When was the romantic period?
What did romantic period music sound like?
Greater range in tone color, dynamics, and pitch, than classical period. Expanded harmony, complex chords.
What did romantic composers want from their music?
Romantic composers wanted their music to have individual style. It is easier to tell who wrote what in romantic era than classical.
What topics were heavily covered in the romantic period?
Romantic love was still the focus of songs and operas, but dark music drew some composers.
What is nationalism?
Nationalism is music that has a national identity. It uses folk songs, dances, legends, and history of the land.
What is Exoticism?
Intentionally implies foreign culture. Frequently employed in operas with foreign settings.
What is program music?
Music associated with story, poem, idea, or scene.
What is expressive tone color?
Composers tried to create unique sounds by blending instruments and adding new instruments. Never before had timbre been so important. Orchestration became regarded as an art form in the romantic era. Advances in instrument design allowed for various tone color.
What were the sizes of orchestras in the romantic era vs the classical?
Classical: 20-60 members, Romantic: 100
What happened to dynamics and pitch in the Romantic era?
They became more exaggerated. Dynamics went from pp and ff to pppp and ffff.
What is Rubato?
Slight holding back or pressing forward of speed.
What were the two different forms of the romantic era?
There was miniature and monumental. Some composers played for just a few minutes, and some played for hours (required hundreds of performers).
Describe the finances of composers in the romantic era.
Few composers were financially successful. Most supported themselves through teaching or authoring. Composers and audience came from the same class. Piano became a fixture in most homes during the romantic era. Private music making increased also.
What is an art song and when did they become popular?
They became popular in the romantic era. They were compositions for solo voice and piano. It was linked to a vast amount of poetry from this period.
What is strophic form and through-composed form?
Strophic form repeats music for each verse. Through-composed form has new music for each verse.
What is a song cycle?
A song cycle is a group of songs unified by some feature.
Who is Franz Schubert?
Born in Vienna 1797-1828

Early Romantic composer
– When he was 18 years old, he wrote 143 songs
– Included two symphonies, an opera, and a mass
Not financially successful
– His symphonies were not performed until after his death

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Wrote over 600 songs
– Also symphonies, string quartets, other chamber music,
sonatas, masses, operas, and piano works
– The Unfinished Symphony: only two movements, not four

Important Piece: Erlking

Who is Robert Schumann?
Germany 1810-1856

Wanted to be piano virtuoso
Temperamentally unsuited for some of the musical positions he attempted
Married his piano teacher’s daughter
Committed to asylum, where he died

Important Pieces: Estrella

Who is Clara Wieck Schumann?
Germany 1819-1896

A leading nineteenth-century pianist
Pair was friends with Johannes Brahms

Stopped composing at age 36
– Considered herself primarily a performer
– Wrote:
– Perhaps related to negative attitude toward women composers
– Possibly due to her close association with overwhelming
geniuses like Brahms and her husband
– Songs
– Piano pieces
– A piano concerto
– A trio for piano, violin, and cello

Important Piece: Liebst du um Schonbeit (if you love for beauty)

Who is Frederic Chopin?
Polish (1810-1849)

Early to mid-romantic composer
Wrote almost exclusively for piano
Went to Paris at age 21
– Europe’s romantic period artistic capital
– Made extensive use of piano pedals
Composed mostly for chamber concert
– Avoided concert halls
Affair with Aurore Dudevant (a.k.a. George Sand)

Developed personal style at early age
– Not program music, but evokes an image
– Unique harmonic style influenced others
Most of his pieces are elegant miniatures

Important Piece: Nocturne (night piece)

Franz Liszt
Hungarian Composer 1811-1866

virtuoso pianist, incredible performer, ‘pop star’. wrote music foreshadowing 20th century

some called his music bombarding or vulgar. broke away from strict classical forms

Important Piece: Transcendental Etude no. 10 in F minor

Felix Mendelssohn
German 1809-1847

Developed early. Responsible for the revival of Bach’s music. Died of a stroke while touring. His music was more conservative. He avoided emotional extremes. Wrote in all forms other than opera.

Important Piece: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E Minor

Hector Berlioz
French 1803-1869

Wrote unconventional music. It was passionate and unpredictable. Worked as a music critic. he was on of the first great conductors. His music was very imaginative. His music was not always understood.

important piece: Symphony Fantastique

Antonin Dvorak
Czeck, 1841-1904

– As teenager, played in orchestra under Smetana
Became director of the National Conservatory of
Music in New York
Later returned to Prague Conservatory

Important Piece: Symphony no 9 in E minor