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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

Chapter 18:The Late Romantics

Responses to Romanticism

key terms

Double stops


Romantic nostalgia



Key Terms
responses to romanticism
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
the renewal of classicism brahms
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
johannes brahms 1833 1897
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.
brahms violin concerto in d
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
brahms violin concerto iii 1
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
brahms violin concerto iii 2
Brahms, Violin Concerto, III (2)
  • Episodes provide various contrasts
    • Romantic sweep in B
    • Lyrical tune in C
    • Short cadenzas feature soloist
brahms violin concerto iii 3
Brahms, Violin Concerto, III (3)
  • Thematic transformation in coda
    • Swinging march version of rondo theme (over a drum beat) in very fast compound meter
romantic nostalgia mahler
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
gustav mahler 1860 1911
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
mahler symphony no 1
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
third movement background
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
third movement use of fr re jacques
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
third movement funeral march 1
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
third movement funeral march 2
Third Movement:Funeral March (2)
  • Section 2 present dance-band fragments
    • Exaggerated, parodistic, even vulgar phrases
    • Return to funeral-march motives at the end
third movement funeral march 3
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
third movement funeral march 4
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