History of the Romantic Musical Period

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In Music
  • Beethoven, Third Symphony

    Beethoven, Third Symphony
    More information on Symphony No. 3
    The Eroica Symphony was first performed privately in early August, 1804. We know from discovered writings of Lobkowitz, one of Beethoven’s patrons, that the first public performance was on April 7, 1805 at the Theater-an-der-Wien in Vienna, Austria. It is clear that the performance was not as well accepted or understood as the composer would have liked. Harold Schonberg tells us that, “Musical Vienna was divided on the merits of the Eroica. Some called it Beethoven’s masterpiece.
  • Rossini, Il Barbiere di Siviglia

    Rossini, Il Barbiere di Siviglia
    More information about Ill Barbiere di Siviglia
    The Barber of Seville, or The Futile Precaution (Il barbiere di Siviglia, ossia L'inutile precauzione) is an opera buffa in two acts by Gioachino Rossini with a libretto by Cesare Sterbini. The libretto was based on Pierre Beaumarchais's comedy Le Barbier de Séville (1775), which was originally an opéra comique, or a mixture of spoken play with music.
  • Beethoven, Ninth Symphony

    Beethoven, Ninth Symphony
    More information on Symphony No. 9
    The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best known works of the Western classical repertoire. Among critics, it is universally considered to be among Beethoven's greatest works, and is considered by some to be the greatest piece of music ever written. It has been adapted for use as the European Anthem.
  • Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique

    Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique
    More information on Symphonie Fantastique
    The Symphonie Fantastique was initially composed in 1830 and first performed in December of the same year under the direction of Habeneck. Berlioz however revised the work extensively during his trip to Italy in 1831-2 and in subsequent years and did not publish it until 1845. The work as we now know it is thus substantially different from the original of 1830, which can no longer be reconstructed in full detail.
  • Chopin, Ballade in G minor , Op. 23

    Chopin, Ballade in G minor , Op. 23
    More information on Ballade in G minor, Op. 23
    A rhythm of 6/4 suggests an underlying waltz, as does the set of chords that plays off each melody note. Further, the chords lie under portamento slurs which give them shape, gently tug at the second and third beats, and increase the inherent dance quality.
  • Verdi, Rigoletto

    Verdi, Rigoletto
    More information about Rigoletto
    Rigoletto" is a distinguished opera. Composed in forty days in 1851, nearing three-quarters of a century of life before the footlights, it still retains its vitality. Twenty years, with all they imply the experience and artistic growth, lie between "Rigoletto" and "Aida." Yet the earlier opera, composed so rapidly as to constitute a tour de force of musical creation.
  • Wagner, Tristan und Isolde

    Wagner, Tristan und Isolde
    More information on Tristan und Isolde
    Love and death are inexorably intertwined in this opera based upon an ancient Celtic legend. In this incomparable work, Wagner, through a combination of musical genius and the sheer force of his personality, shaped radical philosophical ideals about desire, sacrifice, and redemption into a groundbreaking work of art that continues to influence composers worldwide.
  • Brahms, Fourth Symphony

    Brahms, Fourth Symphony
    More information on Symphony No.4
    the first movement of the Fourth is built upon the simplest of motifs – a mere two notes in a falling third and, by raising the second note an octave, a rising sixth, and their respective inversions.
  • Mahler, First Symphony

    Mahler, First Symphony
    More information on Symphony No. 1
    Mahler's first four symphonies are often classed as his "Wunderhorn" group owing to thematic and emotional links with settings of songs from the anthology of German folk poems "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" ("Youth's Magic Horn"). Strictly speaking, the First Symphony doesn't fulfil this criterion for inclusion as a "Wunderhorn" symphony as its thematic and emotional links are with Mahler's first
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    Ludwig van Beethoven

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    Beethoven was considered the “Father” of the Romantic Era, and was a musical genius. His works are masterpieces that transcend time.
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    Gioacchino Rossini

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    Rossini began a new tradition of dramatic opera. He created such works as Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Otello.
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    Franz Schubert

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    Franz Peter Schubert was among the first of the Romantics, and the composer who, more than any other, brought the art song (lied) to artistic maturity. During his short but prolific career, he produced masterpieces in nearly every genre, all characterized by rich harmonies, an expansive treatment of classical forms, and a seemingly endless gift for melody.
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    Hector Berlioz

    More information about Berlioz
    The great 19th century French composer Hector Berlioz holds a unique place in musical history. Far ahead of his time, he was one of the most original of great composers, but also an innovator as a practical musician, and a writer and critic whose literary achievement is hardly less significant than his musical output. Few musicians have ever excelled in all these different fields at once.
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    Felix Mendelssohn

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    Felix Mendelssohn is regarded by classical music aficionados and critics alike, as one of the most prolific and gifted composers the world has ever known. Even those who could not name any of his works have heard it, as his "Wedding March" from "A Midsummer Night's Dream", which has accompanied many a bride down the aisle.
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    Richard Wagner

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    Richard Wagner's life journeys from the heights of Romanticism to the movement's supreme crisis which he himself orchestrated. His musical language overturned all the accepted concepts of harmony as it pointed to the beginnings of the post-Romantic period and beyond. His work is without a doubt one of the pillars on which Western music rests.
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    Giuseppe Verdi

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    By the age of thirty-four Verdi was already internationally famous: his operas were performed in all the theatres in the world, and new ones were commissioned by the most important Italian opera houses.
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    Johannes Brahms

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    The stature of Johannes Brahms among classical composers is well illustrated by his inclusion among the "Three Bs" triumvirate of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. Of all the major composers of the late Romantic era, Brahms was the one most attached to the Classical ideal as manifested in the music of Haydn, Mozart, and especially Beethoven.
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    Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

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    Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky was the author of some of the most popular themes in all of classical music. He founded no school, struck out no new paths or compositional methods, and sought few innovations in his works. Yet the power and communicative sweep of his best music elevates it to classic status.
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    Gustav Mahler

    More information on Mahler
    Mahler was best known during his own lifetime as one of the leading orchestral and operatic conductors of the day, but he has since come to be acknowledged as among the most important post-romantic composers – a remarkable feat for a figure whose mature creativity was concentrated in just two genres: song and symphony.