Romantic Era Opera Characteristics
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Romantic Era Opera Characteristics

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Romantic Era Opera Characteristics

C O N T E N T S:

KEY TOPICS
  • Composers of the Romantic Era, like Elgar, showed the world that there should be "no segregation of musical tastes" ( Young 1967, 525) and that the "purpose was to write music that was to be heard" ( Young 1967, 527).(More...)
  • Romantic opera Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising.(More...)
  • While program music was common before the nineteenth century, the conflict between formal and external inspiration became an important aesthetic issue for some composers during the Romantic era.(More...)
  • The Romantic era was the golden age of the virtuoso, where the most fiendishly difficult music would be performed with nonchalant ease, and the most innocuous theme in a composition would be developed at great length for the enjoyment of the adoring audience.(More...)
  • After the discussion about vocal music, proceed to the well known composers in Romantic Era Franz Peter Schubert and Giuseppe Verdi).(More...)

POSSIBLY USEFUL
  • This form of opera came to the fore in wealthy courts across Europe, royalty frequently patrons of composers, but it rapidly became an art form that appealed to all classes, George Friedrich Handel’s work, for example, wildly popular in England.(More...)



RANKED SELECTED SOURCES

KEY TOPICS
Composers of the Romantic Era, like Elgar, showed the world that there should be "no segregation of musical tastes" ( Young 1967, 525) and that the "purpose was to write music that was to be heard" ( Young 1967, 527). [1] Music of the 19th century, a period of time also called the Romantic era, was remarkably different from the music that preceded it. [2] This lesson gives a brief snapshot of two popular Romantic era trends: highly emotional music and dynamic contrast. [2] The Romantic era was all about making a big splash, overwhelming audiences with intensely emotional music that included extremes of every kind, including contrasting dynamic levels. [2] The expansion of the standard orchestra during the Romantic era allowed composers to incorporate a variety of new instrumental sounds that allowed for greater emotional range and greater dynamic contrast. [2] In the Romantic era, some composers wanted to communicate with their audiences on a deeper level through instrumental music and began to focus on telling musical stories without a singer or lyrics. [2]

In his long musical career Wagner created thirteen operas including the most notable Rienzi, Der fliegende Hollände, Tristan und Isolde, and Der Ring des Nibelungen. It was clear that Wagner was changing the way operas were being preformed, and he continued to push the music further into the Romantic era by viewing operas as "total art works". [3] By the end of the Romantic era, opera had become a combination of many art forms including the theatre, dance and orchestra oriented music. [3]

Gioachino Rossini was the first composer to initiate an opera in the Romantic era, which started in the early 19th century. [3] Many great operas derived from the Romantic era including Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, as well as Gioachino Rossini's The Barber of Seville. [3]


Romantic opera Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. [4] Romantic opera has dominated operatic stages for the better part of two centuries. [5]


While program music was common before the nineteenth century, the conflict between formal and external inspiration became an important aesthetic issue for some composers during the Romantic era. [6] Music theorists of the Romantic era codified previous practices, such as the sonata form, while composers extended them. [6] The highly chromatic works of Wagner and other late-nineteenth-century composers represented the final stage of this process, which led to a variety of alternative harmonic organizational structures that signaled the end of the Romantic era, around the beginning of the twentieth century. [7] The Romantic era was a period in which individual expression was of critical importance in the interpretation of music. [7] The Romantic Era was a period in music in which there was much change during the 1850s to the 1920s in the theory and compositional practice of music. [3] Although Romantic era music contained classical era roots, the instruments used in the Romantic era were changing and brass and woodwind instruments were being improved in the quality of sound, as well as in how they were played. [3] Music theorists of the Romantic era established the concept of tonality to describe the harmonic vocabulary inherited from the Baroque and Classical periods. [6] Some Romantic era composers used their compositions to express nationalism by the way of incorporating elements unique to their native cultures, such as folk songs, dances, and legendary histories. [3]

A particular trait in all French opera was the ballet, and it became even more important during the Romantic era. [8] What is now labelled "Romantic Opera" became established at around this time, with a strong connection between Paris and northern Italy. [6] Works of this group of early Romantics include the song cycles and symphonies of Franz Schubert, the operas of Weber, particularly Oberon, Der Freischütz and Euryanthe, and the comic operas of Gustave Albert Lortzing, such as Der Wildschutz and Zar und Zimmermann. [6] Singspiel integrated Romantic elements from French opera with the genre's national features. [9] The operas of Berlioz found little public success and have only recently been recognized for their contributions to French Romantic opera. [9] French grand opera, as this genre came to be called, was as much spectacle as music, consistent with the fashion that had prevailed in France since the time of Lully, but newly infused with Romantic elements, such as rescue plots and huge choral scenes. [9]

In France, operas such as Bizet's Carmen are typical, but towards the end of the Romantic period, verismo opera became popular, particularly in Italy. [6] During the Romantic period (roughly 1815-1910), composers used music to express themselves; orchestral music became more emotional and subjective than in previous eras. [10] The era of Romantic music is defined as the period of European classical music that runs roughly from 1820 to 1900, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period. [6]

Opera was very dominant in Italy where the operas differed from the operas of the classical era because the form of the pieces were being changed by having the tenors given the heroic lead in operas and by giving the chorus a more important lead than before. [3] Wagner's focus on drama is one of the reasons his operas really shined as being different than operas of the classical era. [3]

Grand opera was perhaps the greatest legacy of the Late Romantic period. [11]


The Romantic era was the golden age of the virtuoso, where the most fiendishly difficult music would be performed with nonchalant ease, and the most innocuous theme in a composition would be developed at great length for the enjoyment of the adoring audience. [12] Depended on when in the Romantic era you are listening to- you may hear music that sounds like deeper elaboration of classical music, all the way to music that doesn’t sound much like music at all. [13]

For Puccini, the musical tonality from the Romantic Era was well suited for him as he rode the wave of verismo opera. [14]

French Romantic opera rarely displayed the intensity and passion of either the Italian or the German but was more conservative in its music and in its dramatic content. [8] Carl Maria von Weber established German Romantic opera in opposition to the dominance of Italian bel canto. [15]

Opera continued to flourish, and got bigger, louder and longer during the Romantic period (1830-1900). [16]

Verdi's operas resonated with the growing spirit of Italian nationalism in the post-Napoleonic era, and he quickly became an icon of the patriotic movement (although his own politics were perhaps not quite so radical). [15] Following the bel canto era, a more direct, forceful style was rapidly popularized by Giuseppe Verdi, beginning with his biblical opera Nabucco. [15] By the Baroque era (1600-1750), opera had taken Europe by storm and was a spectacular, expensive affair full of florid arias and ornate stage sets with moving parts. [16]

Romantic music saw the birth (or development) of the art song, symphonic poem, grand opera, and music drama. [13]


After the discussion about vocal music, proceed to the well known composers in Romantic Era Franz Peter Schubert and Giuseppe Verdi). [17] This source provides a comprehensive listing of music terminology that was widely implemented in Classical and Romantic Era music. [18] Composers of the Romantic Era and beyond strove to place the expression of emotional intensity at the forefront, and began to experiment with tonal combinations and instruments thereby creating a varied harmonic language. [14] Romantic Era music is largely characterized by its lyrical melodies (as opposed to a more linear compositional style of Classical music), chromaticism, and more dramatic contrasts of dynamics. [18] Classical music, an era that lasted from 1750-1820, paved way for various compositional and melodic techniques that were implemented during the Romantic Era (1815-1910). [18] TEXTURE: As in the Classical period, during the Romantic era, homophonic texture was primarily used (melody with accompaniment), and development sections sometimes used polyphonic texture. [19] His implementation of lyrical melodies maintains the argument that he largely contributed to the transition from the Classical Era to the Romantic Era. [18]

PERFORMING MEDIUM: Chamber music ensembles, large symphony orchestras, opera companies, and piano were the predominant performing mediums during this era. [19] FORM: Genres used included large forms from prior eras such as concertos, sonatas, symphonies (often with programmatic titles), and operas. [19]

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer primarily known for his operas. [20] Verdi dominated the Italian opera scene after the eras of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini. [20]

POSSIBLY USEFUL
This form of opera came to the fore in wealthy courts across Europe, royalty frequently patrons of composers, but it rapidly became an art form that appealed to all classes, George Friedrich Handel’s work, for example, wildly popular in England. [5] Rossini excelled in the opera buffa, or comic opera of the day -- indeed, the music he wrote for these comic works has been described as "the perfect distillation of comedy into music." [21] The overtures to Weber's operas are dramatic renderings through music of the stories that are about to unfold, as in the overture to his most famous opera, Der Freischütz. [21]

Some of the major opera composers of this period were Antonio Vivaldi, Handel and Jean-Baptiste Lully. [5] Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich came to the fore through the middle years of the 20th Century, Britten in particular arguably the most successful opera composer born after 1900. [5] In the second half of this century, the lyric opera developed, Bizet was important composer of lyric opera. [22] They established him as the first Czech nationalist composer as well as the most important Czech opera composer of the generation who came to prominence in the 1860s ( Ottlová, Tyrrell, and Posp'šil 2001 ). [1] The first musical theatre work that we might define as an opera today was Jacopo Peri’s Dafne, composed in the late 1590s. [5] Although he composed over seventy operas, only a handful have remained in the general repertory, but those are generally regarded as outstanding examples of the Italian Bel Canto period. [21] He accomplished this in a variety of ways: the use of spoken dialogue in place of the Italian recitative ; the use of German myths and folklore, with an emphasis on nature, for the subjects of his operas; and his remarkable use of the instruments of the orchestra, rather than just the voices, to tell the story. [21] In the middle of the 19th century, two great figures appeared in the opera: the Italian Giuseppe Verdi and the German Richard Wagner. [22] Opera became steadily bigger and more dramatic, vast choruses and a swelled orchestra, to upwards of 100 players, building towards the immense operatic works of Richard Wagner. [5]

Some of the major opera composers were Gluck, Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. [5] You will however, frequently hear almost every Western opera categorised to a few periods which are definitely a good place to start. [5] Below, you'll find the core info on the periods with some key operas put in their chronological place. [5]

At the end of the century, the opera was influenced by a literary movement from France: realism. [22] Whether in comic or serious opera, his vocal style reflected the highly embellished, virtuosic melodic line again in favor at the time. [21] This style is apparent in the aria "Una voce poco fa" from The Barber of Seville, widely regarded as Rossini's masterpiece in the opera buffa genre. [21] The overtures to Rossini's operas are extremely popular concert pieces and some, such as the William Tell Overture, have been put to various commercial uses in recent years. [21] In the mid 1700s Willibald Christoph Gluck took opera in new directions, expanding the structure, harmony and narratives away from the highly formalised forms that had dominated the previous 150 years. [5] This opera, Rossini's last, was written in 1829, and although he lived for almost another forty years, Rossini never composed another opera. [21] Producing his first opera at the age of eighteen, Rossini composed dozens, many of which are still in the repertoire today, while others are being once again explored. [21] Both artist composed operas in which recitatives (talking), arias (singing) and choirs were perfectly integrated, like in real conversations in a story. [22] Smetana also composed eight nationalist operas, all of which remain in the repertory. [1]

Meyerbeer created a type of opera with a mix of musical elements, such as songs or dance. [22] In the past, opera had been the main musical story-telling genre. [2]

Some of his most important operas were Tanhäuser, Lohengrin, Tristan and Isoida and the four operas known as The Ring of the Nibelung. [22] Inheriting the bel canto tradition from Rossini, Donizetti's operas are today mostly admired for their many attractive melodies and fine ensembles. [21] Italian operas were composed in the Bel canto traditions, and these led directly to the masterworks of Giuseppe Verdi, while the idea of the German music drama was established by Richard Wagner. [21] Both these composers were working in Italy, and it was Italian opera that would dominate what is now known as the Baroque period spanning from around 1600 to the 1740s. [5]

Such a work is Les Préludes, based on a poem in which life is expressed as a series of struggles, passions, and mysteries, all serving as a mere prelude to.what? The Romantic genre of the symphonic poem, as well as its cousin the concert overture, became very attractive to many later composers, including Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky, Dvorák, Sibelius, and Richard Strauss (1864-1949). [21] Few were writing new Romantic works but the old ones dominated the modern stage. [5]

It was Hoffmann's fusion of ideas already associated with the term "Romantic", used in opposition to the restraint and formality of Classical models, that elevated music, and especially instrumental music, to a position of pre-eminence in Romanticism as the art most suited to the expression of emotions. [1] This expression of emotion was the focus of all the arts of the self-described "Romantic" movement. [21] The Romantic movement was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe and strengthened in reaction to the Industrial Revolution ( Encyclopædia Britannica n.d. ). [1] The Romantic orchestra also had a wider selection of standard orchestral instruments that were capable of producing varied sounds that increased both dynamic and emotional range. [2] Romantic composers often pushed musical elements to the extreme to get the emotional impact they wanted, but one element that especially interested them was playing with the musical dynamics, or volume of the music. [2] In the Romantic period, music became more expressive and emotional, expanding to encompass literary, artistic, and philosophical themes. [1] During the Romantic period, music often took on a much more nationalistic purpose. [1]

Schumann's piano music (and later his songs) remain supreme examples of the Romantic style of the second quarter of the nineteenth-century. [21] The Romantic composers, on the other hand, often wrote for public concerts and festivals, with large audiences of paying customers, who had not necessarily had any music lessons ( Schmidt-Jones and Jones 2004, 3). [1] Between 1890 and 1910, a third wave of composers including Mahler, Richard Strauss, Puccini, and Sibelius built on the work of middle Romantic composers to create even more complex- and often much longer- musical works. [1] Without these restrictions, Romantic composers were able to rapidly transition between starkly contrasting melodies, as Hector Berlioz did in his 'Symphonie Fantastique.' In the fourth movement of this work, Berlioz moves from an ominous death-march to an up-beat tune that portrays the jubilant shouts of an enthusiastic crowd to a poignantly sad melody of a lost loved one. [2] Famous early Romantic composers include Beethoven (whose works span both this period and the preceding Classical period ), Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Bellini, and Berlioz. [1]

Composers have become more inventive with the scoring, frequently using fewer orchestral players and creating more intimate dramas relative to the bombast of the Romantic period. [5] Untitled review of Leon Plantinga, Romantic Music: A History of Musical Styles in Nineteenth-Century Europe and Anthology of Romantic Music, translated by Ernest Sanders. 19th Century Music 11, no. 2:194-96. [1] Romantic music is a period of Western classical music that began in the late 18th or early 19th century. [1]

Classic and Romantic Music, translated by M. D. Herter Norton from two essays first published in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. [1]

One way that Romantic composers created musical stories was by using flexible forms. [2] Later composers of the nineteenth century would further build on the forms and ideas developed by the Romantic composers. [21]

For inspiration, many Romantic composers turned to the visual arts, to poetry, drama and literature, and to nature itself. [21] Romantic composers often used sudden dynamic contrast for dramatic effect. [2]

We hope to expand this section enormously, exploring opera's development across Europe and the world, and we've started on that mission with a more expansive history of opera in English. [5] Weber figures prominently in history as the composer who established a German opera in his native land and successfully broke the chains of Italian traditions. [21] Opera became steadily more international and varied in style, Italian opera seria mixing with French opera comique and German singspiel amongst many other operatic genres. [5] ITALY The Italian opera influenced strongly in Europe until German opera appeared. [22] As was popular in Italian opera of the time, Lucia then goes mad, giving the prima donna an opportunity to display great acting and vocal skill in an extended scena. [21]

Around the time he wrote his first opera, Wagner married the actress Minna Planer, who he moved to Riga with where he became the music director of the local opera house. [3] Wagner continued his studies in music and he completed his first opera when he was twenty years old called Die Feen. [3] The earliest example of what Wagner called music drama (a term that emphasizes its distinction from opera ) was the sensuous Tristan und Isolde (1857-59; first performed 1865), with a libretto that reflects his obsession with his own real-life love affairs. [23]

Although opera was predominant in Italy, many other European composers were contributing to the changes in the music of their generation, including German composer Richard Wagner. [3] Music became the most important element of opera, as the composer increasingly became a dominant force. [9] This chapter presents the main figures and important trends in opera in the nineteenth century, looking at developments in France, Italy, and Germany, in that order, and concludes with a brief section on sacred music. [9] A larger-than-life figure with a powerful intellect, an enormous ego, and a desire to control all aspects of his theatrical works, Wagner wrote both the music and the librettos of his operas, giving instructions for scenic design, staging, and action, and conducted most of their premieres. [23] This is particularly evident in operas and program music of that period. [10] …the music drama and the opera, Italian authors worked to an increasing extent with the lyric stage. [23] Both trends culminated in Richard Wagner, one of the crucial figures in nineteenth-century music, and in the music drama, the new fusion of music, poetry, and theater that he forged to rival traditional opera. [9] As a composite art form, opera integrated music and literature. [9] Opera served as elite entertainment and also as the source of music that was popular with audiences of all classes and professions. [9] By the time Wagner's operas were performed, arias, choruses, recitatives and ensemble pieces often cannot easily be distinguished from each other in the continuous, through-composed music. [6] New operas by the leading composers became major events, and successful ones were performed numerous times and restaged in many cities. [9] The other German-language composers of opera active during this period were less important. [23] Because opera was the most important musical outlet in Italy during this period, the genre experienced a new golden age there and was exported all over western Europe and even to the New World. [9] Verdi was the dominant opera composer in Italy for fifty years after Donizetti. [9] When--at age 26--Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi premiered his first opera, Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio (1839) in Milan, Rossini had not offered a new opera for 10 years, bel canto composer Vincenzo Bellini was dead, and Donizetti was composing for Parisian audiences. [23]

This interaction, so typical of nineteenth-century Romanticism, was developed most fully by composers in the German-speaking lands, in opera as well as song and instrumental music. [9] Romanticism --part philosophical, part literary, and part aesthetic--made its first appearances in opera in three works composed between 1821 and 1826 by Carl Maria von Weber. [23] Except for his Requiem Mass (1874) and a few other sacred works, opera accounts for Verdi’s entire creative output, which has been divided into three periods: Oberto (1839) to La traviata (1853); Les vêpres siciliennes (1855; "The Sicilian Vespers") to Aida (1871); and Otello (1887) to Falstaff (1893). [23] Although he remained musically active, he did not compose any operas for 16 years, until he was coaxed by his publisher, Giullio Ricordi, into writing his late work, Otello (libretto by Arrigo Boito, adapted from Shakespeare ’s Othello ). [23] Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868), though noted primarily for his operas, wrote several choral works in his later years. [7] Donizetti composed over seventy operas and hundreds of other works. [9] Even today his operas remain among the most frequently performed works, not only in Italy but also on the international stage. [23] Opera continued to be a central part of musical life in the nineteenth century, especially in France, Italy, and Germany. [9] Verdi also continued to express nationalism in his operas, Va, pensiero, which was interpreted as giving meaning to the struggle for Italian independence and Verdi was expressing his hope to unify Italy. [3] These composers continued to change the way operas were being written as well as preformed. [3] Mikhail Glinka is an example of a composer who wrote operas specifically on Russian subjects. [3]

Romantic tendencies were evident in the music of all three of the preeminent Viennese classical composers (particularly Mozart and Beethoven), and by the end of Beethoven's career, the romantic spirit was firmly entrenched in Europe, remaining the dominant force in music until the beginning of the twentieth century. [7] As expected, church music in the nineteenth century was more or less influenced by Romantic tendencies, depending on the aesthetic attitude of the composer and the intended function of the work. [9] The vocabulary and structure of the music of the late 19th century were no mere relics; composers including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Berthold Goldschmidt and Sergei Prokofiev continued to compose works in recognizably Romantic styles after 1950. [6] The idea of program music, intended by the composer to depict specific nonmusical ideas, was another important aspect of nineteenth-century Romantic style. [7]

It should be noted, however, that throughout the history of music there has been a tension between the Classical and Romantic views of life and art. [7] During the late 1830s and 1840s, music of Romantic expression became generally accepted, even expected. [6] The vernacular use of the term "romantic music" applies to music which is thought to evoke a soft mood or dreamy atmosphere. [6] Just as nationalism reflected a preoccupation with the composer's own national heritage, exoticism was a Romantic fascination with music from other lands. [7] Some composers of the Romantic period adopted them as the central pursuit of music itself. [6] The music of the Romantic period is easily identifiable when compared to music forms from other periods. [10] The Late Romantic period saw the blossoming of self-expression in music. [11] During this late Romantic period, some composers created styles and forms associated with their national folk cultures. [6] The composers of the Romantic period used the following techniques to bring a deeper level of emotion to their works. [10] Many composers who would later be identified as musical modernists composed works in Romantic styles early in their career, including Igor Stravinsky with his The Firebird ballet, Arnold Schoenberg with Gurrelieder, and Béla Bartók with Bluebeard's Castle. [6] While new tendencies such as neo-classicism and atonal music challenged the preeminence of the Romantic style, the desire to use a tonally-centered chromatic vocabulary remained present in major works. [6] This nationalist theme can be felt in the music of some Romantic composers whose works were influenced by the history, people, and places of their native country. [10] Romantic composers used standard notation and indicated in relatively specific terms the way they wished for their music to be performed. [7] Schopenhauer's views about music impressed several Romantic composers. [9] Some Romantic composers analogized music to poetry and its rhapsodic and narrative structures, while creating a more systematic basis for the composing and performing of concert music. [6]

Composers were inspired by romantic love, the supernatural and even dark themes such as death. [10] This usage is rooted in the connotations of the word "romantic" that were established during the period, but not all "Romantic" pieces fit this description, with some musical romanticism producing strong, harsh sounds for agitated emotion. [6] This became a prevalent Romantic notion and the irony here is that as the egalitarian attitudes of Romanticism (its Zeitgeist) led to the aforementioned anti-social attitudes among artists; a condition diametrically opposed to the philosophical tenets of antiquity. [6] There are some fundamental Romantic characteristics that should be noted to begin this discussion. [7] The lieder of Schubert exemplify the romantic spirit in a small and intimate form, just as Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand does so by involving two four-part choirs, a boys' choir, seven soloists, and a large orchestra in an undertaking so massive that it limits the opportunities to hear it performed. [7]

Wagner, Richard: Tristan und Isolde The Prelude to Act I of Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde (1857-59; first performed 1865); from a 2004 live recording of the Royal Swedish Opera Male Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Leif Segerstam. [23] Parsifal was first preformed at the Bayreuth festival which occurred at the opera house in which Wagner himself funded. [3] Towards the end of his life Wagner decided to settle in Italy where wrote his final opera, Parsifal. [3]

If Verdi conceived of opera as a human drama focused on the voice, Richard Wagner crusaded for an anti-Italian type of reformed musical theatre in which mythological or legendary characters are caught up in forces larger than themselves--among them a musical score focused on the orchestra, which he treated as the driving force of the drama rather than as a mere accompaniment to the singers. [23] Instead of employing the discrete scene structures of his previous operas, Verdi provided each act with a musical continuity that reinforces the dramatic momentum, with the lyrical high points ( arias, duets, and ensembles) connected by long transitions rather than presented as a series of separate units. [23] Invited by the khedive of Egypt to compose an opera for the new opera house in Cairo, Verdi responded with Aida (libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario by Auguste Mariette, the French Egyptologist, and Camille du Locle, with the collaboration of Verdi), which received its premiere in 1871. [23] The work is the consummation of the French opera tradition descending from Lully, Rameau, and Gluck. [9] Schubert included material from his Lieder in some of his extended works, and others, such as Liszt, transcribed opera arias and songs for solo instrumental performance. [6] The last of Wagner’s operas, Parsifal (1882), introduced no structural elements that were not already present in his previous works. [23] He created outstanding works in both comic and serious opera. [9]

In opera, the forms for individual numbers that had been established in classical and baroque opera were more loosely used. [6] By 1850, a permanent repertory of operas began to emerge, paralleling the classical repertory in the concert hall. [9]

Its revivals, performed over a period of days or over an opera season, have been a staple of a number of the world’s major opera companies. [23] This opera would not be produced until half a century later when it was premiered in Munich shortly after his death in 1883. [3] Based on the Saint Bartholomew Massacre in France during the sixteenth century, the opera relates the tragic fate of two lovers. [9] In the second half of the century, Verdi and Wagner dominated Italian and German opera, respectively, while composers in France, Bohemia, Russia, and elsewhere developed new national styles (to be explored in Chapter 20). [9] This literary movement is reflected in the music of contemporary composers, including Mozart's German operas, Haydn's so-called Sturm und Drang symphonies, the lyrics that composers (particularly Schubert) chose for their Lieder, and a gradual increase in the violence of emotion that music expressed. [6]

While patiently and provocatively elaborating a vast interlocked system of musico-dramatic theories in many published books and essays, Wagner’s personal style continued to evolve in two large-scale transitional operas, Tannhäuser (1845) and Lohengrin (1850). [23] The government continued to subsidize opera and concerts, and the royal family contributed informally to opera and benefit concerts. [9]

These changes brought an expansion in the sheer number of symphonies, concerti and "tone poems" which were composed, and the number of performances in the opera seasons in Paris, London and Italy. [6] Although the latter opera was at first not well received, it later came to be accepted as a masterpiece, and it ultimately established a composer’s right to set librettos dealing with contemporary life. [23] In the 1830s and 1840s Richard Wagner produced his first successful operas. [6] This was a comedic opera that was the first of its kind which was written in 1810. [3] These changes were evident in Verdi's first successful opera, Nabucco, which the general public found interesting because of it's great choruses. [3] Many of the operas in the first group relate stories of personal tragedy, such as Nabucodonoser (1842; "Nebuchadnezzar," commonly called Nabucco ), Giovanna d’Arco (1845; "Joan of Arc"), Macbeth (1847), and Luisa Miller (1849). [23]

Only the finest opéras comiques (part sung, part spoken comic operas) and opéras bouffes (light operas) of Auber and Jacques Offenbach match Strauss’s elegance, wit, humour, musical invention, and scrupulous workmanship. [23] Opera played a central role in nineteenth-century musical life. [9] ETA Hoffman is principally known as a critic nowadays, but his opera Undine of 1814 was a radical musical innovation. [6]

Musically, Wagner organizes all four operas around a network of leitmotifs that he varies, develops, and transforms as the plot progresses. [23] Wagner avoided the symmetrical phrases of traditional opera. [9]

Warmhearted and overflowing with young love countered by the bitter wisdom of age, Die Meistersinger ranks with Verdi’s Falstaff among exemplary comic operas of the late 19th century. [23] At the center of this repertory were operas by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Meyerbeer, and Weber alongside the late operas of Mozart. [9]

This lyric opera was the most frequently performed opera in Europe and the Americas in the last third of the nineteenth century. [9] Subjects and settings for operas varied widely during the nineteenth century, from grand historical epics to folktales, and from plots with strong political overtones to stories that centered on private emotions and personal relationships. [9]

It became hard for rich people to maintain private opera houses too. [10] …was at a premium, the opera would be the form where these and other associations easily found their place. [23] A core repertory emerged and the number of new operas produced each year declined. [24] Although Verdi supported unification, nationalism was not an overt element of his operas. [9] An opera buffa with serious overtones, Falstaff always has been praised by critics and enthusiasts, but it has never become a true popular favourite. [23] Opera was elite entertainment and a popular diversion for all classes. [9] Opera houses sprang up all over Europe, as shown in Figure 19.1. [9] In 1862 he returned to Germany, where he moved in with Ludwig II. After the success of his opera, Tristan und Isolde, he decided to do more traveling around Europe where he created such classics as Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. [3]

In terms of content, there was a world of difference between the deep, psychological subtexts of Wagner's epic operas, Verdi's dramas of human passion, and Puccini's realistic portrayals of everyday life. [11] Mikhail Glinka's operas, for example, are on specifically Russian subjects, while Bedřich Smetana and Anton'n Dvořák both used rhythms and themes from Czech folk dances and songs. [6]

Composers modulated to increasingly remote keys, and their music often prepared the listener less for these modulations than the music of the classical era. [6] Singers should never push the tone or make it strident, and great care must be exercised in selecting music from this era for performance by a school choir. [7] Without exception, the musical giants of the era were primarily composers of instrumental music. [7] Some popular composers that originated out of this era are: Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert, Frédéric Chopin, and Richard Wagner. [3]

This fascination with tone color and the use of augmented instrumental forces helps explain the dominance of instrumental music in this era. [7]

In performing music of the Romantic period, the tempo should be elastic, reflecting the expressive nuances of text. [7] Music that is "romantic" in the modern everyday usage of the word (that is, relating to the emotion of romantic love) is not necessarily linked to the Romantic period. [6] One of the controversies that raged through the Romantic period was the relationship of music to external texts or sources. [6] Kirby, F.E. Music in the romantic period: an anthology with commentary. [6]

This became a vehicle for composers to express their sentiments about the political and economic climate during the Romantic period. [10] There was a huge shift in the status of composers during the Romantic period. [10]

Many composers born in the nineteenth century continued to compose in a Romantic style well into the twentieth century, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Giacomo Puccini and Richard Strauss. [6] One way in which the Romantic spirit was expressed in the nineteenth century was through nationalism. [7] Der Freischütz illustrates the German Romantic writers’ love for dark forests, the echoes of hunters’ horns, the threatening presence of supernatural forces, and the frustrations of pure young love. [23] As musicologist Daniel J. Grout suggests: "In a very general sense, all art may be said to be Romantic; for, though it may take its materials from everyday life, it transforms them and thus creates a new world which is necessarily, to a greater or lesser degree, remote from the every day world." [6]

Although the forms of the Classic period continued to be used by Romantic composers, they took many more liberties with them, expanding and contracting them to suit their individual tastes. [7] Romantic composers adjusted or altered some of these forms to make them more subjective. [10]

During the Romantic period, both miniature and heroic forms became popular. [7] The Romantic period was preceded by the classical period and the late classical period of which most music is by Beethoven, and was followed by the twentieth century classical music. [6] As with the Classical period, the piano was still the main instrument during the early Romantic period. [10]

Thematic transformation - A characteristic of Romantic music wherein musical elements of a theme are altered when the theme is restated in a later movement. [10] Chromatic harmony - A characteristic of Romantic music wherein the chords used in a music piece is derived from the chromatic scale. [10] Rubato - A characteristic of Romantic music that helps add intensity to a music piece by means of moving forward or holding back tempo. [10]

The nationalism that had been an important strain of early nineteenth century Romantic music became formalized by political and linguistic means. [6] The Romantic period began with the second quarter of the nineteenth century. [7] The greater harmonic elusiveness and fluidity, the longer melodies, poesis as the basis of expression, and the use of literary inspirations were all present prior to the Romantic period. [6] In literature, the Romantic period is often taken to start in 1770s or 1780s Germany with the movement known as Sturm und Drang ("storm and struggle") attended by a greater regard for Shakespeare and Homer, and for folk sagas, whether genuine or Ossian. [6]

Romantic composers sought to fuse the large structural harmonic planning demonstrated by earlier masters such as Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven with further chromatic innovations, in order to achieve greater fluidity and contrast, and to meet the needs of longer works. [6] Unlike Classical composers who often came from musically-inclined families, some Romantic composers came from non-musical families. [10] For inspiration, many Romantic composers turned to visual arts, poetry, drama and literature, and to nature itself. [3] Romantic composers were anxious to exploit to the fullest the potential of the orchestra in terms of tone color, as well as pitch and dynamic range, making unprecedented demands on players. [7] The Juilliard Orchestra plays Brahms's 'Symphony No. 4.' Brahms was one of the great Romantic composers. [10] Romantic composers were also influenced by technological advances, including an increase in the range and power of the piano and the improved chromatic abilities and greater projection of the instruments of the symphony orchestra. [6]

The general characteristics of Romantic style were discussed earlier. [7] The idea of rubato (mentioned earlier) wherein the tempo varies is an important aspect of Romantic style. [7]

Romantic music struggled to increase emotional expression and power to describe these deeper truths, while preserving or even extending the formal structures from the classical period. [6] The tone to be used for Romantic music should be full and rich. [7]

An important influence on Verdi’s middle period was French grand opera. [23] Tannhäuser again displays some characteristics of grand opera (particularly in the revision that Wagner prepared for a performance in Paris in 1861). [23] Wagner began his career, except for a youthful attempt, with two grand operas mixing the influences of Meyerbeer, Marschner, and Weber : Das Liebesverbot ("The Ban on Love," based on Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure ), performed in Magdeburg in 1836, and Rienzi, performed in Dresden in 1842. [23]

The traditions of grand opera survive into the twentieth century. [9]

Loyal to the traditions of Italian opera and to the cause of Italian political unification, Verdi was revered by a faithful public and became a national hero. [23] During those intervening years, opera had been transformed into a very different affair by Richard Wagner in Germany, a metamorphosis that threatened to undermine the prized vocal sumptuousness of traditional Italian opera. [23] The conventions that he created for Italian opera would endure for over fifty years. [9]

Italian operas were exported throughout Europe and the New World. [9] Italian opera in the nineteenth century grew out of an established tradition, healthily grounded in the life of the nation. [9]

It came to be regarded as the greatest German opera of the late 19th century, and its influence upon compositional methods and techniques continued into the 20th century. [23]

Wagner was a significant influence on the music world, particularly for composers Gustav Mahler, Anton Bruckner, Jules Massenet and Richard Strauss--whose operas Salome and Der Rosenkavalier, characterized by their virtuosity in orchestral writing and tone color, are steeped in Wagner’s late-Romantic style. [16] Choral music no longer dominated, and as composers turned more and more to writing idiomatic instrumental works for ensembles of increasing colour and variety, so 'classical' music (as opposed to 'popular') gradually began to work its way into the very fabric of society, being played outdoors at dinner parties or special functions (e.g. Handel's Water Music ), or as a spectacle in the form of opera. [12] Starting under the influence of Weber and Meyerbeer, he gradually evolved a new concept of opera as a Gesamtkunstwerk (a "complete work of art"), a fusion of music, poetry and painting. [15] Vocal Compositions: Lied, choral music (sacred and secular), Te Deums, Requiems, Beatitudes, Opera (Italian, French, German Nationalistic), Oratorios. [25] Most of the major German composers of the time, including Handel himself, as well as Graun, Hasse and later Gluck, chose to write most of their operas in foreign languages, especially Italian. [15] One of the greatest composers of Italian Baroque opera was a German who lived most of his life in London-- Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759). [16]

These few paragraphs drill down a bit deeper into the styles of the three opera composers we'll study: Verdi, Wagner, and Pucinni. [15] Other opera composers of the time include Marschner, Schubert and Lortzing, but the most significant figure was undoubtedly Wagner. [15] Opera would never be the same after Wagner and for many composers his legacy proved a heavy burden. [15] The ultimate Classical opera composer was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91). [16] The best-known opera of the 19th century--and possibly the most popular of all time--is French composer Georges Bizet ’s (1838-75) Carmen. [16] This was a style introduced by Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci that came virtually to dominate the world's opera stages with such popular works as Giacomo Puccini's La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Turandot. [15] Wagner built his own opera house at Bayreuth with part of the patronage from Ludwig II of Bavaria, exclusively dedicated to performing his own works in the style he wanted. [15] Wagner also brought a new philosophical dimension to opera in his works, which were usually based on stories from Germanic or Arthurian legend. [15]

Politics and opera come full circle with one of the most successful and engaging works of the late 20th century: John Adams ’s Nixon in China (1987), based on Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China to meet Chairman Mao in 1972. [16] The late 19th century was dominated by two giants of opera: Italian Giuseppe Verdi and German Richard Wagner, both born in 1813. [16]

During the Baroque period, the foundations were laid for the following 300 or so years of musical expression: the idea of the modern orchestra was born, along with opera (including the overture, prelude, aria, recitative and chorus), the concerto, sonata, and modern cantata. [12] He greatly increased the role and power of the orchestra, creating scores with a complex web of leitmotifs, recurring themes often associated with the characters and concepts of the drama, of which prototypes can be heard in his earlier operas such as Der fliegende Holländer, Tannhäuser and Lohengrin ; and he was prepared to violate accepted musical conventions, such astonality, in his quest for greater expressivity. [15] In Germany, Wagner singlehandedly changed the course of opera with his huge ambition and talent by introducing new ideas in harmony, the use of leitmotifs and expanded use of the orchestra and operatic structure. [16]

Regarded as the founding works of a new aesthetic, operas such as Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride (1779), Salieri’s Les Danaïdes (1784) and Sacchini’s Œdipe à Colone (1786) remained in the repertoire of the Paris Opéra for a long time. [26] Generally it was simpler in musical expressiveness, used fewer characters, and compared with earlier French opera, relied very little on the chorus. [8] The chorus and ballet were extensively used as in earlier French opera. [8]

Operas became longer and increasingly used realistic settings and historical events as subjects. [27] Opera in 19th-century France showed some characteristics that were different from the Italian. [8] Literally "beautiful singing," bel canto opera derives from the Italian stylistic singing school of the same name. [15] Examples of famous operas in the bel canto style include Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola, as well as Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. [15] Verdi, whose operas include Rigoletto, Il Trovatore and Aida wrote in a tuneful and dramatic style. [16] In the early 1850s, Verdi produced his three most popular operas: Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La traviata. [15] Perhaps his most popular opera is La Traviata, which tells the story of Violetta, a beautiful courtesan who is fatally ill with tuberculosis. [16]

Enter Jacopo Peri (1561-1633), who composed Dafne (1597), which many consider to be the first opera. [16] The first German opera was Dafne, composed by Heinrich Schütz in 1627, but the music score has not survived. [15]

Did Classicism as applied to Mozart really exist in France? In music, all the great works of the "Romantic generation" took their example from pieces composed long before the Revolution. [26] Each was influenced by some aspects of the Romantic movement, and each created his own style of music, but they worked within the traditions established by the Classical masters. [28]



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2. (34) :: Welcome to Concise History of Western Music, 3rd Edition ::

3. (30) Opera - German Romantic opera | Britannica.com

4. (25) Trends in German and Italian Opera | MUS 101 Elliott Jones

5. (23) The Romantic Era Of Opera Music Essay

6. (22) THE ROMANTIC PERIOD (1825-4900)

7. (18) Music History 102

8. (16) The Music and Orchestra of the Romantic Period

9. (15) Opera History | The Opera 101

10. (14) SFOpera - A Brief History of Opera

11. (13) Romantic music - Wikipedia

12. (11) Characteristics of Romantic Era Music: Emotion & Dynamic Contrast - Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com

13. (11) Music History - The Romantic Period - Piano Studio of Martin E. Kauble, NCTM

14. (10) What are the differences between classical music and romantic music? - Quora

15. (9) Romantic Summary

16. (9) 19th Century French Opera

17. (8) Music of the Romantic Period | Music Arts Toolkit | The Arts | Video | PBS LearningMedia

18. (7) OPERA IN THE ROMANTIC PERIOD by Catherine Pamela Espinoza Loyola on Prezi

19. (6) History of Classical Music - Eras

20. (6) The Romanticism

21. (4) Progression of Classical to Romantic Music | Guided History

22. (3) HumanitiesWeb.org - Conservatory - Index by Period

23. (3) Violin Online String Class - ROMANTIC MUSICAL PERIOD STYLE CHARACTERISTICS - Study Unit 4.2

24. (2) Puccini and the Romantic-Exoticism of Turandot - Opera Philadelphia

25. (2) Famous Opera Composers | List of the Top Well-Known Opera Composers

26. (2) Romanticism in French Music Palazzetto Bru Zane

27. (1) Romantic Music Lesson plan for grade | Art Essay

28. (1) Romantic #1 Flashcards | Quizlet

29. (1) Romantic opera


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