117 terms

Romantic Era Composers/History

Dates of Romantic Era
No universal agreement because Rom. composers wary of definitions
Why is the 19th century referred to as the "Romantic" Era?

What is a Romance novel?
19th century popular books were called Romances
These helped people escape from dirty factories/cities into the past, country, nature. colonialism, exoticism, fantasy

Romance novel set in middle ages, usually involving King Arthur
What was happening economically/politically during Romantic Era?
Industrial Revolution

In what ways did the art and culture reflect the desire to escape from the dreariness of life in the industrial cities?
Most musicians rebelled against the ugliness of the "dark Satanic mills"

Music reflected pre-industrial nature scenes
How did the role of the musician change in the Romantic Era?
Musician becomes and artist

Equal to painters and other arts, no longer just people to hire for a show
How was the importance of the idea of progress reflected in music?
New instruments created
Expanded orchestra size
Experiment with complicated harmony, chromaticism
Extended techniques
New genres
Individualism in music
What are some ways in which the growing importance of music was reflected in society?
Lots of musical journals/bibliographies were published
18th century music was an entertainment/diversion, in the 19th century it was an escape and even a substitute for religion
What are the 5 ways in which the music from the Romantic Era differed from the Classical Era?
Melodies not square, were longer and more beautiful
Orchestration important, each instruments timbre important
Programmatic music
More complicated harmonies
Longer (and shorter) pieces
What are Beethoven's 3 periods?
Classical Period (ended 1802)

Heroic Period (1802-1816)

Late Period (1816-1827)
What was Beethoven's style during his Classical Period?
Like Haydn and Mozart

Symphonies 1 and 2
Early stringy quartets
10 piano sonatas
What was Beethoven's style during his Heroic Period?
Big, Romantic sound
Emotional, powerful
Struggle and victory (started going deaf)

Symphonies 3-8
Razumovsky quartets
Violin concerto
Opera "Fidelio"
Piano Sonatas 11-27
What was Beethoven's style during his Late Period?
(completely deaf)
Breaks more rules, freedom
More contemplative

"Missa Solemnis"
Late piano sonatas
Late string quartets
Symphony no. 9
"Grosse Fuge"
Why is Beethoven a significant composer?
Ushered in the Romantic Era: Expanded forms and harmonies

Defined self as an artist: no longer just a craftsman, Beethoven said music was equal to, if not greater than painting because it was more abstract and purer, subjectivity was reflected in music
What are Beethoven's dates?
What are Schubert's dates? Who was he a contemporary with?

Why is Schubert considered to be a Romantic composer?
Combined Romantic poetry and music
Extremely emotional melodies, feelings
What about Schubert's life and personality make him fit into the Romantic stereotype?
Miserable life
Poor family, father was a teacher
Died young, very sickly, syphillis (died at 31)
But was very creative
What is a lied?
Lied is a song for voice and piano
Uses German poetry
Also called art song
How were Schubert's lieder different than his predecessors?
Why are they called polyphonic lieder?
Schubert's were different because the piano accompaniment was very important
Accompaniment brings out the meaning of the song

Polyphonic lieder because the voice and piano were working together
What is a Liederkreis? Name Schubert's 3 Liederkreis.
Song cycle/lieder cycle, group of songs meant to be sung together in sequence

"Lovely Maid of the Mill" (1823)
-Die schoene mullerin
"Winters Journey" (1827)
-Winter reise
"Swan Songs" (1828)
What is a chaconne?
Bass repeats, usually in minor and triple time
Popular Baroque technique, used by Schubert in "Der Doppelganger" to make it seem like the piece was being sung in the past
What are 3 main types of song form?
Strophic-same music with different lyrics (Das Wandern, Schubert)

Modified Strophic-music slightly modified with different lyrics (Gretchen am Spinnrade, Schubert)

Through Composed-music changes throughout (Doppelgänger, Schubert)
What is a Schubertiad?
Schubert's friends would gather to listen to what he had composed
They usually sat around the piano while Schubert played
What kinds of instrumental music did Schubert write?
36 Chamber works
2 piano trios
Trout quintet for piano
Various piano works: impromptu, sonatas, piano virtuoso (wanderer fantasy)
9 Symphonies (2 mature symphonies)
How many symphonies did Schubert write?
What are 5 important elements of Schubert's style?
1) Lyricism-melodic
2) Mediant key relationships
3) Juxtaposition of major and minor
4) Chromaticism
5) Expressive scoring for all instruments
How did Schubert influence later composers?
Lieder inspired others
Lyricism in piano and piano accompaniment became important
2 mature symphonies impacted compsers because of orchestration and lyricism/expressive scoring for all instruments
What are Berlioz's dates? What country is he from?

How was his background different from Schubert? How was it similar?
Berlioz had a rich family, father was a doctor
Berlioz was well read and became a popular music critic and conductor

Like Schubert, Berlioz was well trained, attended the Paris Conservatory
How did Berlioz make his living?
Made living as a music critic because he loved literature and music
What were the major influences on his music?

What was the basic message Berlioz got from Beethoven's music?
Beethoven was a revolutionary/pioneer
What are the revolutionary aspects of Berlioz's musical style and output?
Orchestration: big orchestras, epic pieces
Size and length of pieces huge
Combined Genres
Adjusts form to fit content
Wrote Programmatic music
Melodies were long and asymmetrical
Cyclic, unification-idee fixe
What are some examples of works in which Berlioz combines genres?
Romeo and Juliet: solo singing and symphony

Harold en Italie-viola plus orchestra
What about Berlioz's melodies make them different from the Classical era?
Long and asymmetrical
What is and idee fixe?
Fixed idea that transforms
What is "thematic transformation"?
Uses fixed idea but changes as it progresses through the movements

(ex. Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz: theme starts as romantic, 2nd movement becomes main theme for a ball/waltz, 3rd movement turns into witch mocking main character)
What are Felix Mendelssohn's dates? What country is he from?

What was Germany like at that time?
Protestant Reformation
Semi-semitism prevalent
What was Felix family's background? How did this challenge him?
Born Jewish, wealthy family
Father banker

Even though his family was respectable, since they were Jewish they did not receive full citizenship rights

In 1816, father converted family to Protestant
How did Felix's musical education influence his style?
Highly Trained
Follow traditional music, classical, Mozart and Haydn
Excellent 18th century education from Carl Zelter
What kinds of pieces did Felix write?
5 symphonies
String quartets
**Songs without Words
**Concert Overtures
What is a concert overture?
One movement piece
Meant to open before an opera but Mendelssohn made it a stand alone piece
What about Felix's "Fingal's Cave" makes it a traditional work? Romantic work?
Elegant/classical style writing

Classical form but Romantic sound
Melodic and descriptions of sea, Heroic music, lyrical
Programmatic piece
What are Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel's dates? Who was she?

Felix Mendelssohn's older sister
At 24 she married the painter Wilhem Hensel
How was Fanny's music education similar to Felix? How was it different?
Same education as Felix
Advanced piano from Moscheles, played at family salon on Sundays

Father stopped her from continuing as a musician and composer. In a letter, he told Fanny she is supposed to be a mother and wife, music is just an ornament
What is "Sonntagsmusik"?
Sunday music, Mendelssohn family's salon
What roles did women play in the music world during the Romantic Era? How was their musical life restricted?
Women were: Performers, teachers, muses, composers, patrons, hostesses

Women not seriously seen as composers because they were meant to be hostesses
What was the importance of the salon in musical life in the 19th century?
Showcase performers
Debut pieces
Musicians were compensated for performing
What kinds of pieces did Fanny write? Why didn't she write any symphonies or concertos?
Piano music, lieder, chamber works (400+)

Didn't write bigger works because she was only able to perform her music at salons since she wasn't seen as a composer. Hence, only small ensembles
Why are there so little female composers known?
They were not seen as composers so work may not have been published or well known

Male historians may have passed over the female composers not considering their works to be important contributions
What is a "Song without Words"?
Piano music
Melody in right hand
Left hand plays the accompaniment
What are Robert Schumann's dates? What country is he from?

What was a major influence from Robert's background? How was it expressed in his music?

Expressed in his highly autobiographical music. Includes his personal life experiences
What musical journal did Robert found?
The New Journal of Music
What was the focus of Robert's music journal?
Promote music with substance
Against some of the virtuosic music coming out of Paris
Who are Florestan and Eusebius to Robert Schumann?
Two of Robert's characters
Used when he was writing music reviews, made a dialogue between them and himself

Also could be two sides of his personality, Eusebius the slower/contemplative/reflective, Florestan the extroverted/cool
What was the Davids bundler?
Band of colleagues supporting and promoting music with substance.

Also one of Robert's piano cycles
What type of pieces are Robert's "Papillons", "Carnaval", "Davidsbundlertanze", and "Kinderzenen"?
Piano cycles
Short pieces bundled together under one theme
How is "Carnaval" programmatic? How is the piece unified?
Carnaval is based on celebration and enjoyment
Robert used images from his own life and imagination like Florestan and Eusebius

Unified under series of notes that represented things such as ASCH or ASH for Ash Wednesday
What types of music did Robert focus on in the 1830s? In 1840?
What is significant about Robert's manner of musical output?
1830s-focused on piano music
1840-focused on lieder (150 total)

Only able to focus on one thing at once. Each year he wrote specific types of music

1842-chamber music
What is the driving force of his musical style? How is it expressed?

Has insistant rhythm, hemiolas, rhythmic displacement, polyrhythm
How is Robert's work autobiographical?
Uses characters and events from his own life
Which poets did Robert use for his liederkreis?
Heinrich Heine-for mans love
Chamisso-for womans love and life
What are Clara Wieck Schumann's dates? What country is she from?

Who was in charge of Clara's education? How would you describe it?
Father controlled everything she learned and taught her

High education
Father paved her way to be a piano virtuoso
Why is Clara a significant piano virtuoso?
Major star like Liszt, and had a solo recital
One of the first early woman piano virtuosos
Memorized entire program
She played so that the composers music was the focus, didn't use flashy movements. She was there to bring forth the composers ideas
What kind of pieces did Clara write as a young woman?
Mostly virtuosic
Dazzling, impressive piano music to show off her own piano skills
One piano trio
How did Clara's compositions change after she got married?
Had more substance
Deeper thought, better
How did Clara support her husband's career?
Debuted his music
Played his music in her concerts, made him known
Helped him edit and score study
Acted as his rehearsal pianist
How would you compare Clara's musical life to Fanny Mendelssohn?
Both supported the male figure in their lives
Fanny was discouraged by father and Felix to compose but Robert encouraged Clara
Clara could pursue music because she was a lower class than Fanny and had to work for her money
Clara was trained for a career and to earn money
Fanny trained to have a salon
What are Frederic Chopin's dates? What country is he from?

Where did Chopin spend his career? What instrument did he compose almost entirely for?

What was Chopin's favorite venue for performing? Why?

He was always frail and sickly
Didn't like big crowds/concerts
His music works well for close audiences, able to hear all of his nuances
What is a character piece?
One movement piece
Has a particular personality
Personality hinted at in the title
What are the names Chopin gave for his various character pieces?
What can you say about Chopin's overall style in his piano pieces?
Lots of rubato
Lovely melody
Makes piano sing, "The Poet of the Piano"
Melody on top, accompaniment on bottom, song texture inspired by Italian opera
ABA, second A with ornamentation like de capo aria structure from Bellini
What other musical genre was a major inspiration for Chopin's piano pieces? How was it manifested?
Italian opera

Song texture (melody on top, accompaniment on bottom)
How did Chopin express nationalism in his music?
Pieces showed his Polish background

Both are polish dances
How were Chopin's ballades different from typical ballades?
Entirely instrumental
What are Rossini's dates? What country is he from?

Why are most musical terms in Italian?
Italy was the center for music
Italian opera was a huge influence
What were the two kinds of opera that dominated the 18th century? What are their characteristics?
Opera seria-used arias and recitative, mostly solos, 3 acts, 6 characters, 2 pairs of lovers, stories about ancient history, myths, happy endings

Opera Buffa-less rigid, 2 acts (because started during the breaks of Opera Seria), more comic, everyday characters that were teased
What is Aria da Capo?
Ternary form
Solo voice with instrument accompaniment
Singer expected to add ornaments during return of A
Who was Metastasio?
Famous 18th century librettist. His libretto dominated Opera Seria
What are the characteristics of bel canto?
Flexible ornamentation
Beautiful melody
Evenness between head and chest voice
(ex. "Una Voco Poco Fa"-Rossini from "Barber of Seville")
What is an entrance aria?
First thing a character sings
Introduces who and what type of person the character is
What is the name of Rossini's most successful opera?
William Tell
What are some important aspects of Rossini's style?
Dynamic and tempo changes
Lots of ornamentation
Catchy rhythms
Rossini crescendo
What are Donizetti and Bellini's dates?
Donizetti: 1801-1835

Bellini: 1797-1848
How do Donizetti's and Bellini's operas reflect the "bel canto" style?
Donizetti ornamentation at end of "Una Furtiva Lagrima" from Love Potion

Bellini decorated melodies on return, "Casta Diva" from Norma
What kinds of operas did Donizetti and Bellini write?
Donizetti wrote both seria and buffs

Bellini wrote only seria
Which composer wrote Norma? Love Potion? Lucia di Lammermoor?
Norma-Bellini, "Casta Diva"

Love Potion-Donizetti, "Una furtiva lagrima"

Lucia di Lammermoor-Donizetti, sextet
What major composer did Donizetti influence? How?
Influenced Verdi

Tinta, distinctive orchestral color
What major composer did Bellini influence? How?

Decorative melodies, Chopin took this idea and applied it to instrumental music, ornamentation
What is a patter aria?
Sung by comic character, usually Bass
Fast repeated lines

(ex. "La calunnia"-Rossini from "Barber of Seville")
How did Opera Seria and Opera Buffa change over the course of the 19th century?
Began borrowing from each other
Seria had ensembles, commonly had tragic endings
Buffa added arias and ballet
What was the role of the impressario in early 19th century opera?
Opera manager
Keeps all rights to the opera
Decides subject, librettist, composer, singers
What is a claque?
Professional applauders to make opera seem like a success
Hired by impressario
Who was Giuditta Pasta?
Well-known female vocalist
An opera would sell out if she was singing
Demanded a high salary
How did the rights of the composer change during the 19th century?
From bottom to top
Rossini was the first composer to own rights to his opera
Bellini demanded to only compose one opera a year
Verdi demanded his own conditions for the opera
What is "tragedie lyrique"? What type of opera did it most resemble? How was it different?
French opera

Like opera buffs in subject and used recitative and aria

Different because in French, had chorus and ballet, 5 acts
What is "opera comique"
French opera
Lighter stories
Unique because included spoken dialogue
What is a "rescue opera"? During what period was it popular?
Stories about rescue

Popular 1789 with French revolution, monarchs fell out of favor
What are the major characteristics of French grand opera?
Big sets and speical effects
One passionate duet
Big orchestra
Dramatic plot
Who was the most famous composer of French grand opera? Where was he from?
Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864)

Germany, studied in Italy, wrote French grand opera
Who was Meyerbeer's librettist?
Eugene Scribe
How would you describe Meyebeer's overall style?
Italian vocal tradition
German orchestral tradition
What were Meyebeer's major hits?
Les Huguenots
Le Prophete
Li Africaine
Robert le diable
What are Verdi's dates? What country is he from?

What famous composer was born the same year as Verdi?
How did Verdi's relationship with impressario's different than other composers?
Verdi had more control
He led rehearsals, picked libretto, owned his music, and got to pick the singers
Publisher enforced the copyright on his music
Eventually didn't work with the impressario's at all
What is Risorgimento? What is Verdi's connection with it?
Italian movement towards unification
Verdi's music became associated with the Italian Nationalist Movement
Their slogan was "vive VERDI"-long live king victor immanuel
What were 3 main influences on Verdi's style?
Italian opera
French grand opera
What are 4 main characteristics of Verdi's style?
Use melody for dramatic effect
Simulatneous presentation of different characters with different view points in the same dramatic situation
Continuous flow of action from aria to recitative to ensemble
What is tinta
Distinct orchestral color
Started by Donizetti, found in Verdi's music
What are some of Verdi's most famous operas?
Rigoletto (1851)
La Traviata (1853)
La fora di diestino (1862)
Don Carlos (1867)
Aida (1871)
Otello (1887)
Falstaff (1893)