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Romantic Period

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    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His writings were influential for the Romantic composer. Many composers used his poetry, including Schubert's famous Lieder, Erlkönig. In addition to composing, he wrote poetry, dramas, books about literature, and scientific books about anatomy, botany, and color.
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    Luigi Cherubini

    Italian composer of French opera, Founding faculty member of Paris Conservatoire. He was famous for opera: Lodoïska (1791). This rescue opera puts a spotlight oppression of the lower classes and rescue from imprisonment and enslavement.
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    Napoleon Bonaparte

    Napoleon was a military leader in the French Revolution. In 1799, he was made the First Consul of the Consulate and worked to expand his control over France. He was declared Emperor of the French in 1804 and began ruling many different areas in Europe. He attempted to take Russia, which ended ultimately badly and in October of 1813 an Allied army defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig.
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    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Beethoven is an extremely well known and renowned composer and piano virtuoso. He is considered a transitional figure for romantic style. He composed symphonies, piano music, lieder, etc. He lost his hearing as a young person and he was socially isolated, due to that and being eccentric and paranoid.
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    French Revolution

    The French Revolution was essentially an uprising against the nobility and upper class from the commoners in France. They were terribly oppressed and wanted to fight against their mistreatment. This affected the rest of the world, decreasing theocracies and monarchies in Europe.
  • Rescue Opera

    Rescue Operas were a new genre of opera in Europe that gained popularity. It was enjoyed by the public because it was about good conquering evil, oppression, and praising heroism.
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    Franz Schubert

    Schubert composed many genres, including over 600 Lieder and 200 choral works. Though it wasn't recognized in his time, his music became but good example of Bildung. Freelance composer and earned income from teaching and publishing. He surrounded himself with people who were bonded over self improvement and passion for poetry and music. He was the main purveyor of salon culture and was primarily paid by in home performance.
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    Hector Berlioz

    -French composer, conductor, critic, and author
    -Invented orchestration techniques that created the modern orchestral sound, for example: program symphony. He was inspired by literature and composed new, creative works.
    -He was one of the first conductors to stand in front of the orchestra. -He made most of his living on writing and music criticism; he wrote extensively about Beethoven's life and works.
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    Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Tchaikovsky was a lead composer of ballet, symphonies, and symphonic poems at the time. He composed several ballets that are still appreciated and performed today, including Swan Lake (1877), The Sleeping Beauty (1890), and The Nutcracker (1892).
  • Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Opus 67 (1808)

    Composed by Beethoven, this symphony displayed compositional differences of the Romantic period vs the Classic era, such as expanding older forms and long development of themes. The strings are thematically dominant with other common orchestration of trombones and piccolo. The finale was in C Major, which depicted the victorious and heroic sound and theme.
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    Felix Mendelssohn

    Mendelssohn was a famous conductor, pianist, and composer; founder of the Leipzig Conservatory. His sister, Fanny, was actually suspected to have written many of what are believed to be his works. She gave up composing for having a family, but she wrote many works that were released under her name at the time. Felix is important because he revived the music of J.S. Bach, reviving a popularity in "old music" like Bach and Handel.
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    Bildung vs Entertainment

    In the 19th century, music was intended for either Bildung and Entertainment. The Bildung was meant to be poetic, intellectual, artistic, and spiritual, with beauty and passion. It focused on educating. The entertainment was meant to also be beautiful and passionate, but with more skill, virtuosity, and showmanship.
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    Program Music

    There were different varieties of Program music. Concert Overture was a single movement piece for orchestra, which was based on an extra-musical idea. Incidental music was an overture and series of pieces to be performed between the acts of a play and during important scenes. Program symphony was a multi-movement work for orchestra, which was also associated with an extra-musical idea. Tone poems were one movement orchestral works, initially created by Franz Liszt in 1848.
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    Piano in the 19th Century

    Piano became a household instrument in the 19th century and the main solo concerto instrument. Technical improvements were made for developing the modern piano. There was more 4 hand piano music written for two performers and domestic music making, music within the home or for social gatherings, became the norm.
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    Romantic Era

    Overall, all art forms became darker and overly dramatic. The music had more ghostly, death, horror, and depressing themes. Musically, there were more minor keys, longer pieces, less symmetrical phrasing, and more chromaticism. There was a focus on what the composer was trying to portray, emotionally and thematically. There was an interest in the macabre and supernatural. This was considered a time of "breaking the rules". Their views were based on the Enlightenment and individualism.
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    Genres of the Romantic Period

    Tone Poems: 1 movement orchestral works that often had programmatic associations; German composers began writing programs for their music
    Character pieces: 1 movement poetic works for solo piano, cheap to perform and usually performed by the composer
    Program Music: non-vocal music associated with something outside of the music like a story or poem.
    Leider: poetry settings and emotional expression created by composers; cheap to prepare and perform; Had existed, but were revised in the 19 century
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    Musicians and Culture in the Romantic Period

    Democratic society librated composers and performers, which meant they were no longer servants, but part of the middle class. The middle class were much more involved in the musical scene and participating in audience. Women were expected to learn piano and sing. Concert halls became more popular as courts declined, while the middle class supported their trades (performing and teaching). Private/Semi Private music making and large public music making began to flourish.
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    Frédéric Chopin

    Polish born composer and pianist. He was known for his delicate, gentle playing style and was appreciated by other musicians and the upper class, primarily. He was the main purveyor of the salon, which was a paid gig for a musician in someone's home where friends would play and sing. He is also credited with originating the modern piano style. Died earlier than most composers of the time; Frédéric Chopin died from tuberculosis in 1849, which suffered from for the last 11 years of his life.
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    Robert Schumann

    Schumann was a German composer, pianist, and music critic who was married to pianist, Clara Schumann. Memebers of a group who was very popular n salons at the time and primarily composed piano concertos, symphonies, and lieder. He was also very devoted to his studies of literature of founded Die Neue Zeitschrift für Musick. Clara was a purveyor of the arts and was a child piano prodigy. She had composed the majority of her piano concerto by 13 and was respected in the salon scene of the time
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    Giuseppe Verdi

    Important, primarily opera, composer. He composed 28 operas including Macbeth (1847), Aida (1871), Otello (1887), and Falstaff (1893). He was extremely popular in Italy and the entire country mourned his death, carrying his coffin to its resting place.
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    Richard Wagner

    Born in Leipzig, Germany; A very influential musician in the 19th century. Began composing operas in 1830 and was appointed the second Kapellmeister for the King of Saxony in Dresden in 1843. After 1850, he began writing music dramas. His music dramas were his idea of opera where all of the elements of the composition and performance were equal: music, drama, acting, staging, etc. He invented Leitmotiv, which was a short motif that applies to an element of a drama.
  • Erlkönig (1815)

    One of Schubert's most famous pieces, set to the poem from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. There is one singer who sings four different characters. It is based upon a legend that whoever is touched by the king of the elves, Erlkönig, will die. His target was specifically young children and boys. This was composed when Schubert was 18 and was a milestone for romanticism because it brought a topic to life and the text and music expressed the tragedy. It has haunting, graphic imagery.
  • The Congress of Vienna

    Europe began being reorganized after Poland in 1815. The political leaders who assembled in Vienna between September 1814 and June 1815 were tasked with to helping reconstruct Europe after the Napoleonic Wars. The Congress of Vienna restored the monarchies of France, Spain, and the Netherlands. They also dispersed parts of Italy and Poland; then reshaped the Holy Roman Empire into a German condfederation.
  • Ophicleide Invented

    The Ophicleide, invented in 1817 and patented by French instrument maker, Jean Hilaire Asté, as a keyed brass instrument with range similar to trombone. There is a family of different sizes of the instruments.
  • The Carlsbad Decrees of 1819

    These decrees severely limited the freedom of expression by individuals and institution, such as universities and presses. Vienna did not allow any artistic expression, which affected the emerging style of romanticism in culture, music, and the arts. Many composers lived and worked there, such as Beethoven and Schubert.
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    Bedrich Smetana

    Known as the father of Czech music, known for his programmatic cycle of 6 symphonic poems called Mávlast (my country). He took part In the 1848 nationalist uprising. He was a pianist and child prodigy who wanted to create Czech music. He went completely deaf in 1874 and was struggling with delusions and depression. He was put in an asylum and went insane there, until his death in 1884.
  • Marzuka in B flat minor, Opus 24, No. 4 (1833)

    Composed by Chopin in 1833, Marzuka is actually the name of a subgenera of character pieces. A Marzuka is a Polish folk dance in triple meter, often with a heavy accent on the second or third beat of each measure. This work was famously recorded on piano roll by Ignacy Jan Paderewski.
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    Johannes Brahms

    Brahms was a German, romantic composer. He carried along classical traditions and forms. He was very good friends of the Schumanns and was also successful in salons, as well. He was one of the first editors of J.S. Bach's music and considered a scholar. He supported absolute music and was not a fan of Wagner or Liszt. He didn't want to be compared to Beethoven, but he was anyways, especially his symphony.
  • Telegraph Invented

    Samuel Morse invents the telegraph and more code follows in development a year after.
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    After Germany put power artistically over Europe, many other countries wanted to respond with music of their own cultures. National schools formed in all non-Germanic European countries. Nationalism was a reaction against Germany to show patriotism for other European countries. They used folklore and music written for events, places, or national heroes of the area. This phenomena was also happening in places outside of Germany, many European countries were revolting against Napoleon at the time.
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    Antonin Dvorák

    Czechoslovakian nationalist composer. He was invited to America and headed the National Conservatory in New York. He took an interest in American folk music, specifically Black and Native American. He actually angered Bostonians, because of his public speeches that American music in the future would include African American Music. He used pentatonicism in his new symphony, "From the New World", known as "New World".
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    Giacomo Puccini

    Puccini composed some of the last great operas of the 19th century. Though he composed few works, they are still valuable today. He began composing at 17 years old. After hearing Verdi's "Aida" in 1876, Puccini decided to pursue a career in operatic composition. He studied at Milan conservatory and became internationally famous from his opera, Monon Lescaut from 1893. He died of throat cancer in 1924.
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    Gustav Mahler

    Conductor and Composer, Mahler bridged the Austro-German romantic traditions of composing with the new modern styles in the 20th century. He composed 10 symphonies, orchestral lieder, and traditional lieder. After contracting streptococcus, he died a few weeks before he turned 51. Known to be somewhat eccentric
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    Béla Bartók

    He published 2000 songs that he collected modeled after the cultural music in Eastern European countries like Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Slovakia, Serbia, and Bulgaria. He wrote books, articles, and arranged music based on traditional tunes. He was a piano virtuoso and created didactic pieces. He fused folk elements with highly developed modern techniques of compositions.
  • Coca-Cola Introduced

    John Pemberton introduces Coca-Cola, which is a world wide corporation, today.
  • Madame Butterfly (1904)

    A verismo opera by Puccini, inspired by play by David Belasco. Though the premier was a disaster due to the audience, the opera is popular, today. The story is about a geisha, Madame Butterfly, who renounces her profession and religion to marry an American naval officer. He leaves for war and remarries an American woman, but Butterfly had his child while he was gone. He takes her child to America and Butterfly commits suicide, because she cannot return to her former life.