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Chapter 18: The Late Romantics PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Chapter 18: The Late Romantics. Responses to Romanticism. Classicism Double stops Cross-rhythms. Romantic nostalgia Parody Round . Key Terms. Responses to Romanticism. After 1850, music continued to develop along Romantic lines

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Chapter 18: The Late Romantics

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Chapter 18 the late romantics l.jpg

Chapter 18:The Late Romantics

Responses to Romanticism


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Classicism

Double stops

Cross-rhythms

Romantic nostalgia

Parody

Round

Key Terms


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Responses to Romanticism

  • After 1850, music continued to develop along Romantic lines

    • Seemed increasingly out of place in a world devoted to industrialization & commerce

    • Music became an emotional fantasy-world for a society that suppressed feelings in real life

  • Composers responded in different ways

    • Brahms used Classical models to temper Romanticism’s unbridled emotionalism

    • Mahler’s music laments Romanticism’s loss of innocence & credibility


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The Renewal of Classicism:Brahms

  • Rejected many early Romantic innovations

    • Went back to Classical genres & forms

    • Wrote string quartets & other chamber works, symphonies, and concertos

    • Found new life in Classical forms – sonata form, theme & variations, rondo

  • Beethoven’s music was a lifelong model

    • Brahms was inspired by his nobility & power

    • Brahms tried to temper the richness & variety of Romantic emotion with Classicism’s strength & poise


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Johannes Brahms(1833-1897)

  • Son of a bassist in Hamburg

  • Started musical studies at age 7

    • Later played piano in taverns & wrote tunes

  • Met Robert & Clara Schumann at age 20

    • They befriended & encouraged Brahms

  • Part of Brahms-Wagner controversy

    • Signed manifesto against Wagner’s music

  • Uneventful bachelor existence in Vienna

    • Steadily wrote symphonies, concertos, piano works, chamber music, German Requiem, etc.


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Brahms, Violin Concerto in D

  • Concertos written to show off virtuosos

    • Often the composer – e.g. Mozart or Chopin

    • Brahms wrote this one for Joseph Joachim

    • Joachim helped out, even wrote 1st movement cadenza

  • Brahms uses Classical movement plan

    • Three movements, fast-slow-fast

    • 1st movement double-exposition sonata form

    • Last movement rondo form, the most common Classical concerto ending


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Brahms, Violin Concerto, III (1)

  • Rondo theme has a spirited gypsy-like lilt

    • Exoticism – gypsy fiddling popular in Vienna

    • Double-stops add to virtuoso fiddling effect

    • Cross-rhythms at the end disrupt meter


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Brahms, Violin Concerto, III (2)

  • Episodes provide various contrasts

    • Romantic sweep in B

    • Lyrical tune in C

    • Short cadenzas feature soloist


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Brahms, Violin Concerto, III (3)

  • Thematic transformation in coda

    • Swinging march version of rondo theme (over a drum beat) in very fast compound meter


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Romantic Nostalgia: Mahler

  • Embraced Romanticism’s excesses

    • Wrote huge program symphonies, some with solo singers and choruses

    • Often attempted to express profound spiritual or metaphysical messages

    • He once said a symphony is “an entire world”

  • But he could not fully enter this Romantic fantasy world

    • He pits lost innocence against cynical realism

    • Music feels uneasy, exaggerated, distorted


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Gustav Mahler(1860-1911)

  • Born & raised in a dysfunctional family

  • Musical training at Vienna Conservatory

  • Pursued rising career as a conductor

    • Led many of the finest orchestras of his day

    • Ten years at Vienna Opera – but anti-Semitism made for a stormy tenure there

    • Ended career with Metropolitan Opera & New York Philharmonic

  • Could only compose during the summer

    • Wrote 10 long symphonies & 6 song cycles


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Mahler, Symphony No. 1

  • At first a one-movement symphonic poem

    • Grew into a five-movement symphony

    • Finally revised into four movements

  • Includes fragments from his songs

    • Songs about lost love

  • Originally a program symphony

    • Hero overcomes distress of lost love

  • Individual style of orchestration

    • Contrapuntal melodies pass from instrument to instrument in kaleidoscopic fashion


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Third Movement:Background

  • March inspired by a nursery picture

    • The Huntsman’s Funeral Procession

    • Forest animals shed tears as they follow the hearse of a hunter

    • Full of pomp & ceremony – torches, solemn gowns, a banner, pallbearers, a bell, a choir, & a complement of mourners

    • Why would animals mourn the death of their tormentor in such a lavish manner?

    • The painting’s innocuous qualities mask its incongruities


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Third Movement:Use of “Frère Jacques”

  • Similar incongruities pervade the March

    • On first hearing the music seems genuinely solemn, mournful, perhaps even tragic

    • This feeling is completely deflated when you finally recognize the tune – “Frère Jacques”!

    • Distortions make the tune harder to recognize

    • Mahler casts the tune in minor mode, slows down the tempo, & alters a few notes

    • Tune introduced by the last instrument you would expect – a bass playing in high register

    • Vulgar dance band phrases also deflate mood


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Third Movement:Funeral March (1)

  • Very free march-trio-march form

  • Ironic funeral march & personal lament

    • March theme a distorted minor-key parody of children’s round “Frère Jacques”

    • Trio taken from a Mahler song about lost love

  • March theme treated as a round

    • Over mournful, monotonous drumbeat


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Third Movement:Funeral March (2)

  • Section 2 present dance-band fragments

    • Exaggerated, parodistic, even vulgar phrases

    • Return to funeral-march motives at the end


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Third Movement:Funeral March (3)

  • Trio offers a complete contrast

    • Begins with warm major-mode sounds

    • Trio’s theme is a delicate, lyrical melody

    • Tune from a nostalgic song about lost love

    • Its innocent quality soon turns bittersweet


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Third Movement:Funeral March (4)

  • March returns in final section

    • Faster tempo with new counterpoints

    • Dance-band phrases interrupt at even faster tempo for a wild moment of near chaos

    • Return of funeral-march motives that ended Section 2 – the music dies away


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