The Rise of the Romantic Movement

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Music, Music History
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The Rise of the Romantic Movement 1800–1830

Basic principles of Romanticism • • • • •

Rooted in Enlightenment empiricism Emphasis on individuality Revolutionary value — personal liberty, social equality Subjectivity — emphasis on emotional experience Organic unity – as natural phenomenon – between humanity and nature – as a mode of thinking — G. W. F. Hegel, Charles Darwin

Themes in Romantic art — attached to subjective experience • Love • Death – religion (Catholicism) – the supernatural

• Nature – effect on emotions – nature reflecting or interacting with humans

• Politics — liberalism, patriotism – war, epic, and history – local color and exoticism

Comparing Classic and Romantic styles in art Classic symmetry economy, restraint clarity, articulation simplicity polish beautiful architectural form controlled by function

Romantic asymmetry luxuriousness, extravagance obscurity, blurring complexity roughness sublime organic form and style free of function

Beethoven’s second period — 1802–1814 • Dealing with deafness — the Heiligenstadt Testament • Heroism — the Napoleonic ideal and the “Eroica” Symphony • Love — the “Immortal Beloved” and An die ferne Geliebte • Compositional struggle and musical originality — books of sketches and drafts • Musical style – increased resources – innovations in form, including organicism and programmaticism

Beethoven’s third period — 1814–1827 • Isolation — personal and social/cultural • Philosophical reflection • Extreme experimentation in composition — topics, harmony, counterpoint, form • Grand works — Missa solemnis, Symphony no. 9 • Intimate works — piano sonatas, string quartets

The Romantic Lied • Contrasting approaches to setting poetry – strophic, volkstümlich – ballade — narrative and through–composed

• Franz Schubert (1797–1828) and the Lied – musical content based on poetic motion/emotion – modified strophic form – two great cycles, based on poems of Wilhelm Müller • Die schöne Müllerin • Winterreise

Operatic styles and composers after the Congress of Vienna • Italy — postclassical style, rooted in opera seria and opera buffa traditions – Gioacchino Rossini (1792–1868)

• France — post-Revolutionary styles – Luigi Cherubini (1760–1842) – Daniel-François-Esprit Auber (1782–1871) – Rossini, Guillaume Tell (1829 — his last opera)

• Germany — Romantic opera – Carl Maria von Weber (1786–1826)

Questions for discussion • Should the Enlightenment and Romanticism be considered phases of a single set of broad artistic values in music? Why or why not? If so, what comprehensive term would identify those values? • In general, was the spread of democratic government and egalitarian thinking a positive or negative influence on quality in European music? • Why was the writing of composers’ biographies largely a new interest beginning in the nineteenth century? The “biographical fallacy” suggests that works of art should be understandable in their own terms and not require knowledge of the artist’s life. Is that true for Romantic music? • How did developments in literature affect music in the early nineteenth century?

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