because it has spoken dialogue, although later set to recitatives by another composer. Music imitates songs and dances of Spanish gypsies. Dances: Flamenco, Habanero.
Became an independent art form in the 18th century, with centers in France and Russia.
Renowned ballet choreographer for the czar. Created pas de duex (dance for two) which became central to the classical ballet.
Influential to ballet. Brought his dance company, the Ballets Ruses, to Paris. Had scenery painted by such painters as Picasso and Braque. Commissioned scores for three ballets by Igor Stravinsky.
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
NOT A MEMBER OF THE RUSSIAN FIVE. Began composing at 30, trained at Conservatory of St. Petersburg. Taught at Moscow conservatory. Struggled for sexual identity, disastrous marriage to student Antonina Milyuoka. Tried for suicide.
Nadezhda von Meck
Tchaikovsky's benefactress. Wealthy widow of industrialist. Corresponded with Tchaikovsky for fourteen years and provided him with a stipend so he could quit his conservatory position and compose. They agreed never to meet.
pas de duex
"Dance for Two". Created by Marius Petipa, became central to classical ballet.
Tchaikovsky's most popular works
Symphonies # 4 and 6 (Pathetique), piano and violin concertos, and "Romeo and Juliet".
Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker
Tchaikovsky one of the first composers to use it. Featured in "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies". Miniature 4 octave instrument. Tones came from hammered, struck, tuned, steel bars. Creates bell-like sound.
Tchaikovsky's work commemorating the defeat and retreat of Napoleon from Moscow.
piccolo, English horn, contrabassoon
New instruments of the Romantic era.
Composer/reformer, violin virtuoso.
Piano, introspective work.
Organ-like instrument with free metal reeds set in vibration by bellows.