Albeniz, Issac

1860-1909.  Spanish composer and pianist active in the late 19th c.


Hire a custom writer who has experience.
It's time for you to submit amazing papers!

order now

He studied in the Americas, Great Britain, and Leipzig, as well as Madrid.  He studied piano with Liszt and composition with Dukas and d’Indy.


In 1891, he started a lucrative operatic collaboration with a London banker in 1891; they produced four operas together.


His best-known works are for the piano, and they often evoke Spanish scenes through the use of melodic and rhythmic gestures derived from Spanis folklore.


Other works include several orchestral works, a piano concerto, and songs with texts in Spanish, Italian, French, and English

Allgemein muskalische Zeitung

a newspaper devoted to musical life, founded in 1798 by Breitkopf und Hartel of Leipzig.


Its mixture of articles on musical subjects, reviews of published scores and concerts ( and, occasionally, books), correspondence reports from other cities, musical supplements, and publishers’ advertisements.


It quickly established the pattern for a host of similar journals that sprang up in all the principal cities of Europe.


A bowed guitar invented by J.G. Staufer in 1824.


It is essentially a bass viol, fretted fingerboard, and six strings tuned like those of a guitar.


Schubert’s Sonata in A minor, D. 821 (1824) was written for the arpeggione.; Because the instrument is no longer played, this sonata is now played on the cello and viola, though it is quite a bit more difficult since these instruments have only four strings and are obliged to go higher up the fingerboard to finger the notes.

Balakirev, Mily

1837-1910.; Russian composer who organized and led “the Mighty Handful”


After meeting Glinka in 1855, he started to champion Russian music.


In reaction to criticism by Anton Rubinstein, he helped to establish the Free School of Music, in an effort to create a distinctly “Russian” school.


Despite his support of Russian music, his own compositions seem surprisingly untouched by Russian nationalist principles.


He wrote mostly orchestral music (including two Overtures on Russian themes and the symphonic poem Tamara and Russia), songs and folk songs, and a few piano works.


His work is not well-known today, and the most popular is probably the famously difficult Oriental Fantasy calld Islamey


a strophic narrative song, with sentimental text, usually in moderate or slow tempo, and often in a form consisting of two or more 16-measure strophes, each followed by a 8-bar refrain, the whole sometimnes referred to as a ballad/refrain.


19th c examples include the ballads of Carl Loewe, modeled after the ballads of Zumsteeg


City in Bavaria that is the site of the Festspeilhaus built in 1876 to Wagner’s specification for performances of his own works.


Every summer the Bayreuth festival stages his works.


The theater was finished in 1873, and the first Bayreuth Festival took place n August of 1876 with a full performance of The Ring

Bellini, Vincenzo

1801-1835Italian composer of ten opera seria.


Student of eminent opera composer Zingarelli.


His principal librettist was Romani.


His last opera, I puritani, composed for the French stage, was to a text by Italian exile poet Count Carlo Pepoli.


He composed almost no nonoperatic music after his student days.


Norma (1831) is today the best known of his operas. Subjects are typical of Romantic opera: hopeless love, violent deaths, etc


His arias are more variable than those of Donizetti, with sinuous, decorated melodies, but his recitative is less flexible than Donizetti’s

Bennett, William Sterndale

(1816-1875) English composer and viruoso pianist who studied compostion at the Royal Academy of Music.


He was influenced by Mendelssohn and in 1849 he founded the Bach society, which he conducted, giving the English premiere of the St. Matthew Passion.


He composed piano concertos, symphonies, concert overtures, piano pieces, cantatas, and sacred music.


His sacred cantata, The Woman of Samaria (Birmingham Festival, 1867) is typical of this genre in that it is deliberately written in a style simple enough for satisfactory performance by amateurs, with plain narrative recitative alternating with set pieces in simple diatonic style

Berlioz, Hector

1803-1869.; Medical student-turned-composer and leading spokesman for musical Romanticism in France.


He campaigned on behalf of Beethove, Weber, and Gluck.


He also wrote articles and reviews for periodicals of Paris.


After three failed attempts, he finally won the Prix de Rome in 1830, with his cantata La Derniere Nuit de Saranapale.


He most famous work was also his first major one, the programmatical Symphonie fantastique, with its recurring idee fixe, and distinct autobiographical associations (the hero and beloved of the piece represent him and the actress Harriet Smithson, whom he had not even met when the piece was first performed).;


Berlioz sought to connect his music with its program by imitating musical sounds that already have fixed associations, and by expressing emotions musically.


Berlioz was noted for his novel writing for orchestra.; He published his comprehensive Grand Traite d’instrumentation et d’orchestration in 1844.;


His Harold in Italy, symphony for viola and orchestra, was commissioned by Paganini, who never played it because it wasn’t flashy enough.


Other works include opera (such as Les Troyens, 1856-8); other program symphonies; sacred music; other choral and vocal music; and songs

Bizet, George

1838-1875.  French composer at the end of the 19th C, mostly known for his operas, esp the masterpiece Carmen.


This is a landmark opera (1875) in that though it is classified as an opera comique because it had spoken dialogue (later set to recit by another composer), it was such a stark and realistic drama that it was an opera comique in name alone.


Bizet rejects the sentimental and mythological plot of his present day opera, and this anti-Romantic sentiment foreshadows the verismo movement that follows soon afterward.


He died soon after Carmen was performed

Boito, Arrigo

1842-1918Librettist and composer.


His collaboration with Verdi led to Simon Boccanegra (1881), Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893).


In order to compress the action of Otello to suite the dramatic needs of opera, he cut the first act of Shakespeare’s Othello

Borodin, Alexander

1833-97.; Russian chemist and medical researcher, and member of “The Five”.


He is known now for only a few works, ncluding two string quartets, In the Steppes of Central Asia, three symphonies (the third completed by Glazunov), and the opera Prince Igor (which includes the famous Polevetsian Dances).


He was championed by Liszt, to whom In the Steppes is dedicated.


Due to the patronage of a belgian countess, his works were performed in Europe.


In general, his music shows the influence of Mendelssohn and also of the cosmopolitan parlor style familiar all over Europe; at the same time, he incorporated melodic inflections of Russian folksongs.

Brahms, Johannes

1833-97.; German composer, who was praised glowingly by Schumann in the Neue Zeitschrift, thus pitting him against the “New German School” of Lizst and Wagner.


His style tends to be more conservative and “classical” than that of many of his contemporaries, esp. in terms of form.


His music shows a preference for dense sonorities with many parallel sixths and thirds, frequent pedal points, “flat side” harmonies, and metric displacement.


His work include four symphonies, a violin concerto, two piano concertos, a double concerto for violin and cello, string quartets, quintets and sextets, piano trios, quartets and a quintet, a trio with horn , a trio with clarinet, sonatas for solo piano, violin cello and clarinet, songs, chorale preludes for organ, and other orchestral and choral works (including his Ein Deutsches Requiem)

Breitkopf and Hartel

German publishing and printing firm established in 1719 by the printer Bernard Breitkopf.


Virtually all of the major composers of the 2nd half of the 18th C sought to have at least one of their works published by the firm.


In 1795, Hartel bought the firm, hence the name Breitkopf and Hartel.


They are responsible for the first complete works edition of Mozart and have been at the forefront of music publishing for hundreds of years.

Bruckner, Anton

1824-96.; Austrian organist and composer who wrote many sacred works, nine numbered symphonies (the last is unfinished), and two earlier symphonies.


His sacred music shows the influence of Mozart and of the Cecilian movement, which urged the emulation of older styles of church music, including Gregorian chant and sixteenth century polyphony, esp that of Palestrina.


Bruckner often juxtaposed this older style with passages in more modern, late Romantic style, as in his Mass in E of 1866.


Bruckner openly admired Wagner, dedicating his third symphony to him, and thus he unwittingly became a focal point in the Wagner-Brahms conflict.


His symphonies are all in four movements, the first and last normally in extended sonata-allegro form.; His scherzos often are influenced by upper Austrian folk music.; Often the outer movements are thematically related.


His first movement often seem to grow out of nothing – a soft indistinct harmonic or tremelo in the strings.


His symphonies have a feeling of monumentality achieved through a slowing of usual musical processes, through great stretches of leisurely development and expansive sections of stactic harmony.

Bulow, Hans von

1830-1894.; Pianist and conductor whose wife Cosima (daughter of Liszt) left him for Wagner in 1870.


He studied piano with Wieck and Liszt.


He was the supporter of the New German School of Wagner and Berlioz, conducting the premieres of Tristan (1865) and Die Meistersinger (1868).


He also composed symphonic works and piano pieces , and edited much piano music by other composers.

Carnicer, Ramon

1789-1855.; The most admired Spanish composer of the first half of the century.


He wrote operas in an Italian style to Italian librettos, several of them, such as Cristoforo Colombo (1831) by Felice Romani

Cavatina and Cabaletta

A type of aria.


In 19th c. Itlian opera, the cavatina is the entrance aria of a principal singer.


In 19th c French and German opera, a cavatine or Kavatine is a short aria in a moderate or slower than moderate tempo.


Examples include cavatinas for the heroines in the last acts of Weber’s Freischutz, Euryanthe, and Oberon, as well as Gounod’s Faust and Bizet’s La jolie fille de Perth and Les pecheurs de perles.


This type of aria was often paried with the more athletic caballeta, often featuring virtuosic soloistic displays such as the cavatina/cabaletta in Act III of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.


Often the first and last parts of a 4-part scheme

Cecilian movement

19th C German movement for the reform of the Catholic church music.


In reaction to the excesses of the Romantic music, Cecilians wanted to restore religious feeling through more intelligibility in the words and more subservience of the music to the text.


In honor of St Cecilia, patron saint of sacred music, it helped bring about the a capella style and a restoration of Gregorian chant to what was thought to be its prestine form.


The best catholic church music was by Cherubini and Schubert in the early 19th C and the best of the Protestant and Anglican was that of Mendelssohn and Wesley.


One famous encyclical was the Motu Propio of Pius X in 1903, which expressly forbade the operatic style as examplified by Rossini’s Stabat Mater.


Chabrier, Emmanuel

1841-94French composer of operas who adopted the Wagnerian manner, despite the dominance of the opera lyrique in France.


His Gwendoline (1886) has a prominent love duet often thought to be reminiscent of Tristan, and a general conflagration at the end recalls the Ring.


Though in Gwendoline there is much Wagnerian chromaticism, Chabrier’s style was more typically reminiscent of Debussy, with a coloristic use of augmented chords and the juxtaposition of root-position chords in non-functional successions

Character pieces

In the late 18th and 19th centuries, any of a wide vareity of kinds of program music; now principally a short, lyric piano piece.


The individual piece usually evokes a particular mood or scene, suggested more often than not by a descriptive title.


The best known Charakterstucke are Mendelssohn’s op. 7 (1827) and Schumann’s Davidsbundlertanze op.6 (1837).;


The term derives from widespread discussion of the nature of character and characterization in vocal as well as instrumental music in the German lexical and aesthetic literature form the mid-18th c through the 19th c.


Through the 1870s, some writers still made little distinction between program music and character pieces.


The Romanic lyric piano pieces generally thought of as character pieces are such as Handstucke, Kinderszenen, Albumblatter, Bagatelles, Nocturnes, Impromptus, Intermezzi, Cappriccios, Rhapsodies, Eclogues and Novelletten.


Song Forms (ABA) were most common for individual pieces

Chopin, Frederick

1810-1849.; Polish pianist and composer who settled in Paris.


Unlike Liszt, most of his performing career was in private salons rather than on the concert stage


He also supported himself through printing his works.


He composed almost exclusively for his instrument: other than piano solos, his works include two piano concertos, a few other works for piano and orchestra, a piano trio, a cello sonata, and nineteen Polish songs.


His solo piano works avoid the extramusical associations typical of Liszt, and most fall into neat musical catergories: three sonatas, 24 Preludes, two sets of Etudes, 22 noctures, 4 ballades, three impromptus, a fantasie-impromptu, and music derivative of dance (Mazurkas, Polonaises, and Austrian Waltzes).


His style is characterized by an exploitation of the romantic piano sonority and a proclivity for obscuring tonal syntax by means of linear chromatic motion (Prelude no.4)

Clementi, Muzio

1752-1832. Italian composer, music publisher, and pianist.


After engaging in a virtuoso competition with him for the amusement of Emperor Joseph II, Mozart was impressed with his piano technique, but found his playing mechanical.


He wrote mostly for the piano (100+ sonatas, some accompanied, and 4-hand piano music), but also two completed symphonies and a piano concerto.


He settled permanently in London, where his publishing firm thrived (in 1807, he acquired rights to issue five of Beethoven’s last works). 


John Field was his pupil

Cornelius, Peter

1824-74Friend of Wagner.


composed two worthy dramatic works: Der Barbier van Bagdad (1858) and Der Cid (1865).


Neither survived a few performances (it was difficult to outshine Wagner)


A descendent of the Verbunkos, the csardas is a Hungarian dance form first known about 1840 almost exclusively in the ballrooms of Pest, the Hungarian capital.


The Verbunkos was a style of dance music sometimes used for military recruiting, with alternating slow and fast sections (lassu and friss), sharply accentuated rhythms with many dotted figures and triplets, and colorful violinistic ornamentation and paraphrase

Cui, Cesar

1835-1918.  A russian miliary engineer and composer of Lithuanian birth and French descent, now the least known of “The Five“.


He wrote six full-length operas and a number of shorter dramatic works.


Though he wrote many articles in favor of Russian musical nationalism, his music shows very little influence from Russian folk music or subject matter.


He also wrote short piano and chamber compositions

Czerny, Carl

1791-1857Bohemian pianist, teacher and composer born in Vienna.


Pupil and friend of Beethoven.


He became rather well-to-do from his teaching; he taught Beethoven’s nephew and Liszt.


He is remembered for his prodigious output of keyboard exercises, and for his observant reminiscences of Beethoven.


He also edited keyboard music of Bach and Scarlatti, and made piano arrangements of many works of Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, etc.

Des Knaben Wunderhorn

The Youth’s Magic Horn.  A group of German folk-song texts collected and published in three volumes (ca. 1805-8) by Von Arnim and Clemens Brentano.


Mahler composed settings of a number of these texts, both as songs (some with orchestral accompaniment) and several of his symphonies, including second, third and fourth.


Schumann frequently wrote of an imaginary League of David that was to oppose the Philistines of his day.


The first edition of his Davidsbundlertanze, each piece is signed E or F (or both) for Eusebius and Florestan, who represented, respectively, Schumann’s pensive, introverted and impulsive, extroverted sides.

d’Indy, Vincent

1851-1931Fr. composer who conducted at Lamoureux with Chabrier.


Wagnerian admirer and wrote the libretti for his own operas Fervaal and L’Etranger.


Text setting in Fervaal is almost completely syllabic and the music is continuous throughout, though there is some distinction between recitative and arioso.


D’Indy’s harmonic language mixes “impressionistic-sounding” with Wagnerian chromaticism, symptomatic of French music at the fin de siecle.


In ancient Greece, a song in honor of Dionysus.


Aristotle descirbed tragedy as having developed from the dithyramb.


As a title for works of the 19th and 20th c, the terms suggests music of a passionate, Dionysian character

Donizetti, Gaetano

1797-1848.; A bel canto Italian opera composer of a slightly younger generation than Rossini.


He first wrote instrumental and church music and then began a long and fruitful relationship with the librettist Felice Romani (I Pirate in Milan 1822).


His first opera to attract internation attention was Anna Bolena (1830).


Donizetti, like all noted Italian opera composers of this era, accepted an invitation to the Theatre Italien in Paris, for which the best of his late works were written.


Donizetti’s harmonic language tended to be quite simple and his use of melody more sterotyped and less adorned than that of Bellini.


In addition, Donizetti’s recitative tends to be more flexible than Bellini‘s but less apt to burst into arioso style

Dussek, Jan Ladislav

1760-1812Pianist and composerSon of Jan (Josef) Dussek (organist and composer).


Lived in many places and traveled much, such as Prague, Amsterdam, Hamberg, St. Petersburg, Paris, and England.


Dussek was one of the early touring concert pianist.


He wrote most of his works for piano and included piano.


His early works are in Classical style but his last twenty years show Romantic characteristics in the expression markings, the use of full chords, the choice of keys, and the frequent modulations to remote keys and in the use of altered chord and non-harmonic notes.


His harmony includes a wider range of chords and is considered more chromatic than that of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven.


His piano music is in general fuller in texture than that of CPE Bach, Mozart or Haydn.  He showed a predilection for modulating to the key a semitone above or below.


His piano style is often brilliant and virtuoso in character which anticipate piano writing later in the 19th century.


His works were remarkably popular in his lifetime.  Most were reprinted at least once, some up to ten times (some had three different edition by Breitkopf and Hartel alone).


After his death, though, he quickly fell into disregard.


Between 1860-1881 a revival of interest in Dussek brought about new editions of the piano sonatas by B&H and Litolff, as well as many performances of them, particularly in London

Dvorak, Antonin

1841-1904Czech composer and violist/violinist.


Due to the support of influential people such as Brahms and Hanslick, he achieved a considerable reputation relatively early, which was rare for a composer of a “peripheral” nation.


He traveled to England and Russia, and spent three years in the U.S.


His earliest style relies on the classical models from Beethoven and Schubert, and in general his work is of a conservative vast.


He was sporadically influenced by Wagner, as is evident in a few of his early symphonies, such as the second, with patches of advanced Wagner-like orchestration.


Dvorak was also strongly influenced by the folk music of his native Bohemia.  This is evident in his use of the modal-sounding flat seventh in minor, drone accompaniment, and stark root-position sonorities. 


He wrote in a wide range of genres, but he made his mark most decisively in the traditional large insturmental genres: symphony, string quartet, and chamber compositions with piano.  He also wrote piano pieces, concerti  (one for cello and one for violin), songs, an oratorio, cantate, and operas (Rusalka, 1900)


a poem in which shepherds converse.


In classical antiquity, eclogues were written by Theocritus and Virgil, and in the 16th c they were sometimes written as plays and staged, thus forming an early part of the pastoral tradition on which early opera drew.


The term has been used as a title for piano pieces with a pastoral character by more recent composers usch as Tomasek, Franck, Liszt, and Dvorak.

Elgar, Edward

1857-1934.  The first strong native-English composer to appear on the scene since the early 18th c.


His only major composition written in the 19th c was the Enigma Variations (1899).


Some of Elgar’s orchestral textures are remeniscent of Brahms, but his harmonic language comes closer to mature Wagnerian style

Endless melody

Wagner’s ideal, outlined in Oper und Drama, of musical continuity, and avoidance of cadences, creating a sense of continuous melody

Faure, Gabriel

1845-1924.  The most individual voice among the fin de siecle French composers.


Though at students and lifelong associate of Saint-Saens, his music reflects little to do with either the emergent French classicism or the chromatic idom of Wagner and Franck.


Some piano works betray a debt to Chopin but his real proving ground was the French song and melodie.


His songs chronicles to text-music relationships and an increasingly individual harmonic style which strains the limits of tonal syntax.


Root-motion by thirds, seventh and ninth chords in new contexts, and whole tone sounds all appear in the melodies of Faure


a drama by Goethe, which inspired Liszt to write his Faust Symphony (1857), Berlioz to write his La Damnation de Faust (for orchestra and chorus, 1846), and Gounod to write his opera in five acts, Faust (1859), with a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michale Carre.


Faust is the hero of several medieval legends, and old philosopher who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power

Field, John

1782-1837Irish virtuuoso pianist, composer, and student of Clementi.


He spent most of his career in Russia.


His short piano pieces, representing the bulk of his oeuvre, were to influence Liszt, Chopin, and others.


He fifteen nocturnes for piano were apparently the first such pieces.  They generally have lyrical, lavishly ornamented melodies for the right hand supported by wide-ranging arpeggiated accompaniment, and slow harmonic movement.  Tonic pedal points allow for lavish pedal use, which Schumann later singled out as Field’s prime contribution to Romantic musical style.


He also wrote piano concertos and a few pianos sonatas

Florestan, Eusebius, and Raro

members of the imaginary Davidsbund, whcih battled the Philistines of contemporary culture.


Schumann used these characters in his essays and reviews against the prevailing musical taste in German society.


Eusebius and Florestan represented, respectively, his pensive, introverted and impulsive, extroverted sides

Franck, Cesar

1822-90.; Belgian born organist and composer who gathered a faithful group of students (including Duparc and Chausson) who campaigned for the cause of avant-garde music, creating a schism between them and the “reactionaires” led by Saint-Saens.


After hearing the Tristan Prelude in 1874. he converted to a strongly chromatic idiom, evident in his organ compositions and symphonic poem, Les Eolides.


Despite this chromaticism, the tonal roots of his music remain clear.


His most famous pieces are his later ones: the oratorio Les Beatitudes (1879), the Piano Quintet (1879), the Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra (1885), the Symphony in d minor (1888), the Violin Sonata in A (1886) and his single String Quartet (1889)


A term coined by Wagner in his essay Opera und Drama (1851).


The meaning of the term is that poetry, scenic design, staging, action, and music are seen as aspects of a total scheme.


This concept was of primary importance to Wagner’s music drama which was an attempt to creating the ultimate art form which linked together all of the various arts (music, singing, dance, poetry, writing, painting, sculpture, etc.) in one complete whole.


Wagner believed this was a return to the artistic ideals of classical Greece and Rome

Gilbert and Sullivan

composers of English operettas which proved to be the most distinctive English musical dramas of the century.

Sullivan (1842-1900) was an English music student who studied at the Leipzig conservatory at the same time as Grieg.


In 1875, he first entered into partnership with W.S. Gilbert to write an one-act “afterpiece” to an Offenbach opera.


Broad parody and witty absuditites in Gilbert‘s texts are matched by Sullivan‘s array of borrowed and adpated style (ranging form Handelian recitative to Gounod-like sentimental airs, to Italian bel canto styles).


These two men almost single-handedly created the tradition of English operetta

Glinka, Mikhail

1804-1857.  The composer acknowleged as the founder of Russian opera, who, after a modicum of formal training in Italy and Germany , produced the opera, A Life for the Czar (1836).


This work blended the current styles in French and Italian serious opera with a nationalistic Russian flavor (due to the inclusiong of folk and folk-like melodies).


Repetitions of tiny melody modules, irregular meters (5/4), and pentatonic construction give these national moments their Russian flavor.


A special musical tehcnique was developed in Glinka’s later operas in which constant repetitions of a simple line against a perpetually changing accompanimental background is used to good effect.


Glinka’s meeting with Balakirev in 1855 seems the starting point for Balakirev’s father hood of the “mighty five”.; In fact, Balakirev‘s early styles seems to owe a great debt to Glinka’s operatic compositions


The quintessential German Romantic poet.


Goether settled at the court of Weimar, but his poetry was known all over Europe and insired some of the finest musical work of the 19th c, most of which were Lieder (Schuber, Schumann, Wolf Kennst du das Land) and operas ( bast on Goether’s Faust by Berlioz, Schumann, Liszt, Gounod, Wagner)

Gottschalk, Louis Moreau

1829-69Virtuoso pianist and composer from New Orleans (He was half Creole) whose elaborations of Creole melodies first excited French audiences in 1844.


His piano piece, The Last Hope (1855), was one of the most popular parlor pieces of the time

Gounod, Charles

1818-1893, The best remembered of the composer of opera lyrique, a product of the Paris Conservatoire.


He also wrote a great deal of church music, piano and instrumental ensemble music, and some 200 songs in various languages.


His initial and greatest triumph was Faust first heard (with spoken dialogue ) at the theatre lyrique in Paris in 1859.  The declamatory singing in this composition is most satisfyingFaust and Mephistopheles, particularly, converse in a style that is faithful to natural speaking accents.


The set pieces are tuneful, but perhaps a bit superficial with very simple, stereotyped harmonic language.


While this piece seems to betray little of Berlioz’s earlier work with the same materials, Gounod’s Romeo and Joliet offers more evidence for Gounod’s earlier acquintance with this work

Grand Opera

In response to the rising middle class, opera in France after 1820 strove to appeal to the uncultured masses by stressing the spectacular, with an increase in the number of ballets, choruses, and crowd scenes.


Leaders of the school included the librettist Eugene Scribe (1791-1861), the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) and the direct of the Paris Opera Theater, Louis Veron (1798-1867).


Meyerbeer‘s operas in this style included Robert le diable, 1831 and Les Huguenots, 1836.


Other composers of grand opera include Auber (La muette de Portici, 1828), Rossini (Guillaume Tell, 1829), Bellini (I Puritani), Verdi (Les vepres siciliennes, Aida), Wagner (Rienzi), and even 20th century composer such as Milhaud (Christophe Columb) and Barber (Anotony and Cleopatra)

Grenados, Enrique

1867-1916.  A Spanish composer and pianist, remembered mainly for his piano compositions, which reflect the traditional rhythms and melodies of his native land.


His finest work is a suite for piano, Goyescas

Grieg, Edvard

1843-1907Norwegian nationalist composer, whose best works are his short piano pieces, songs, and incidental orchestral music to plays (Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, 1876).


His handling of larger forms was less successful; longer pieces include a piano concerto in A minor, a piano sonata, three violin sonatas, a cello sonata, and a string quartet that apparently influenced Debussy in his own quartet.


Grieg tends to write consistently in two and four-bar groups.


His nationalism is most apparent in some of his vocal works, and some of his piano works, with their Norwegian folk elements of modal melody and harmony (Lydian raised fourth, Aeolian lowered seventh, etc), drone basses, etc.


His piano style is reminiscent of that of Chopin

Hanslick, Eduard

1825-1904.; Progressive music critic in Vienna.


Schumann invited him to Dresden, where he heard Tannhauser, of which his positive review began his career as a critic.


He later championed Brahms, and developed an antipathy towards Wagner, Liszt and Berlioz.; In retaliation, Wagner identified Hanslick witih Beckmesser in die Meistersinger.


He wrote Vom Musikalish-Schonen (On the Beautiful in Music), which described his anti-Wagnerian aesthetic.


1770-1831, German writer and philosopher who wrote Lecturer on Aesthetic (pub 1835-38)


He portrayed the arts as the embodiment of Geist, which refers both to the human mind and the entire universe.


He described a progression of arts from “symbolic” arts, such as architecture, to “classical” arts , such as sculpture, and finally to the “romantic” arts: painting, music, and poetry, in ascending order.


For Hegel, the ideal was spiritual content over form.; Music which is supported by poetry is thus strenthened

Heiligenstadt Testament

Oct 6-10, 1802.; Beethoven’s letter of 1802 that was intended to be read by his brother after his death


It describe in moving terms his difficulty in coming to terms with his increasing deafness.


Ironically, he had just finished writing his joyful 2nd symphony

Hoffmann, ETA

1776-1822German writer and composer.


His fantastic tales epitomized one aspect of Romanticism, esp the fascination with the supernatural and the expressively distorted or exaggerated.


As a critic, he placed his sharp mind at the service of a consistent view of Romanticism, and wrote vivid and forceful review of the music of his time.


His works as a composer has been neglected.


He was also a gifted artist (sketches, and caricatures).


He influenced several generations of artists, writer and composers.


His reviews of Beethoven’s works for the AMZ, which were widely read and contributed greatly to his contemporaried understanding of the breakthrough contained in the composer’s style.


His reviews for the AMZ mark the end of the old fashioned doctrine of the Affections in music aesthetics;


His works were used in R. Schumann’s composition such as Kreisleriana, op.16 and Humoresque Op.20. The story contains two opposite personalities: Prolestan and Oisebius.; Thus, Schumann’s music on this story carries the contrasting qualities which switch around pretty often, and therefore demands a highly trained skills from performers.

von Hoffmannsthal, Hugo

1874-1929. Viennes poet, dramatist and librettist.


He wrote libretti for a number of Richard Strauss’ works, including: Elektra (1909), Der Rosenkavalier (1909-10), Ariadne auf Naxos (1912).etc

Hugo, Victor

1802-85. French poet, novelist and playwright who was part of a Parisian group of artists that included Liszt.


In the preface to his play Cromwell (1828), he challenged the Classical prescriptions for language and manners.


Hernani of 1830 caused an uproar, because, Hugo’s violation of “the unity of place”, his breaking of established poetic rules, and his use of every-day speech for exalted characters.


His followers in this debate included the musicians Berlioz and Liszt

Hummel, Johann Nepomuk

1778-1837.  A student of Mozart‘s and Haydn‘s successor at the palace of the Esterhazy family.


He was a virtuoso pianist and wrote a number of brilliant piano sonatas and concertos.  These works tend more towards the pianism of the 19th c than the Classical style.


He also wrote a number of chamber wroks and orchestrally-accomp sacred music.


His music remains in the canon in Germany and Austria even today

Humperdink, Engelbert

1854-1921.  His Hansel und Gretel (1893), with its mix of innocent melody and Wagnerian orchestral textures, was the only opera other than those of Wagner that strongly appealed to the German public before the turn of the century.


Humperdink was for a time an assistand of Wagner’s at Bayreuth

idee fixe

Berlioz’s term for the recurring musical idea linking the several movements of his Symphonie fantastique and associated in its program with the image of the beloved.


Symphonie Fantastique: Berlioz’s cyclic program symphony which includes the recurring idee fixe and the use of the Dies Irae.;


Unity is acheived both through the recurring theme and through the evolution of the dramatic idea of the program

Kalkbrenner, Friedrich

1785-1849.; French pianist, teacher and composer of German extraction.


He undoutedly had an overweening fondness for honours and a well-developed senes of his own superiority; he also had a mercenary streak to his nature.


On the other hand, he was cultured, sociable and amiable.


He was one of the first performers to achieve an independent international career and, for at least a decade, enjoyed unprecedented success.


His playing has oustanding for its masterly clarity and beauty of tone.; His public performances were confined almost exclusively to his own works, as was customary at that time.


As a teacher he lest a lasting influence: “Kalkbrenner’s technique”parallel to the keyboared, the forearm rested, the independence of fingers.


Among his pupils were Mme Pleyel, Geroge Osborne and Camile Stamaty.; The latter two did a great deal to publicize his Methode.; Stamaty used it in teaching the young Saint-Saens.


A prolific and varied composer, he concentrated mainly on the piano; virtosity, use of the whole range of the keyboard and of octaves, particularly in the left hand. His work sometimes forshadows Chopin;; His pianistic writing prefigures that of Saint-Saens in its paucity of counterpoint, its abundance of rhetorial formulae and its use of ornamentation and virtuoso figuration in an easily recognizable melodic framework


a musical theme or motive associated with a particular person, thing or idea in the drama.


The associaiton is established by sounding the leitmotif (usually in the orchestra) at the first appearance or mention of the object of reference, and by its repetition at each subsequent appearance or mention.


Use of leitmotif is particularly associated with the operas of Wagner, but can also be found in those of Verdi and Weber.


Ex. Tristan, Act I, Scene 5, the motive of Tristan’s honor is introduced and identified by the sung text “Tristan’s honor, highest truth“).  As Isolde drinks the love potion, a motive of a rising major sixth followed by a tritone is introduced, and becomes the motive of the love potion

Leoncavallo, Ruggiero

1858-1919Italian composer of operas in the verismo style.


He wrote libretto and music of I pagliacci (Milan, 1892).  The music for this opera is characterized by rich harmonic language, with many V7 and o7 chords, and a continuous flow, blurring the lines of recitative and arioso


Whereas lieder of the 18th c were short, idllic and strophic, 19th c. composers preferred a new type of song used by Zumsteeg (1760-1802), the ballad, which was long and often involved alternation narrative and dialogue, romantic adventure, and supernatural incidents.


The greater length of the ballded necessitated greater variety of themes and textures, and thus some means of imposing unity on the whole.


The contrasts of mood and the movement of the story were captured and enhanced by the music.


The piano part rose in prominence, sharing the task of portraying the text

Liszt, Franz

1811-1886.  A Hungarian composer and pianist who was one of the great figures of the 19h c romantic music.


Famous in his day as a masterful piano virtuoso and for the brilliant compositions he wrote for this instrument.


Liszt today is also remembered as the inventor of the program symphony and symphonic poem.


A love affair with a married countess resulted them live together, and later their daughter Cosima married R. Wagner.


By settling down in Weimar, in 1848, he made the city a great cultural center (his Lohengrin composition and Berlioz‘s first performances in Germany).


His early piano music was technically dazzling, whith its scale passages in octaves and tenths, chains of trills and arpeggios, and chromatic chord changes, but later he became more interest in the piano’s expressive qualities.


Breaking with the forms of the classical period, such as the sonata, he wrote pieces in free form, with such titles as “Rhapsody”, “Fantasia”, “Nocturne”, “Elegie” and “Ballade”.


He foreshadowed the innovations of Wagner, and some think, perhaps even the atonal melodies and polytonal harmonies of the 20th c, in his use of cyclic structural device and his experiments with chromatic harmonies and unconventional melodies.


He wrote dozens of piano transcriptions;


In Weimar, he made a new orchestral form, symphonic poem: Les Preludes, Prometheus, Mazeppa, and Die Hunnenschlacht (The battle of the Huns; Program symphonies: Faust Symphony and Dante Symphony.


After eleven years at Weimar, he went to Rome, where he took religious orders and composed a number of large choral work including the oratorios The legend of St. Elizabeth, Christus and The Hungarian Coronation Mass


1772-1816.  A prince and patron of Beethoven, to whom the “eroica” symphony was dedicated.


When Napoleon’s troops captured Vienna in 1805, Lobkowitz’s palace was one of those occupied

Loewe, Carl

1796-1869. One of the most prolific German ballad composers of the early-mid 19th C.


He frequently toured Europe singing his songs to great success, often called the “North German Schubert”.


His setting of Goethe’s Erlkonig is particularly fine.


1860-1908.  An American composer who lived and studied for ten years in Germany.


Among his best known works are the Second Piano Concerto, in D minor, and the last piano sonata (the Keltic, dedicated to Grieg).


His music tends to include titles or poems which suggest musical moods and pictures, somewhat reminiscent of Grieg.


MacDowell’s general style is similar to that of Grieg.


He is also famous for his evocative piano miniatures.  Such miniatures include New England Idyls, and Woodland Sketches, which related to American landscapes, thus answering the nationalist challenge of the late Romantic era


His compositions include songs, choruses, symphonic poems, orchestral suites, piano pieces and studies, four piano sonatas, and two piano concertos

Mahler, Gustav

1860-1911.  Austrian composer and conductor.


His 10 symphonies are among the finest monuments to the declining years of the Austro-German domination of European music and adumbrate developemtns which were to revolutionize the Viennese tradition in the works of Berg, Schoenberg, and Webern.


In four of the symphonies he used the human voice and achieved a synthesis of song and symphonic form which, though no unique, has remained inimitable.


He was a great conductor, esp of opera, his decade as director of the Vienna Court Opera being regarded as the zenith of that house’s achievement


Marchen meaning “tales; pieces of music with some suggestion of traditional or legendary forms.


Oper meaning opera

Mascagni, Pietro

1863-1945.; Italian composer and competent conductor of orchestral music as well as opera.


When Toscanini resigned from La Scala as a protest against Fascism, Mascagni took over certain of his duties.


Most famous for his one-act opera, Cavalleria rusticana (1888).; Posssessed genuine flair for popular melody appraching Italian folk-song.; Wrote with rich orchestral sounds, and real (as opposed to intellectually observed) passion.


His opera Iris (1899) was his second and only other real success. It is a piece with a Japanese setting, which exploits exoticism several years before Puccini’s Madama Butterfly

Massenet, Jules

1842-1912French composer of highly popular operas that made him one of the richest musician of his time. 


Herodiade (1881), Manon (1884), Le cid (1885), werther (1892) and Thais (1894) show his gifts at their best, being works of charm and theatrical effectivemenss.


Entered Paris Conservatoire at age 9, specializing in piano11 years later won the Prix de Rome (largely on the recommendation of Berlioz). 


Became youngest member of the French Academie (at 37), eventually becoming its President.


Taught in the Conservatoire and had a number of distinguished pupils, including Hahn, Koechlin, and Schmitt


A Polish dance, in 3/4 meter, with a strong accent on the second or third beat of the measure.


The mazurka spread thourhg western Europe in the mid-18th c, becoming immensely popular: A dance by four, eight, or twelve couples.


In the 19th century, the rhythms of the mazurka attracted composers simple as an instrumental form. 


The most famous mazurkas are the fifty-two written by Chopin for piano; others were written by Tchaikovsky, Glinka, and Mussorgsky


The 19th c French term for “song”, in fact the equivalent of German Lied.


Term probably first used by Berlioz in his Melodies Irlandaises of 1829.


French composers thereafter adopted the term to denote not a simple air but the more complex “art song.” 


The best-known melodies writers are Faure, Duparc, and Debussy.  They chose verse from contemporary writers, including Victor Hugo, Verlaine, and Baudelaire, among a few older French writers such as Villon and Charles d’Orleans.


Melodies by Berlioz, Gounod, Franck, Saint-Saen, Bizet, Duparc, Faure, Massenet, Debussy, Hahn, Ravel, and many other constitue a school of song composition second only to that of Lied.


The vocal line of melodies maintained a supplness directly dependent on the individuality of the French languagle, and the kind of poetry chosen (influenced byt Symbolist, Impressionist, Fauvist, cubist and other movements) inspired piano accompaniments which supported the genral mood of the poem rather than being specifically realistic or minutely illustrative


a popular type of entertainment with spoken text and pictorial accompanying music cultivated by George Benda and Zumsteeg.


Procedures in melodrama are similar to those in melodrama are found in 19th c. Lieder

Mendelssohn, Fanny

1805-1847.; Felix’s sister


Received an excellent musical education at home with her brother, and also became a composer.


She published four books of songs, a collection of part songs, and Lieder ohne Worte for piano, and is believed to have excercised considerable influence on her brother’s composition

Mendelssohn, Felix

1809-1847.; A German composer and conductor remembered mainly for his songlike melodies and his beautifully constructed compositions in a number of musical forms.


He showed his great talent at an early age, giving his first piano recital at nine, and composing the overture to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at seventeen.


His last three symphines are in the standard repertory today (No.3, the Schotch; No.4, the Italian, and no.5 the Reformation);; the concert overtures “The Hebrides and “Calm Sean and Prosperous Voyage; two piano concertos; Violin concerto; oratorios St. Paul and Elijah, eigh books of Lieder ohne Worte; dozens of songs, and numberous chamber works.


As a conductor of Gawandhaus Orchestra, he helped found a conservatory in Leipzig; helped revive the music of Bach, conducting a performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in 1829

Meyerbeer, Giacomo

1791-1864.  German composer of French Grand Opera.


Showed early promise as a pianist, playing Mozart’s D minor concerto in public at the age of 7.


On the advice of Slieri, Meyerbeer went to Venice to study composition for the voice.; Composed several operas in the Rossinian manner, all dissatisfied with the Italian style and moved to Paris.


He met Scribe (famous librettist) and wrote his first grand opera, Robert le diable, spectacular in its scenic effects and brilliant orchestration.; This mad him the most famous and prosperous opera composer of the time, a fact confirmed by the even great success of Les Huguenots (1836).


Again this was less because of its musical qualities than its dramatic and scenic flair, which can only be compared with that of the Hollywood film epics of the 1930’s.


He last opera, L’africaine, was never put on in his lifetimes but was performed a year after his death.


His slow output otward the end of his life was caused by a perfectionism whicch made him constantly revise and to insist on obtaining exactly that right case.

Mighty Five

a group of Russian composers who banded together in the 1860‘s in response to the old-fashionsed teaching of the St. Petersburg Conservatory.


The group included Balakirev, Borodin, Cui, Musorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov.


All but Balakirev, the leader and founder of the group, had unconventional training.


They used folksongs and folk-tales in their music, with prominent modal elements.


The group did not stay together long, as they really had no unity of style or doctrine; each moved on in different directions

Musica drama

Lohengrin is original in the way the symbols, expressed by thematic material stated in the overture, are used throughout the drama, coming together at the end in a kind of analogy to a symphonic recapitulation.


It was this analogy with symphonic style which gave Wagner the opportunity of creating a new kind of opera, which he called the “music drama.”.


Most important features of this new style: the subject-matter should be based on  legend and deal with archetypal concepts applicable to mankind as a whole rather than to specific men (as historical subjects tend to do);  the music should be constructed so as to follow the sense of the drama, and not impose its own pattern upon it (hence recitative and aira must be replaced by a continuous flow, halted by few cadences); and the use of “leitmotivs” in the orchestra (themes associated with the archetypal concept) for dramatic effect

Mussorgsky, Modest

1839-81.  Russian army officer, civil servant, and member of “the Five”.


Many of his works remain incomplete, due to his alcoholism and disordered life.


His pian osuite Pictures at an Exhibition, which was later orchestrated by Ravel, effectively shows his propensity for dramatic scenes and visual stimuli.


He was influenced by “realism”, which encouraged a direct and unadorned presentation of subjects from ordinary life, such as the Russian peasant.  This theory led to several unfinished operas and to a number of songs, which are characterized by a severely naturalistic (thus syllabic)declamation that persisted in later songs.


It was also to prove useful in parts of Boris Godunov, his only completed opera.


It is in his songs that he developed his idiosyncratic harmonic style, which included frequent use of tonic pedals and unresolved dissonant sonorities.


The libretto for Boris Godunov was constructed by Rimsky-Korsakov from Pushkin’s play of that name and from a play by Karamzin.


Like the operas of Rimsky-Korsakov, Boris Godunov is basically a loose assemblage of tableaux, which the composer connects musically through the use of specific melodic and harmonic motives associated with dramatic acts and persons

Mystic chord

Also known as Promethean chord.; Name given to the chord c-f#-bb-e-a-d (superposed fourths) by the Russian composer Skryabin.


It forms the harmonic basis of many of his works, including the tone poem Promethee (1911), from which work the chord takes its alternative name


A widespread movement of the 19th c that emphasized national musical characteristics, esp as found in a country’s folk songs, dances, and legends.


The use in art music of materials that are identifiably national or regional in character.  These may include actual folk music, and non musical programmatic elements drawn from national folklore, myth or literature.


The movement was associated with the political nationalism of 19th c Europe, particularly in such countries as Russia, Bohemia (now a part of Czech), Norway, Finland, Hungary, Romania, Spain and England. Mainly by composers of peripheral countires.


The earliest important example is Glinka’s opera, A Life for the Czar, completed in 1836;


Russian Five: Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov;


Smetana’s The Bartered Bride combines a plot based on an episode from Bohemian peasant life with folk dances and other elements of folk music


Grieg in Norway, Dvorak in Bohemia, and Sibelius in Finland omposed with the materials from their native lands.


Albeniz, Granados, and de Falla used Spanish dance rhythms.


Janacek in Moravia; Bartok and Kodaly in Hungary; Enesco in Romania; Szymanowski in Poland; Elgar and Vaughan Williams in Great Britain; Chavez in Mexico; and Grofe in the US.


By 1900 this movement had declined; esp due to the turned to the techniques of twelvetone and serial music.




Neue Zeitschrft fur Music

New Music Journal.; A music magazine founded in 1840 by R. Schumann and taken over by Franz Brendel in 1844.; In 1853, last artical “new path”.


A tool of young musicians against musical mediocracy.


More than hundred reviews; poetic language, technical terms, imaginary figures.


Chopin was introduced through this magazine as well as Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Brahms and more;

Nicolai, Otto

1810-1849.; German composer and conductor of Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and opera conductor in Berlin.


Best known for his charming opera, The Merry Wives of Windsor.; It was written in the year of his death, and its mixture of delicate orchestral tone pianting in the Mendelssohnian way, tunefuleness, and Italiantate skill in the ensembles has ensured its place in the repertory in Germany



Nietzsche, Friedrich

1844-1900. German philosopher.


In his early yeras he was a friend of Wagner, although later he was tuned against him.


Nervous disturbances and eye trouble forced him to move from place to place in a vain effort to improve his health until 1889, when he became hopelessly insane.


He was not a systematic philosopher but rather a moralist who passionately rejected Western bourgeois civilization.; He regarded Christian civilization as decadent, and in place of its “slave morality”, he looked to the superman, the creator of a neew heroic morality that would consciously affirm life and the life values.; That superman would represent the highest passion and creativity and would live at a level of experience beyound the conventional standards of good and evil.


His creative “will to power” would set him off from “the herd” of inferior humanity.


His thought has widespread influence but was of particular importance in Germany, where a perversian of his thought lended philosophical justification for the doctrines of Nazism.


Among his most famous works are The Birth of Tragedy, Thus Spake Zarathustra and Beyond Good and Evil

Offenbach, Jacques

1819-1880.; French composer/conductor most known for his light, entertaining operettas.


Began career as cellist in the orchestra of the Opera-Comique (1840) and was appointed conductor at the Teatre Francais in 1850.


In 1855 he rented a small theater for performances of his own works.; The theater became known as the Theatre des Bouffes-Parisiens and from then until 1867 he dominated the fashionable musical scene.


He satirized politics, foibles, and epitonized the developing cosmopolitanism and moral licence in his operettas.


Among his greatest successes are La belle Helene, La vie Pariesenne, La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein, La Perichole, and the 1877 five-act opera Les contes d’Hoffmann

Oper und Drama

R. Wagner’s writing that exclaims his music drama highly as the future art, and he set the order of each genre of art from lowest to highest, such as gardening, construction, sculpture, painting, music, poetry, philosophy/religion.


He boasting attitude is well reflected in this book which considered the audience “not able to understand his music” and his art is the pioneer for the future art

opera bouffe

French.; A 19th c type of comic opera that is very similar to an operetta.;


The best-known composer of such works is Offenbach

opera comique (Romantic)

An opera on a French text with musical numbers separated by spoken dialogue.;


In the 19th c, these operas also incorporated serious or tragic events.


An example is Bizet’s Carmen.  In this opera, the idea of “comique” does not refer to comic or humorous like the 18th c, but refers only to the presence of spoken dialogue


This developed as a separate genre in the 19th c.  (In the 17th and 18th c, it was simply a smale scale opera).


The originator is Offenbach. 


It is a popular form of entertainment made of spoken dialogue, song, and dance.


Other operettas are Strauss Die Fledermaus,  Gilbert and Sullivan is English operetta

Paganini, Niccolo

1782-1840.  A towering figure of the 19th C, he was a spectacular violin virtuoso whose playing so enthralled audiences that some siad he was possessed.


His exceptional skill, development of technique, and personal magnetism had a direct influence on the 19th C composers and audiences, specifically Liszt.


Liszt resolved to push the technical limits of the piano music the same way Paganini did to the violin.


Famous examples of Paganini’s works include his 24 capprices for solo violin, a virtual compendium of teachnical virtuosity, and his popular Concerto No.1 in D major

Parry, Hubert

1848-1918.; English composer and teacher.


His Piano Concerto in f# minor brought him publick attention in 1878.


He wrote a series of oratorios, Jidith, Job, and King Saul.


The 1880s and 90s were his most productive years.; He wrote four symphonies, Symphonic Variations, incidental music, an opera (Guinevere), and many choral works.


He taught at the Royal College of Music from its opening and was its second director.


He published Studies of the Great Composers, the widely; read The Art of Music (2nd edition title: The Evolution of Art Music), Style in Musical Art, and more


In the 18th C, there were two types of piano: the Viennese, with a light and rapid action , and a distinct, piercing, “nasal” sound; and the “English ” piano, with a more powerful and sonorous but less bright sound.


The English piano, which was developed in London starting around 1760, eventually developed into the 19th c. piano, with its percussive and velvety sound.


In 1781, the Scotsman John Broadwood joined the workshop in London (first run by Germans), and started the Broadwood piano manufactory.


Double escapement action invented by Erard in Paris

Piave, Francesco Maria

1810-1876.; Poet and librettist.


Met Verdi in the early 1840s and wrote libretti for ten of Verdi’s operas.


A few are: Macbeth, Rigoletto, La traviata, and La forz del destino

Program music

Music that attempts to express or depict one or more nonmusical ideas, images, or events.


The composer usually indicates the “program” (the subject or subjects being evoked) by a suggestive title or preface, which may be quite vague or may be specific and detailed, i.e. Romeo and Juliet (Tchaikovsky), Liszt’s Consolations, Schumann’s 3 Romanzen op.28 or Chopin’s Tarantelle.


Programmatic music has flourished at different times, but especially in the 19th c.; The predominant genres of Romantic program music were the program symphony and the symphonic poem, concert overtures, character pieces for piano or small ensemble, and occasional pieces such as Smetana’s From My Life (1876)


Program vs. absolute music.


Three main compositional approaches are the expressive (i.e. Chiarinia in Schumann’s Carnaval), the depictive (i.e. imitation of nature, human activities, or sounds or musical styles with strong association such as chromatic ostinato basses in Monteverdi and Purcell, “singhing” two-note figures in Bach, and portrayal of primeval chaos in Haydn’s The Creation), and the Narrative.


On this point, programmatic writing was well established in instrumental music by around 1700; The distinction between character pieces and program music is that program music, such as Schumann’s Carnaval, Weber’s Aufforderung zum Tanz, and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique and Harold en Italie, have passages that may be puzzling unless the composer’s program is taken into account

Puccini, Giaccomo

1858-1924.  A performance of Verdi’s Aida in 1876 inspired him to be an opera composer.


Studdied with Bazzini and Ponchielli.


La boheme, first produced by Toscanini was not immediately successful.;


His first famous opera was Tosca.; Others are Madame Butterfly, and Turandotte (completed by Franco Alfano).


His style is characterized by intense lyricism and theatrical flair.


Tosca is a good exmple of Italian verismo, or realisim.; Verismo focuses on real life situations

Reger, Max

1873-1916. A very late 19th C- early 20th c composer.


His first works were chamber music, lieder, and piano pieces.


He was particularly succesful with his organ works, as he was highly regarded as an organist.


Although he was Catholic, he worked on Lutheran chorales in Bach tradition.


Among his later works is his best-known orchestral pieces, Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Mozart, which combines both progressive and conservative elements, making it hard to place in a musical niche.


Reger and Hans Pfitzner are the two primary Post-Romantic German composers.


His harmony is mostly a post-Wagnerian style of extreme chromaticism, but his large works are confined to the bounds of Baroque and Classical strict forms


A title used by 19th and 20th century composers for a relatively short composition, free in form an dexpressing a particular mood.


It is virtually the same as fantasy; 1. some based on “national” idea such as Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano, Geroges Enesco’s Romanian Rhapsodies and Ravel’s Rhapsody espagnole; 2. others, the title seems to reger to the free form of the music, such as Brahm’s rhyapsodies for piano and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for piano and orchestra; 3. Others are based on tune from folk music or by anoth composer like Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, 4. still others are named for their poetic quality as in Brahm’s Alto Rhapsody on part of a poem by Goethe.

Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolay

1844-1908. Russian naval officer and youngest member of “The Five”.


Though he had very little prefessional training in music, he became professor of composition at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.


His vivid orchestral colors are especially evidentin his best known works: Capriccio Espagnol, the symphonic suite Scheherazade, and the Russian Easter Fesival Overture.


His principle melodic lines tend to be cast in bold relief with coloristic but unobtrusive accompaniment;  this technique is outlined in his treatise on orchestration, compiled from 1871 until his death.


He wrote a total of fifteen operas, many of which include subjects of fantasy and enchantment, such as Snow Maiden, after a poem on Slavonic mythology, and Sadko, which draws on Russian legend.


The sturcture of his operas tends to be based on series of static tableux rather than goal-directed drama; crowd scenes are prominent.


His musical style is vared, ranging from stark, realistic declamation to ornate, post-Wagnerian chromaticism of Kashchei the Immortal (1901)

Rossini, Gioachimo

1792-1868.  One of the greatest composers of Italian opera buffa.


He influenced Schubert, Weber, and Meyerbeer.

He began the trend against singer improvisation by writing out vocal ornaments. 


He wrote 37 operas.  His style feature memorable melodies with simple accomp, extreme contrast orchestral color (the orchestra often has the melody while voices declaims in recitative style), and his famed crescendo (progrssive addition of parts and dynamics, repetitions of a phrase at a higher pitch level).


Rossini was important for raising the orchestral standard throughout Italy and brought the freedom of opera buffa to opera seria. 


His one grand opera is William Tell.  He composed the Barber of Seville in two weeks

St. Petersburg Conservatory

Was founded in 1862 with Anton Rubinstein as the artistic director.


It has had many renowned professors, including Rimsky-Korsakov (1871-1908), Glazuno (1899-1925; from 1905 he was also director), Lyadov (1878-1914), Shteynberg, Vladimir Schostakovich and others.


Among its graduate have been Shostakovich, Sviridov….



Saint-Saens, Camille

1835-1921.  A french composer who is remembered for just a few of his hundreds of compositions. 


Of his dozen or so operas, only Smason et Dalila (1877) is part of the current repertory of most opera houses.


Also well known are his instrumental suite, Le Carnival des animaux in 1866;  the symphonic poem Danse macabre; and his Cello concerto no.1


He became very influential in the French musical world, by performing as a pianist and organist, teaching (among whom Gabriel Faure), founding a national music society to encourage French composers, conducting, and writing a number of books 


His compositions are in the romantic tradition of Liszt and other 19th c composers.  He was particularly skilled at orchestration, and his use of insturments often reveals a delightful sense of humor

Sand, George

Real name Aurore Dudevant.


A 19th c woman writer, a musculine character compared to f.Chopin’s feminine character.


They fell in love and went to Majorca for a love-affair refuge and Chopin’s composition in 1838, where Chopin completed his 24 Preludes for piano.


Later they broke up due to Sand’s child problem, and eventually remained comradship

Sarasate, Pable de

1844-1908.; a Spanish vioilinist and composer who is remembered mainly for his virtuoso playing.


Numerous composers wrote violin compositions esp for him, among them Edouard Lalo (Symphonie espanole) and Max Bruch (Schottische Fantasie and Violin Concerto no.2).


Most of Sarasate’s own compositions are of slight quality, but one of them, Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Melody), has remained quite popular

Schiller, Johann von

The poet whose enlightement ideas of humanitarianism and bortherhood inspired Verdi, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven.


Beethoven used Schiller’s Ode to Joy in the finale of the Ninth Symphony

Schindler, Anton

1795-1864.; Violinist, conductore, and writer.


He became Beethoven’s secretary in 1820 and published all nine of the symphonies under Beethoven’s supervision

Schubert, Franz

1797-1828.; An Austrian composer who is rememebred for his songs, symphonies, chamber music and piano works, which show a remarkable gift for creating lovely melodies.


He wrote some of the finest examples of the Lied ever written, among them “Gretchen am Spinnrade”, “Die Erlkonig” and the song cycle Die schoen Mullerin and Die Winterreise.


In terrible poverty, he composed more than 600 songs, 8 symphonies, a great deal of chmaber music, and many works for piano including piano duets.


In styles, his music bridges the classical and romantic periods. His harmonies show more chromaticism than tha tof Mozart and Beethoven, and occasionally shifting from major to minor and back again.


Schubert’s songs have lovely melodies and piano accomp is elaborated.  He selected the poems of great beauty, often by outstanding poets such as Heinrich Heine, and made both melody and accomp fit the words.


Some of his well known works are Unfinished Symphony, Symphony in c, String quartet in A minor (1824) and string Quartet in D minor (1826-28), known as Der Tod und das Madchen, the piano quintet in A, op. 114 “Trout”, Octet in F (1824), and for piano, the Wanderer-Fantasie, Impromptus, Moments musicals, Valses sentimentals, Valses nobles, and Deutsche Tanze.


His last songs were published after his death under the titel Schwanenegesang


From about 1820 onwards, the home of Schubert’s friend Josef von Spaun were the scene of informal music-making and Schubert was the main attraction.


These became known as “Schubertiades“.


Many of Schubert’s chamber works were written for home consumption.

Schumann, Clara

1819-1896.  Nee Wieck, wife of Robert, a viruoso pianist and composer.


She married Robert in 1840;  made her piano debut at age 9 and at 13 was touring Europe.


Except for the years during which she bore their seven children, she continued to tour regularly for more than 50 years.


She also taught piano and she directed several music schools.


Much of her time and energy were devoted to promoting her husband’s music.; She saw to it that his works were published and performed, and she played much of his piano and chamber music herself.


Her known compositions include a piano concerto, chamber works, including Piano Trio in g minor, numerous shorter piano works, and songs.

Schumann, Robert

1810-1856.; A German composer who is remembered chiefly for his songs and piano music, in which he proved to be one of the great master of Romanticism.


His music combines songlike melody with complex rhythms and, from time to time, strongly dramaticelements.


Schumann himself felt his personality to be divided between a gentle, poetic nature and a strong, impulsive one.


For much of his life he lived in fear of a mental breakdown, and he finally died in a mental institution, at the age of 46

Scriabin, Alexander

1872-1915.; A Russian composer who is remembered for piano music and orchestral works in which his novel harmonies foreshadowed the revolutionary atonality of Schoenberg.


Althoug Scriabin’s works created a sensation when they were first played, for a time they were seldom performed.


Scriabin was a virtuoso pianist, and his earlier works, particularly short piano pieces (mazurkas, impromptus, etudes) are in the the tradition of Chopin. 


Graudally he became more experimental esp in longer works, among them his three symphonies, piano concerto, and two long orchestral compositions: Poem of Ecstasy and Promethues (The Poem of Fire).  In the last, he based the harmony on a single chord, CF#BbEAD, which is characteristic of his later works in that it proceeded by fourths instead of the conventional thirds.


This chord is sometimes called the mystic chord.  In his emphasis on diss and his lack of reference to a singel tonal center, Scriabin was proceeding 20th c composers after Schoenberg

Scribe, Eugene

1791-1861. 19th C French dramatist and librettist.


One of the most porolific and influential librettists of the 19th c; wrote the libretto for Rossini’s Le Comte Roy.


In his earlier period, he wrote for opera comique, and later contributed to French grand opera.


Within a clever dramatic framework, Scribe brought together all the elements that characterize the Romantic novels and dramas popular in the first half of the 19th c: emotion runs hot, love is always passionate and frequently tragic, stirring conflicts between races, religions and classes in a period setting (mostly Middle Ages or Renaissance).


His librettos were set by Auber, Bellini, Donizetti, Gounod, Halevy, Offenbach and Verdi

Shaw, Geroge Bernard

1856-1950.; Irish dramatist, novelist, critic.


As a music critic, he was a ardent Wagnerite, calling the Ring cycle a work of genius, and an allegory on social evolution.


His collected writings on music stand alone in their mastery of Enlgish and compulsive readability.


He had ambivalent feelings about Brahms, disparaging the Requiem but praising his chamber music.


Of his judgements have stood the test of passing years.


Compared to the dour pretentiousness of his fellow critics, Shaw enjoyed popularity for his fair and understandable, light-hearted and affected-less tone of voice

Sibelius, Jean

1865-1957.; A Finnish composer who was his country’s leading nationalist composer.


Of his works, the best known are the long ones, principally his seven symphonies and his symphonic poems.


He also wrote a great many piano works and songs.


Sibelius’ music is largely traditional in the treatment of melody and harmony.; Although he used folk elements, he never actually quoted folk songs.


Among his most popular works are his Symphony no.2, the symphonic poem The Swan of Thonella, En Saga, Karelia, and Finlandia, the string quartet entitled Voces intimae, and a Violin concerto.


All these were written before 1930; for the last thirty years of his life Sibelius produced little music of note.

Smetana, Bedrich

1824-1884.; A Bohemian composer who is remembered for his operas, symphonic poems, and other instrumental and vocal works in which he used the traditional subjects and musical idioms of his country.


His best known work is the opera The Bartered Bride.


Making a living out of conducting, he suddenly became deaf in 1874 and was forced to resign from the Prgue Opera.


He continued to compose, however, producing the best of his symphonic poems, a series of six works entitled Ma Vlast, as well as his first string quartet entitled From My Life (in the manner of program music), and others.


Eventually he was confined to a mental institution, where he died a few months later

Societe Nationale de Musique

It gave its first concert on 25 Nov, 1871; was another forum for contemporary music.


Its first committee included Saint-Saens, and Bussine, Castillon, Garcin, and Lenepven, but in 1886 the first two resigned in protest against the intrusion of foreign works and Franck became de facto president, to be succeeded in 1890 by d’Indy.


Although it continued its policy of performing new work into the new century, its outlook soon became very conservative.


After several hostile incidents, Ravel left the society and founded a new society called the Société de Musique Indépendente. Competition between the two societies and lack of new manuscripts led to a reduction in the activity of the society until the 1930s, when the induction of new members such as Messiaen breathed new life into it


The society gave both chamber and orchestral concerts, it most noteworthy premiere being that of the Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune (1894).



German.  “Bar-rhythm”, “alliteration”.


Alliteration was the oldest German verse-forming principle, used for both euphony, cohesion and as a means of emphasizing conceptual connections.


It was rivied by Wagner, in Tristan and Isolde but with special rigour in Der ring de Nibelungen, as an answer to his need for a heightened poetic utterance that could link the sensuous and the conceptual: “the poet… has sought by the consonantal Stabreim to bring [his row of words] to the feelings understanding in an easier and more sensuous form” (Oper und Drama).


Wagner’s Stabreim normally consists of two or three alliterated Hebungen (Strong beats, or arises), with freely arranged, non-alliterative Senkungen (weak beats or these).


Despite precendents in 14th c English verse (Piers Plowman), the use of the device in English opera has not been effective, wheather in translation of Wagner (H. and F. Corder) or in orginal texts (Holst’s Sita)l nor has it proved fruitful in German opera after Wagner


Stanford, Charles

1852-1924.  British composer, teacher and conductor.


His name is linked with those of Parry, Parratt and Elgar in referring to the laste 19th c. renaissance in English music.


His heritage of Irish folklore, folk music and mysticism was latent beneath the training and experience he gained abroad; it saved him from that insularity of outlook which had pervaded English music since Handel’s time.; This outward-looking chracteristic was fostered by his friendship and meetings with such leading figures as Brahms, Joachim, von Bulow and Saint-Saens, and linked with his encyclopedic knowledge of the whole field of musical literature, past and present.


His aceivements and influence were prodigious: 1. he swept away the empty convertions and complacencies which had debased English churc music since Purcell; 2. he set a new standard in choral music with his oratorios and cantatas, which provided an incentive for amateurs and professionals alike at every many Britich festival: The Revenge, the Stabat mater, Songs of the Sea and Songs of the Feet; 3, in his partsongs, and still more in his solo songs with piano, he reached near perfection both in melodic invention and in capturing the mood of the poem: Plunket Greene; 4, He is the paramount teacher of composition.;


His tuition benefited almost every Britich composer from Charles Wood to Lambert.;


The list includes Vaughan Williams, Holst, Bridge, Howells, Benjamin Britten and Moeran.


He had a greated faith in the value of opera than had most of his country man at the time” Shamus O’Brien

Strauss, Johann

The name of two Austrian composer, father and son, who both are remembered mainly for their waltzes.


Johann Strauss the Elder (1804-1849).  A violinist, conductor, and composer.  In addition to waltzes, he composed many polkas and marches, “Radetzky” March.


Johann Strauss the Younger (1825-1899).  A violinist and conductor who became known as “the Waltz King”: “The Blue Danube”, “Tales from the Vienna Woods”, polkas and other dances, operettas, Die Fledermaus and Der Zigeunerbaron

Strauss, Richard
Symphonic Fantastique

Berlioz’s 5-movt masterpiece of 1830


A self-portrait describing an artist and his hopeless love.


He was secretly infatuated with the Irish actress Harriet Smithson.


The 5 movement, Reveries-Passons, Un Bal, Scene aux Champ, Marche au Suuplice, and Witches Sabbath, is not the 4 movt of the standard symphony.


It also has a program, helped along by the idee fixe, a musical theme that represented the artist-beloved.


It reappears in different parts of the piece, making this piece cyclic as well

Szene und Arie

scene and aria.


A portion of an opera, usually consisting of one or more aria

Tausig, Carl

1841-1871.  Polish pianist and composer.


He was brough to Liszt at Weimar by his father, a professional pianist and a pupil of Thalberg, when he was 14.


Tausig quickly became Liszt’s favorite .


Tausig was the most gifted and most famous of the first generation of Liszt pupils.


His manner of playing the piano its best was grand, impulsive and impassioned, yet no longer with a trace of eccentricity.  His tone was superb, his touch exquisite, and his technical dexterity and endurance astonished even experts.


Liszt said Tausig had “fingers of steel”.


His repertory was varied and extensive; he played by memory; He composed a few piano pieces such as Etudes de concert and Tarantelle.


He arranged, transcribed and fingered many works including Wagner’s Die Meistersinger.


His Tagliche Studien, transposing chrmatic finger exercises, posthumouly revised and edited by Heinrich Ehrlich, remain invaluable.

Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Il’yrich

1840-1893.  He stands outside the nationalist circle of composers around Balakirev.


His formal conservatory training instilled in him Western-oriented attitudes and techniques, but his essential nature, as he always insisted, were Russian: both in his actual use of folksong and in his deep absorption in Russian life and ways of thought.


His natural gifts, esp his genius for what he called the lyrical ideal, the beautiful, self-contained melody, give his music a permanent appeal.


It was his hard-won but secure and professional technique and his ability to use it for the expression of his emotional life, which enable him to realize his potential more fully than any of his major Russian contemporaries.


He had a period of High nationalism (1870-1874) – use of flksongs in larger works such as Romeo and Juliet

Thalberg, Sigismond

1812-1871.  German or Autrian pianist and composer.


From the age of 14, he appeared with great success as a salon pianist, and at 16 his first compositions were published.


In 1836, he won considerable success and renown in Paris.


Liszt returned from Switzerland to challenge Thalberg’s position as the leading virtuoso in Paris, and wrote an articule in the Revue et gazette musicale harly criticizing Thalberg’s compositions.  The arose an animated controversy between Liszt and Fetis, who considered Thalberg the greated living pianist.


Berlioz joined on the side of Liszt.  Later princess de Belgiojoso ended this tension by making them cooperate-composing each variation of a theme in turn.


Thalberg toured as far as Brazil and Havana, and lived for several years in USA.


He was the greatest virtuoso pianist in mid 19th c with Liszt.  Schumann praised Thalberg’s variations on Norma, but his compositions are of questinable value

Theatre lyrique

Founded in middle of the 19th c and thrived for about 2-20 years or son.


Produced operas like Gounod’s Faust and Romeo et Juliet.


The term “Lyric opera”, though frequently used, does not indicate a distinct genre, though the operas given at the Theatre lyrique were generally smaller and more intimate than grand opera

Thematic transformation

The alteration of themes for the sake of changing their character while retaining their essential identity.


It differs from development in that the resulting theme is likely to be treated with as much as independence as the original.


The procedure was used by Berlioz in Symphonie fantastique and esp by Liszt in his symphonic poems.


Wagner‘s use of the leitmotif is closely related

Tomasek, Vaclav Jan Krtitel

1774-1850.  Bohemian composer and teacher.


He was the major figure connecting the Czech Classical tradition of emigre composers and the 19th c. nationalist school.


In his lifetime he was the focal point of Prague musical life, and his influence was spread by his many pupils as well as his widely published compositions.


He is a figure of the Classical-Romantic transition.  His starting point was Mozart; was a father of the short character-piece that became an integral part of the Romantic keyboard tradition.  The sudden reappearance doubling in 3rd and 6th are often found in Schubert as well;


Some stylization of folk melodie exist. 


70 percent of his songs were written to German texts, including Goethe’s Erlkonig. 


Spanish.  A type of short comic opera that was popular in Spain from about 1750 to 1850.


Replacing the older and more complicated zarzuela, the tonadilla originated much as the Italian comic opera did, that is , as a humorous interlude inserted in a serious play or opera that eventually became an independent work.

Tone Poem

Similar to symphonic poem, (an orchestral piece accompanied by a program i.e. a text, generally poetic or narratic in nature, which is meant to be read by the audience before listening to the work)


The term tone poem was preferred by richard Strauss; with Richard Strauss, the genre reached its culmination, in such works as Till Eulenspiegels lustige sTeiche (1894-95) and Also sprach Zarathustra (1895-96).


Skill in motive manipulation, orchestral invention and tonal coherence enabled Strauss to create the longest examples of the genre still in the standard repertory and the ones that are perhaps the most detailed in their programmaticism.


The “realism” sometimes protrudes in his later tone poems, e.g. Eine Allpensifonie )1915, after which he abadoned the genre until near the end of his life (Metamorphosen, 1944-45)

Tristan chord

The first chord sounded in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and prominent elsewhere in the work: F-B-D#-G#.


The piece begins suggesting the key of A minor.


The chord itself, if considered with its eventual “resolution” from G#-A sounds like a Fr 4/3 chord with a non-chord tone G#.


But the length that Wagner suspends the resolution is what caused such debate.


The length of time before resolution suggests that the chord, considered in isolation, is a respelled half-dimished seventh chord whose sound itself becomes more important than its function.


Analysts point to the duration of this chord and its meaning as representative of the move away from functional tonal harmony.


Furthermore the chord, however it is heard, never resolves.


There are implicit hints at tonality, and even atonality.


The is a notion that composers such as Debussy and Scriabin explore more, and eventually of course Schoenberg.




A Hungarian dance orginating in the second half of the 18th c and used in the recruitment of soldiers until the advent of conscription in 1849.


The dance and its associated music have nevertheless survived, principally in the closely related csardas.


Music was provided by Gypsy bands, who added their characteristic performing style to a repertory of folk tunes.  The result was a central part of what is usually termed Gypsy music.


At first largely improvised, music in this style reached a peak in the first part of the 19th c in the works of violin viruoso Janos Bihari (himself of Gypsy orgin), Antal Gyorgy Csermak.


The verbunkos itself typicall includes an alteration between a slow introductory section (lassu) and a section in fast tempo (friss).


composer of art music drawing on this tradition include Liszt (Hungarian Rhapsodies), Brahms, Barok and Kodaly


A style of operatic ocmposition prevalent in Italy in the 1890s, with repercussions extending to other European countries and later decades.


Verismo in italy began as a literary movement, exemplified by the novels and plays of Giovanni Verga.


The landmark veristic opera, Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana (1891), is based on story by Verga.


The veristic operas that followed, such as Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (1892), Giordano’s Mala vita (1892) and Puccini’s Il tabarro (1918), have certain traits in common.


The settings are contemporary; the characters are often rural and generally impoverished; the passions run high and lead to violence.



Verismo is also used, more loosely, to describe any of the operas by Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Puccini, Giordano, and Cilea, who were also collectively referred to as the young school (nuove giovane).


The term then expands to include Puccini’s Tosca, Cilea’s Adriana Locouvreur, and Giodano’s Andrea Chenier, although they have historical setting;


Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Mascagni’s Iris, which have exotic settings;


And Puccini’s La boheme, which setimentalizes its characters in a way alien to ideals of realism or naturalism


i.e. The folklike lied.


cultivated by composers such as Schulz, Reichardt, and Zelter beginning in the later 18th c. 


Such songs were often marked im Volkston

Verdi, Giuseppe

1813-1901.  Italian composer.


Several of his oepras have from the time of their first performances remained in the international repertory in a sustained way unmatched by those of any other composer save Mozart and Wagner.


From the start, he had the opera composer’s most necessary gift, the ability to write melodies that communicate a character’s emotion and stir emotion in those who listen..


During a long career, he acquired a command of instrumentation and of musical and dramatic form that enable him to express, with ever-increasing subtlety and eloquence, his well-defined ideas about what an opera should be and do.


Reminiscent motive.  Accomp recitative, orchestral role.  Political influence “VIVA VERDI”


Composed well-known operas such as Nabucco, Rigoletto, Il trovatore, La Traviata, don Carlos, Aida, Otello, and Falstaff

Veron, Louis

A 19th c journalist, director; opera director.


A representative voice of middle class.


Evocate grand opera with decorative such as dance.

Richard Wagner

1813-1883.  Composer.


Receptive to literary, philosophical and political as well as musical influences.


He began as the author and composer of operas in the German Romantic manner, enlarged the expressive powers of the genre with Der Fliegende Hollander, Tannhauser and Lohengrin.


He created a new synthesis of music and drama on the largest scale in his vast tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen, as well as in Tristan un Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, and Parsifal.


The difficulty of staging these adequately prompted him to construct the theatre at Bayreuth that is still used for the presentation of his works under ideal conditions.


His expressive recourses included an increased and more refined use of a greatly augmented orchestra, the training of a more dramatically powerful kind of singer, the extension of thematic and motivic development to assure a newly important, imaginative and structural role, and a widened range of chrmatic harmony.


He pursued his artistic aims with ruthless determination in his public and private life as well as in his many critical theoretical writings.


The most controversial figure in the 19th c, initiating and generating vigorous polemincs, he is now accepted as one of the outstanding composers in the history of music, one whose works may be said to crown the musical achievements of German Romanticism


a hand horn

Weber, Carl Maria von

1786-1826. Composer, conductor, pianist and critic.


An important founder of the Romantic movement in Germany, he was also one of the leading composers.


By his example, esp with the success of Der Freischutz in 1821, he happened to form a new enthusiasm for German opera.  (melodrama)


As a gifted and versatile Kapellmeister and an articulated critic, he set new standards of performance and stimulated new ideas.


One of the most brilliant pianists of his age, his music and his ideas influenced many composers, most significantly Wagner

Wesley, Samuel Sebastian

1810-1876.  Composer and organist.


He was the greatest composer in the English cathedral tradition between Purcell and Stanford.


In the anthems, Wesley was free to choose his texts: he allowed himself much greater license than had been usual, putting together verses or even portions of verses from different parts of the Bible, mixing the Bile and prayer book translations of the psalms, sometimes incorporating parts of the liturgy or even a metrical psalms.  This made possible of the defined shape, imagery, dramatic contrasts and climaxes, and led to avoid all “dead” or perfunctory passages.


His strong evangelical feeling for the biblical words was closely bound up with his musical sensibility.  Because of this, his anthems convey a glowing sincerity that is seldom evident in th emusic of his immediate predecessor of of his successors.


Wesley is not easy to place in the general context of European music.  His cathedral music is very specifically English, and bears no reference to the situation on the Continent, where it has never been well known.


His innovations, bold and indeed courageous in the Anglican context, are not very advanced compared with those of BErlioz, Schumann and Chopin.  Yet he made string individuality.


Works include Ascribe unto the Lord, Blassed be the God our Father, and Let us lift up our heart

Wieck, Friedrich

Piano teacher of Schumann, and father of Clara Wiech.


He opposed his teenage daugther”s marriage to Schumann, but the couple managed to marry in 1840, after going to court

Wolf, Hugo

1860-1903.  Austrian composer.


He intensified the expressive vocabulary of the lied to a pitch never since surpassed.


By his musical sensitivity to poetic values and meanings, which he enbodied in each separate aspect of song – vocal declamation, keyboard technique, harmonic nuance, etc., he was able, like Schubert before him, to condense the dramatic intensity of opera into the song form.


The genres of his compositions are songs published and many unpublished operas, choral works, with and w/o accomp, orchestral, chamber, and piano music.


He also had some critical writings.


A Spanish theatrical genre characterized by a mixture of singing and spoken dialogues.


Throughout its history, the zarzuela has included elmenets form the Spanish popular tradition.


Originiated in the 17th c musical court plays, the zarzuela increasingly approximated the musical styles and conventions of contemporary opera seria in 1710-1750, which quickly replaced zarzuela as the favorite court entertainment.


After 1710, zarzuelas were largely commissioned for the public theaters, and the demands of the theater-going public became more important than royal taste.


Around 1760, it became nationalistic.


It disappeared for roughly 50 years in Spain and during the Rossini epoch in Italian opera.


In the 19th c, zarzuela was rivied by Basilio Basili (1803-95) and Manuel Breton de los Herreros, a decalred enemy of Italian opera.


In early 20th century, the zarzuela continued as popular theater and attracted many talented composers in Spain

Zumsteg, Johann Rudolph

1760-1802.  Primarily known for his work on cultivating the lied in Germany.


He wrote over 300 songs and had a significant influence on Schubert and his contribution to lieder.

Concert Overture

Based on the style of Romantic operas, it became an independent one-mvt work which took the form of the Classical sonata form or the free form of the symphonic poem.


Examples include Hebrides Overture by Mendelssohn, Eliot Carter’s Holiday Overture.


Other times, the concert overture was written for special occasions such as Brahms Academic Festival Overture.


Other works wuch as Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, was written as an introduction to a spoken play.

Der Freischutz

“The Freeshooter”, an opera by Carl Maria von Weber, which is considered the first great German Romantic opera.


It features all of the characteristics that traditionally define this genre: medieval plots, supernatural beings, mysterious nature, use of increasing chromaticism and German folk song.


These features are examplified in the famous Wolf Glen’s scene.


The opera had a great influence on Wagner, who is considered his successor in this genre

Eine Deutsches Requiem

Brahms choral masterpiece, based on his own selesction of Old Testament texts instead of the standard liturgical words of the Latin Requiem Mass.


Scored for sop, baritone, chorus and orchestra, Like Schutz and Bach, it is inspired by a deep concern with mortality and hope of Heaven

Boris Godunov

The only complete opera of Modest Mussorgsky, Russian Romantic composer and member of the Mighty Five.


It has a prologue and 4 acts featuring his own libretto adapted from the legendary tragedy by Pushkin.


The realism that is so prominent in the 19th C Russian literature is echoed here in Boris, in the way he imitates the spoken word and in lifelike musical depiction of gestures and in the choral scenes, the sound and stir of the people in the crowds


German music patron, who active in the late 19th C and early 20C.


An enthusiastic amateur based on Cologne who served on the boards on conservatory and the Musikalische Gesellschaft and assisted young musicians at the start of thier careers.


He also collected amassed an astonishing number of instruments and eventually established a Musikhistorisches Museum in Cologne

Die Meistersinger

The German musicians and poets of the artisan and trade classes of the 14-16th c.


In a sense they represent the bourgeois inheritors of the courtly minnesingers, though their true predecessors were probably fraternities of laymen, trained to sing church and elsewhere.


Their music, subject matter, and form remained remarkably consistent throughout the centuries.


Each stanza consisted of 2 musically identical stollen which together formed an Aufgesang, followed by an abgesang, which had a different metrical scheme.


This form was derived from the Minnesinger and is sometimes called bar form.


Usually 3 stanzas or a multiple of 3 constituted a song.


The most documented center of Meistersingers was Nurnberg, which may explain the title of Richard Wagner’s opera Die Mistersinger van Nuremberg

Pleyel, Ignaz

1757-1831 Austrian composer, music published (“Maison Pleyel”), and piano maker.


Student of Vanhal in Vienna and Haydn in Eisenstadt.


His brilliant and virtuosic sinfonia concertante in F was first performed in London for the Professional Concert, which resulted in a rivalry between him and Haydn.


Today he is mostly remembered for his violin duets.


He also wrote ca. 45 symphonies, chamber music for strings, and a number of concertos

Pictures at an Exhibition

A piano suite by Mussorgsky, dedicated to his friend Victor Hartmann.


Now a celebrated orchestral work in its better known version by Ravel, done in 1922


A figure from that appears in both Germanic and old Norse literature, and who is inextricably tied to the figure of Brunnhilde.


He is known to have superior strenth and courage.


The figure plays a major part in the Ring der Nibelungen of Richard Wagner, and is the title of the 3rd opera of the 4-opera cycle

Song Cycle

A group individually complete songs conceived as a unit, for solo or ensemble voices with or without instrumental accompaniment.


They can be as brief as a dyad-cycle of 2 songs to more than 30.


The term did not enter the lexicography until the mid-1800’s but in retrospect song cycles existed much earlier.


The coherence that makes it a cycle can be from the text (via a central theme, a single poet, a story line), or from musical precedures (tonal schemes, recurring motifs).


The first generally regarded song cycle is Beethoven’s An die Ferne Geliebte.


Famous ones that follow include those of Schubert (Die Schone Mullerin, Die Winterreise), Schumann (Frauen-liebe und leben, Dicterliebe, and 2 Liederkreis), Mahler (Ruckert Lieder)

Symphonic Poem

The foremost composer of program music after Berlioz was Liszt, and he wrote 12 symphonic poems.


These are one-movement, relatively short, in continuous form with sections that contrast in character and tempo.


Often a few themes are developed, repeated, varied and transformed.


The content and form may be suggested by a picture, statue, poem, scene, etc, but the subject is converted into music without specific reference to the details of the original.


The title and possibly a program, which may or may not have been written by the composer, identify the subject.


Liszt’s Mazeppa, on a poem, is an example.


“Winter’s Journey”.


A song cycle by Schubert that sets 24 poems by Muller that express the nostalgia of a lover revisiting in winter the haunts of a failed summer romance.


Originally written in the tenor range, but is often transposed for other voice type