Substantive Education

May 24, 2011

Romantic Composers

Filed under: Friday classes,Music Appreciation — kbagdanov @ 1:38 am
Tags: , , , ,

Study guide for the final this week.  Here are the Romantic Composers.  You can find the Baroque and Classical composers here.

Music in the ‘romantic’ period stressed emotion, imagination, and individualism.  This period coincided with the Industrial Revolution.

Franz Peter Schubert

Born not far from Vienna

By 6 he could play the piano, violin, and viola.

He wrote many symphonies, including the “Unfinished symphony,” called that because it only had 2 movements instead of the usual 4.

Best known for his lieders, or songs…he was called the “Father of the Lied.”  He wrote over 600 of these German songs.

He died when he was only 31 years old.

He was buried next to Beethoven.

His music was not fully appreciated during his life, but today we recognize that few can match his gift for melody.

Here is a section of his Unfinished Symphony.

Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn

Felix and Fanny were born in Hamburg Germany.

Some of his music was inspired by the great poet, Goethe.

He wrote a famous overture to Shakespeare’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

He also wrote music after visiting Fingal’s Cave in Scotland.

Felix founded the Leipzig Conservatory, one of the most famous music schools in the world.

When he heard of his sister, Fanny’s, death (they had remained quite close) he became ill and never recovered.  He died 6 months later.

You should be able to recognize this piece that Mendelssohn wrote for the wedding scene in A Midsummer’s Nights Dream.

Robert and Clara Schuman

Husband and wife…both of them composed and performed.

Robert Schuman wrote reviews of the other Romantic composer, explaining their new and shocking works to the public.

Robert had a weak finger and after trying out a device to hold it straight, he succeeded only in crippling his hand.

This disability pushed him to be a composer rather than a performer.

Robert took piano lessons from Clara’s father and the two fell in love, married and had 7-8 children (reports vary)

Robert Schuman eventually became mentally il,l and had to be admitted to an institution.  After his death, Clara continued to play his music.

This is a piece from one of his earlier works.

Frederic Chopin

Chopin is considered Poland’s greatest composer, although his father was French, and he spent more than half of his life in France.

When he left Poland he took a goblet of Polish soil with him, and after his death his heart was sent back to Warsaw.

He was pale, passionate, and handsome.  His life full of emotional storms.

His friends in Paris included the composers Franz Liszt and Felix Mendelssohn, the poets Victor Hugo and Balzac, as well as the French painter, Delacroix.

Through Liszt he was introduced to George Sand, a controversial woman writer, who became his lover.

He was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was very ill and frail for much of his life.

He devoted much of his life and music in raising money for Poland.

When he died, his own composition, Funeral march, was played and the Polish earth he had carried with him, was spread over his grave.

Here you can listen to his piece, Funeral Music.

Franz Liszt:  The Piano Terminator

Franz Liszt was born in Hungary and at the age of 11 moved to Vienna, where he met Schubert and Beethoven.

He became of the greatest pianist of all time.

He could go through as many as 2 or 3 pianos in a concert.

He was as popular as a modern day rock star.

He would occasionally play in piano challenges…or play offs.  One stunt involved having an orchestra play a movement of a symphony…then he would play it on the piano, demonstrating that he could include all the variation of the orchestra and even be more exciting, all while on one instrument.

Here is Liszt’ Hungarian Rhapsody #2.  It is over 9 minutes long, and it is at 6:40 that the song will sound familiar to students as that is the section we played often in class, but listen to the whole piece.  It is beautiful.

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