The Romantic Era (1810-1890)

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    Ludwig van Beethoven

    He is the transitional figure from the Classical to Romantic style.
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    Carl Maria von Weber

    Early Romantic. Composed the first German opera of this era: "Der Freischütz"
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    Giacomo Meyerbeer

    Jewish German composer who studied in Italy and composed French opera in Paris. Known mostly for grand operas.
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    Gioacchino Rossini

    Early Romantic. The most important opera composer in this era. The most famous composer in Europe at the time.
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    Franz Schubert

    Early Romantic. He composed in all genres and over 600 Lieder. Mostly a freelance composer who earned his income from teaching and publishing his music. Erlkonig is one of his most famous Lieder.
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    Gaetano Donizetti

    Early Romantic. Italian opera composer. He wrote over 70 operas.
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    Vincenzo Bellini

    Early Romantic. Italian opera composer. Most known for his opera Norma.
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    Hector Berlioz

    Early Romantic. French. One of the most important early innovators of new orchestration and genres. He was one of the first conductors to stand in front of the orchestra and conduct. Earned his income by writing music criticism.
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    Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel

    Early Romantic. Composer. Older sister of Felix. Many say she was better than her brother in almost every way. Married William Hensel in 1829 who supported her music. Many people think some of her music was published under her brother's name so it would sell.
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    Felix Mendelssohn

    Early Romantic. Composer of most genres. He revived J.S. Bach's music in Leipzig.
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    Robert Schumann

    Early Romantic. He was more important as an editor and promoter of music than a composer and performer. He lost use of his hand very early after cutting his nerves to try and make his hand bigger. He married his teacher's daughter Clara.
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    Frederic Chopin

    Early Romantic. Pianist and composer. Half Polish and half French. He is credited with originating the modern piano style. He is called the poet of piano. Everything he composed used the piano.
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    Franz Liszt

    Early and Late Romantic. Piano virtuoso, writer, conductor, composer and innovator. He was a supporter of Wagner (which explains a lot).
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    Richard Wagner

    Born in Leipzig, Germany. He changed everything. he did not compose operas, he composed music dramas. He controlled everything about his music dramas. Anti-Semitic. Invented the Leitmotiv. Composed "Der Ring des Nibelungen."
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    Giuseppe Verdi

    The most important Italian composer in the mid to late 19th century. Primarily an opera composer. Hailed as a hero of Italy.
  • Erlkonig

    Composed by Franz Schubert. From four different speakers in one song (all sung by the same person). Schubert composed it at only 18 years old.
  • Ophicleide

    Keyed brass instrument similar in range to a trombone. It was patented by Jean Hilaire Aste, a French instrument maker, in 1821.
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    Clara (Wieck) Schumann

    Early Romantic. Virtuoso pianist and composer. Wife of Robert. She had written the majority of her piano concerto by the age of 13. Mother of 8 and widowed in 1856. She did not compose as much as people think she would have had she not had to support herself and 8 children.
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    Jacques Offenbach

    Known for his operettes and taking the same libretto from Meyerbeer and making it funny.
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    Bedrich Smetana

    Bohemian. Most known for his programmatic cycle of six symphonic poems called Ma vlast (My Country). He is considered the founder of Czech music. He took part in the 1848 nationalist uprising.
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    Stephen Foster

    American song writer. He was the first American to make a living as a professional songwriter.
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    Louis Moreau Gottschalk

    American Nationalist born in New Orleans. He was a child prodigy on the piano; he was able to substitute for his teacher at Mass by the age of 7. Unfortunately, he died of Yellow Fever while on a tour of Latin America.
  • Symphonie fantastique

    A program symphony in 5 movements. Composed by Hector Berlioz. The program is based on a real woman he was obsessed with.
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    Johannes Brahms

    German romantic composer. He was one of the first editors of J.S. Bach's music. Major social anxiety and stage fright. He met the Schumann's at age 20, beginning a life-long friendship.
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    Georges Bizet

    Blended styles into opera comique with Carmen (his most famous opera).
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    Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Very famous ballet composer. Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker.
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    Antonin Dvorak

    Czech composer. Friends with Brahms. He was invited to head up the National Conservatory in New York City. He took and interest in United States folk music and tried his best to compose like that, but was not very successful.
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    Edvard Grieg

    Norway composer. Famous piano concerto. Peer Gynt, incidental music.
  • The Symphonic (tone) Poem

    A one-movement orchestral work created by Franz Liszt as an option to the traditional symphonic form. Liszt's "Les Preludes," Smetana's "The Moldau," and Debussy's "Prelude to 'The Afternoon of a Faun'"
  • Rigoletto

    Opera composed by Verdi. First produced in Venice, Italy. Based on Victor Hugo's play "The King is Amused."
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    Edward Elgar

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    Giacomo Puccini

    Italian opera composer. He was trained in music but wanted to follow his passion for theater. Lots of scandals with his operas.
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    Frederick Delius

    England but he also lived in France and the U.S.
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    Jean Sibelius

    Finland composer. Composed Finlandia in 1899 which is a tone poem cycle.
  • Ma vlast (My Country)

    Composed by Bedrich Smetana. Cycle of six tone poems. The second one is "Vltava" ("The Moldau") which is the most famous.
  • Carmen

    Opera by Georges Bizet. Opera comique. It is his most famous opera.
  • Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90

    Composed by Brahms. Traditional 4 movement symphony, but the third movement is not a Minuet and Trio. It is a good representation of late romantic absolute music. Principals taken from classic models, but the harmonic language is more colorful and modern.