Romantic Declarative Knowledge

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Romantic Declarative KnowledgeThe Spirit of Romanticism

The French Revolution fostered the rise of a middle- class, or bourgeois, society. Romantic poets and artists turned to passionate and fanciful subjects; novels explored deep human conflicts and exotic settings and subjects. The Industrial Revolution spurred many technical advances in musical instruments, making them more flexible and affordable. Educational opportunities broadened as music conservatories appeared across Europe and the Americas. The orchestra grew in size and sound when new and improved instruments were introduced; in response, composers demanded new levels of expression. Romantic composers used nationalistic, folkloric, and exotic subjects. Romantic music is characterized by memorable melodies, richly expressive harmony, and broad, expanded forms. Women musicians excelled as performers, teachers, composers, and music patrons.

Song in the Romantic Era I. Types of Song Structure 1. Strophic form: same melody with every stanza 1. hymns, carols, folk and popular songs 2. Through-composed: whole sections without repetitions 1. music follows story line 3. Modified strophic form: combines strophic and through-composed forms The Lied 1. Romantic art song: German text, solo vocal, piano accompaniment 2. Composers: Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms 3. Women composers: Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Clara Schumann 4. Song cycle: Lieder (plural) grouped together 5. Poets: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (17491832), Heinrich Heine (17971856) 1. favored short lyric poems 2. texts: tender sentiment 6. Emergence of the piano 1. amateurs and professionals, home and concert hall Schubert and the Lied 1. Franz Schubert (17971828) 1. Vienna-born composer 2. member of Vienna Choir Boys




rejected career as a schoolteacher Schubertiads: salon gatherings of writers, artists, musicians composed over 600 Lieder, three song cycles music: confluence of Classical and Romantic styles 1. Lieder and piano music: more Romantic, lyric 2. symphonies, chamber music: more Classical 2. Elfking 1. written at age eighteen: instant public recognition 2. Elfking: king of the elves 1. whoever is touched by him must die 3. Romantic trends: 1. use of folklore 2. intense emotional expression 3. passionate and fanciful subjects 4. text: poem by Goethe 5. four characters (one singer): Narrator, Father, Son, Elfking 3. Listening Guide 40: Schubert, Elfking (Erlknig) (1815) 1. through-composed 2. constant triplets in piano: horses hooves 3. fast, dramatic 4. Elfking lures child from father: shift from minor to major 5. childs terror: dissonance, high vocal range 6. Father reassures, calms fears: rounded vocal line, low register Robert Schumann and the Song Cycle 1. Robert Schumann (18101856) 1. German composer, critic 2. studied law, then piano with Friedrich Wieck 3. turned to composition and music criticism 1. established Neue Zeitschrift fr Musik (The New Journal of Music) 4. 1840: married Wiecks daughter, Clara 5. gradual mental collapse, entered asylum 1854 6. music: true Romantic style 1. impassioned melodies 2. novel harmonic changes 3. driving rhythms 7. composed over 100 Lieder, several song cycles, four symphonies, piano music 2. Schumanns Song Cycle: A Poets Love 1. A Poets Love (Dichterliebe): composed 1840, year of song 2. 16 poems from Lyriches Intermezzo, by Heinrich Heine 1. Heine: ironic, cynical, disillusioned hopes

3. 4. 5. 6.

2. In the lovely month of May depicts fragility of new love 3. cycle follows psychological progression 1. freshness of love to complete despair 3. Listening Guide 41: Robert Schumann, In the lovely month of May, from A Poets Love (Dichterliebe), No. 1 (1840) 1. melancholic mood: unrequited love 2. strophic with piano prelude, interlude, postlude 3. harmonic meandering between two keys 4. piano postlude: lack of resolution PIECES: Schubert, Elfking Schumann: "In the lovely month of May," from A Poet's Love

Romantic Piano Music I. Popularity of the Piano 1. Amateurs: four-hand piano music 1. two performers at one piano 2. works composed or arranged 2. Virtuoso pianist: new class of virtuoso performer 1. developing concert industry 2. performers no longer composers 3. Technical improvements to the instrument 1. metal frame, increased string tension 2. extended range of notes 3. factory production: reduced cost The Short Lyric Piano Piece 1. Compact form: melodious and dramatic works 1. instrumental equivalent to song 2. Fanciful titles: Prelude, Intermezzo, Impromptu, Nocturne 3. Dance inspired: Polish mazurka, polonaise; Viennese waltz, scherzo 4. Descriptive titles: Wild Hunt, Little Bell, Forest Murmurs 5. Composers: Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Robert and Clara Schumann, and Brahms Chopin and Piano Music 1. Frdric Franois Chopin (18101849) 1. born in Warsaw, Poland; composer, pianist 2. French father, Polish mother 3. age twenty-one: moved to Paris, artistic center in 1830s




4. affair with Aurore Dudevant (George Sand) 5. composed for Parisian salon, gathering of musicians, artists, and intellectuals 6. output revolved around the piano 1. works central to piano repertoire 2. originated modern piano style 3. ornamented melodies: trills, grace notes, runs 4. widely spaced chords in bass line 5. ballads, sonatas, concertos, preludes, tudes, mazurkas, polonaises, scherzos, waltzes, impromptus, nocturnes, chamber music, and songs 2. A mazurka by Chopin 1. mazurka: Polish peasant dance 2. lively, triple meter 3. accents on 2nd or 3rd beat of measure 4. Chopin: transformed mazurka to art form 5. rubato (robbed time): liberties taken with rhythm 3. Listening Guide 42: Chopin, Mazurka in B-flat minor, Op. 24, No. 4 (1833) 1. moderate triple meter 2. A-B-A-C-D-A, long coda 3. dotted and double-dotted rhythms 4. subtle harmonic shifts: major, minor, modal 5. rich in chromaticism 6. accents on 3rd beat, later on 2nd beat 7. melody: chromatic lines, wide-ranging and disjunct Liszt and the Rise of the Performer/Composer 1. Franz Liszt (18111886) 1. born in Hungary, studied in Paris 2. composer, conductor, noted teacher 3. legendary pianist 1. greatest pianist, showman of his day 2. turned piano sideways 3. creator of modern piano technique 4. composed highly virtuosic, difficult works 4. affair with novelist, Countess Marie dAgoult, three children 5. Weimar period (184861), court conductor 1. composed orchestral works 2. advocated music of the future 3. conducted premiere performances of Wagner, Berlioz, and others 6. later years, entered church: Abb Liszt 1. composed religious works


7. created new genre: symphonic poem 1. one movement programmatic orchestral work 2. thematic transformation: transformed character of themes 2. The Little Bell 1. Liszt: fascinated with technical possibilities of the piano 2. drawn to the tude (study pieces) 3. influenced by violin virtuoso, Niccol Paganini 4. Transcendental Etudes after Paganini 1. set of six technical pieces 2. based on Paganinis Caprices for solo violin 3. The Little Bell (La campanella), third etude 3. Listening Guide 43: Franz Liszt, The Little Bell (La campanella) (1851) 1. fast and light Allegretto; grows faster 2. sectional variations, A-B-A'-B'-A"-B"-A"' 3. highly virtuosic, many embellishments 4. bell sound: high register, high-pitch pedal point 5. dramatic closing, forte octaves Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel and the Piano Miniature 1. Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (18051847) 1. raised in Berlin, sister of composer Felix Mendelssohn 2. composer, pianist 3. female in 19th century: discouraged from career in music 4. married court artist, Wilhelm Hensel 5. active as composer and pianist: salon concerts 6. composed chamber music, Lieder, piano music 7. compositions intended for family salon gatherings 2. A piano cycle: The Year 1. The Year (Das Jahr), set of twelve pieces/miniatures 1. suggest passage of time, seasons of ones life 2. lost manuscript found in 1989 3. each piece on different colored paper, poetic epigram, and painting by Wilhelm Hensel 4. cycle unified: 1. recurring motives 2. tonal schemes 3. references to other composers 5. September 1. drawing of barefooted woman 2. lines from Goethe, Flow, flow, dear river, Never will I be happy. 3. Listening Guide 44: Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, September: At the River, from The Year (Das Jahr)(1841)

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

A-B-A' with introduction and coda melancholic, haunting, meandering melody slow-paced melody against fast-moving lines and chords daring, distant key areas, very chromatic swelling and decrescendo dynamics: evokes flow of water

PIECES: Chopin, Mazurka in B-flat minor Op.24 No.4 Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, September: At the Rover, from The Year (Das Jahr) Music in Nineteenth-Century America I. Concert Music Imported from Europe 1. Protestant settlers, devotional psalms 1. early American publications: devotional 1. first American psalm book, printed in 1640 2. shape-note notation Stephen Foster and American Popular Music 1. Stephen Foster (18261864) 1. composer, born outside Pittsburgh 2. worked as bookkeeper 3. composed for Christy Minstrels, black-faced minstrel show 4. Hit songs: Oh, Susanna!, Camptown Races, Old Folks at Home, My Old Kentucky Home 5. died a penniless alcoholic 2. A song by Stephen Foster 1. Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair (185354) 2. love song, written for his wife, Jane Denny McDowell 3. two-verse poem by Foster 4. not popular during his lifetime 5. alternate title, I Dream of Jeannie 3. Listening Guide 45: Foster, Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair (1854) 1. strophic with brief cadenzas in each stro