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Music History Exam 3 - Composers

Modest Musorgsky
held military and clerical positions
joined the kuchka in his 20s
the most radical of the five
intense vision of a truly Russian music
wrote operas, songs, program works
Boris Godunov (1869, 1872)
Night on Bald Mountain (1867, 1886)
unstable personality, filled with doubts
died at 42 of alcoholism and epilepsy
Gustav Mahler
born into dysfunctional family; 8 of his 13 siblings died in childhood
musical training at Vienna Conservatory
wrote 10 grandiose symphonies symphonies and 6 song cycles for voice and orchestra
Richard Wagner
most influential Romantic composer after Beethoven
revolutionized opera and orchestral music
developed elaborate theories on art, music, opera
thought opera had degenerated to "concert in costume"
found arias hopelessly artificial
Hector Berlioz
son of a country doctor in France
left medical school for Paris Conservatory
Won the Prix de Rome in 1830
made living as writer on music Memoirs
wrote unprecedented, ambitious program symphonies
imaginative orchestration
inspired by literature (Shakespeare, Virgil)
toured as conductor of his own music
Frédéric Chopin
born near Warsaw; settled in Paris
pianist of miraculous ability and delicacy
earned rave review from Schumann at age 20
rarely performed in public concerts
composed almost exclusively for piano
moved in high society and artistic circles
frail health—died of tuberculosis
Franz Schubert
Earliest and one of greatest masters of the Lied
Born and trained in Vienna
Supported by teaching, publications, and friends
Prolific—wrote nearly 700 songs in addition to symphonies, sonatas, etc.
Robert Schumann
Studied for career as piano virtuoso
Married his teacher's daughter after court battle
Wrote piano music, songs, works for orchestra, and chamber music
Founded The New Music Journal in 1834
Attempted suicide (1854); died in an asylum
Clara Wieck Schumann
eldest child of Friedrich Wieck, a famous piano teacher; set out to make her a great pianist
married her father's student Robert Schumann
composed songs, piano and chamber works
Did continue a successful concert career
toured widely after Robert's death, often performing his music
Befriended and mentored Johannes Brahms