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The Romantic Era

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  1. The Romantic Era 1820-1900

  2. Characteristics of Romantic Music • Emotion rules reason • Fascination with fantasy, the supernatural, the forces of nature, horror adventure, heroes • Fervor for nationalism or exoticism • Program music • Expansionism and miniatures

  3. Characteristics (cont.) • Expanded range of pitch, dynamics and tempo • Chromaticism • Attention to tone colors and orchestration

  4. Romantic Composers • Composers are considered artists • Composers wrote for middle class • Many were virtuoso performers, conductors and teachers as well as composers • Compositions seem more introspective

  5. Genres • Miniatures: Short intimate pieces • The Art Song: (lied) short intimatecomposition for solo voice and piano based on poetry in which the piano is a partner in the drama. Art songs may be in strophic or through- composed form. • Song Cycle: Art songs unified by a storyline or some other factor that links them

  6. Genres (cont.) • Program music: instrumental musicassociated with a story, poem, or idea • Program symphony: A multi-movementorchestral composition with descriptive titles for each movement. • Symphonic poem or tone poem: a onemovement program orchestral work

  7. Genres (cont.) • Incidental music: music to be performedbefore and during a play. • Etude: In French, “study”; a piecedesigned to help a performer master specific technical difficulties • Nocturne: In French, “night piece” whichis usually slow, lyrical and intimate

  8. Franz Schubert1797-1828 • Born in Vienna the son of a schoolmaster • Composed numerous masterpieces in his late teens • Master of the art song and composer of Erlkonig (The Elf King)

  9. Robert Schumann1810-1856 • Known for his autobiographical works that are highly programmatic • Wanted to be a virtuoso pianist but an unfortunate finger injury led him to a career in composition • Founder and editor of the New Journalof Music

  10. Robert Schumann(cont.) • Married his piano teacher’s daughter, Clara Wieck, a concert pianist and composer • Mental and physical health deteriorated in his later years. He died two years after he was committed to an asylum • Known for Carnival, Scenes fromChildhood and Fantasy Pieces

  11. Clara Weick Schumann1819-1896 • Concert pianist, composer and wife and mother of 7 children • Promoted her husbands works • Compositions include songs, piano pieces, a piano concerto, a piano trio, and three Romances for violin and piano

  12. Frederic Chopin1810-1849 • Polish nationalist composer who wrote almost exclusively for the piano • Had a well know love affair with poet, novelist, George Sand • Died of Tuberculosis at age 39 • Composer of Nocturne in E Flat Major, La Revolutionary Etude and Polonaise in A Flat Major

  13. Niccolo Paganini1782-1840 • Italian violin virtuoso who supposedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his incredible musical techniques

  14. Franz Liszt1811-1886 • Handsome, magnetic, ladies’ man • Hungarian piano virtuoso / composer • Became religious in his later years and became an unordained priest of the Catholic church, composing masses and oratorios

  15. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky1840 to 1893 • Most famous Russian Composer • Very gloomy personality (concealed homosexual) • Patron Nadezdha von Meck paid him a stipend for 14 years so that he could compose but ended the relationship abruptly with no explanation

  16. Tchaikovsky (cont.) • First great orchestral work: Romeo and Juliet (concert overture) • Greatest hits: 3 fantasy ballets- Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, Symphony 4 and 6, Piano Concerto in B Minor, violin concerto, 1812 Overture and 8 operas

  17. Hector Berlioz • French composer who left a career in medicine for one in music • Fascination with Shakespeare • Wrote a semi autobiographical work:Symphonie Fantastique • Known for innovative orchestrations

  18. Hector Berlioz (cont.) • Greatest hits: dramatic symphony:Romeo and Juliet, dramatic legend: Damnation of Faust, Requiem, and Symphony Fantastique

  19. Bedrich Smetana • Czech nationalist composer who incorporated Bohemian folk music and legends into his compositions • Became deaf at age 50 but continued to compose

  20. Smetana (cont.) • Famous works include a cycle of 6 symphonic poems called “Ma Vlast” -”My Country” • “The Moldau” is one of the six symphonic poems: it depicts Bohemia’s main river as it flows through the countryside

  21. Antonin Dvorak1841-1904 • Followed Smetana as leading Czech nationalist composer • Father was an innkeeper and butcher-Antonin left home to study music in Prague by playing in an opera orchestra directed by Smetana • Johannes Brahms launched his career

  22. Dvorak • Became famous by age 36 • Went to New York in 1892 to become director of the National Conservatory of Music • Here in the U.S. he encouraged American composers to incorporate American folk songs and spirituals

  23. Felix Mendelssohn • Classical composer of the Romantic era • Born into a wealthy family • Child prodigy: mastered the piano by age 9, composed symphonies, concertos, sonatas and vocal works by age 13

  24. Mendelssohn (cont.) • Had a sister, Fanny, to whom he was very close. She was also a musician and composed. She and Felix shared a deep love of Shakespeare • Despite normal and happy life he died at age 38.

  25. Mendelssohn • Greatest hits: Midsummer Night’s Dream (incidental music), Violin Concerto in E minor, The Hebrides (overture), the Italian and Scottish symphonies, and Elijah (oratorio)

  26. Giuseppe Verdi1813-1901 • Known as Italy’s greatest opera writer • Because of his opera, Nabucco he is a symbol of Italy’s independence • He also wrote Aida (commissioned for the opening of the Suez Canal), Otello, La Traviata, Rigolleto and Falstaff

  27. Giacomo Puccini1858-1924 • Took over where Verdi left off • He wrote La Boheme, Tosca, Turnadot and Madame Butterfly • Operas featured exoticism, very true to life people put in situations that stirred strong emotions, very singable and emotional melodies

  28. Richard Wagner1813-1883 • German nationalist composer famous for his music dramas (opera) • Believed that the audience should be overwhelmed by music and drama and that the libretto, music, sets, costumes, lighting and directing should come under one guiding hand: his own

  29. Wagner (cont.) • Incorporated the leitmotif: a fragment of melody that represents a person, place or thing in the drama • Greatest Hits:The Ring Cycle, Tristan and Isolde and Taunhauser.