The Early Romantic Style
1825 through 1865
Terminology

Virtuoso
• “One who excels in the technique of an art”

Orchestration
• “To arrange for an orchestra”

Idiomatic
• “Composing in a manner peculiar to the instrument being
used”

Gesamkunstwerk
• “Total art work”
The Early Romantic

How Music changed between 1825-30
• Warning signs included
– Paganini’s desire to make the difficult seem effortless
• The effort to make the commonplace vitally significant
– Listen to Weber’s Der Freischutz
• The development of keyboard virtuosity
– music of Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt
The General Artistic Climate

Music followed the lead of literature and the
visual arts
• By now, Goethe was an old man and Keats, Shelley and Byron
were already dead
• Sun rising through Vapour
(JMW Turner (1775-1851)
appeared in 1807
Next

Musical style changed in
• Russia, Poland, Bohemia, Hungary




In 1829 Mendelssohn performs Bach’s St.
Matthew Passion, beginning the rebirth of
Bach and a rediscovery of the musical past
The piano is now the pre-eminent instrument
The “art” song becomes very popular
Existing forms such as the sonata form and the
song form expand, becoming nearly perfect
Felix Mendelssohn 1809-1847





Kept a foot in the Classical
and Romantic
When Mendelsson was 16,
he composed his Octet for
Strings in E flat major, Op. 20
it was the one of the first
works of its kind.
The most gifted of the early
Romantics
Regarded as the most
talented composer since Mozart
Hector Berlioz 1803-1869


The model for the Romantic
composer
Brilliant orchestrator
• Berlioz dreamed up previously
unimagined sounds
• Roman Carnival Overture

Berlioz was not a “salon”
composer
• He composed virtually nothing for the
piano
Romantic Quiz 1

1. The Romantic style period
•
•
•
•

2. Total Art Work
•
•
•
•

1. Gesamkunstwerk
2. Gesundheit
3. Gesticulate
4. Gestapo
3. “Sun Rising Through Vapour”
•
•
•
•

1. 1600-1750
2. 1750-1825
3. 1825-1900
4. 1900-present
1. Manet
2. Monet
3. Turner
4. Shelly
4. Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20
•
•
•
•
1. Chopin
2. Schubert
3. Schumann
4. Berlioz
The Piano was the Instrument which
Defined the Romantic Period


Between 1825-1865,
the instrument of
choice was
the Piano
Thousands of pieces
were composed
Chopin



All of his piano pieces point to the future
Only great virtuosos can really “play” his music
without having problems
For a while Frederic Chopin, the composer and
pianist, wore a beard on only one side of his
face. "It does not matter," he explained. "My
audience sees only my right side.”
• Piano Concerto No. 2
Franz Liszt






Hungarian virtuoso
A champion of the “New Music”
A born innovator
Bound music together more with the melody
(horizontal) than with the harmony (vertical)
Liszt redefined what the 10 fingers were capable of
doing
Liszt’s historical importance outweighs his matinee
idol image
• Transcendental Etude
Robert Schumann


Underestimated
Schumann’s style influenced composers for the
rest of the century
• Myrthen, Op. 25
Giuseppe Verdi



Verdi felt opera was as natural as living and
breathing
Verdi always had a good tune
Verdi’s dramas were compelling
• Macbeth - Sleepwalking Scene
Richard Wagner



With Wagner, opera was the ultimate form of
expression
Gesamkunstwerk
Following the Munich premiere of Tristan und
Isolde on June 10, 1865, the world of music
would never be the same
• Prelude to “Tristan”
Timeline



1831 - US Slave Rebellion
1832 - Goethe dies
1833 - GB Factory Act limits
children’s working hours to
12 hours per day;
Mendelssohn composes the
Italian Symphony

1834 - Samuel Taylor
Coleridge dies

1835 - Bellini dies; Hans
Christian Anderson
publishes “Tales Told for
Children”

1836 - Mexican troops storm
the Alamo; Darwin’s ship,
The Beagle, returns home;
Pitman invents shorthand;
Morse code is invented
Timeline

1837 - Victoria is crowned

1839 - Daguerre and Fox

Queen of England

independently pioneer
photography

1840 - postage stamps
discovered


1845 - Irish potato blight;
Wagner’s Tannhauser gets
mixed reception
1848 - Marx publishes the
Communist Manifesto;
Mexico cedes California to
US; Donizetti dies
1841 - Covered Wagons
travel the Oregon Trail
1847 - Mendelssohn dies;
Liberia founded
introduced; Paganini dies

1846 - The planet Uranus is

1849 - Chopin dies; Speed
of light measured;
California gold rush
Timeline

1850 - William Wordsworth

dies; Balzac dies

1852 - Uncle Tom’s Cabin

1855 - Suez Canal begun
1856 - Pasteur discovers

published



bacteria; Robert Schumann
dies

1859 - Tennyson publishes

The Idylls of the King
1860 - Florence
Nightingale sets up
Nurse Training School
1861 - Civil War
breaks out in the US
1862 - Victor Hugo’s
Les Miserables is
published
1863 - Battle of
Gettysburg
1865 - Lewis Carroll’s
Alice in Wonderland
published; Edward
Whymper climbs the
Matterhorn; Abraham
Lincoln assassinated
Comparing Classical and
Romantic Styles
 CLASSIC
 Balanced, tuneful
melodies
 Homophonic textures
 Symphony, concertos,
sonatas
 Aristocratic audience
 Contrasting tone color
between sections
 The piano rises to
prominence
 ROMANTIC
 Expansive melodies
 Increasing chromaticism
 Same, plus symphonic
poems and small solo
piano pieces
 Middle-class audience
 Experiments with new
instruments
 New instruments, larger
orchestras, the piano is
predominant
Romanticism in Music

Results of the Industrial Revolution
• cheaper instruments
• technical advances


Expanded educational opportunities
The public concert hall
• larger orchestras
• more expressive timbres


Rise of Nationalism
Interest in exoticism
Romanticism in Music

Expansion of Musical Life
•
•
•
•


schools
ensembles
printed scores
music journals
Musicians as teachers
Women Musicians
• Women could now receive training as
– performers
– Composers
– the piano provided a socially accepted outlet
• Many women became patrons
Paganini and the violin







Niccolo Paganini 1782-1840
the first modern violin virtuoso
born in Genoa 10/ 27/ 1782
studied composition and violin
age 8 composed a piano sonata
age 9 played a recital of his own compositions
age 14 - first tour of Italy
Paganini




1805 - conductor of the Lucca Opera
1828 - first performances in Vienna, Paris and
London
composed in 1820 “24 Caprices” for
unaccompanied violin
performed by a 20th century virtuoso, Midori
Franz Liszt 1811-1886





Composer, conductor, teacher, organizer of
musical events
born in Hungary, studied in Paris
heard Paganini in 1831
a great pianist and a showman
Countess Marie d’Agoult (Daniel Stern)
• 3 children (Cosima became the wife of Wagner)


“Music of the Future”Princess Carolyne SaynWittgenstein
Abbe Liszt
The Music of Franz Liszt

Principal Works
•
•
•
•



Orchestral Music, including 2 piano concertos
piano music
choral music
opera and songs
Thematic transformation
the creator of modern piano technique
Wild Hunt Transcendental Etude No. 8
• composed 1838
• A-B-A form
• transcends the limitations of the keyboard
Christofori’s original piano

About 1720, Christofori finished his first real pianoforte (he
actually developed the idea around 1700). He constructed a
much stronger case than had been used for harpsichords, to
withstand the increased strain of the heavier strings. The action
in this pianoforte shows important improvement over his
model of 1707. He added the escapement device, a back check,
regulating the fall of the hammer, and connected an individual
damper for each note direct with the hammer action, thus
giving the performer a mechanism with which he could,
through his touch produce a delicate pianissimo and also a
strong fortissimo, impossible on either clavichord or
harpsichord.
Interesting Facts





The average piano
exerts a tension of
18 tons!
There are 7500 parts
in the action
There are more than
10 million pianos in America
Today there are more than 50 brands
In the past 100 years there have been more than
5000 brands
THE PIANO IN THE 19th CENTURY

The piano became the instrument of choice
•
•
•
•
•


became the main instrument in the home
very attractive to the amateur
the virtuoso pianist
the modern grand piano
the piano recital
Technical developments
Short lyric piano piece
•
•
•
•
•
parallel to song
new descriptive titles
small forms - prelude, nocturne
large forms - ballade, rhapsody
dance forms - waltz, mazurka, polonaise
19th Century Piano Music

Composers of the short piano piece
• Schubert, Chopin,
Liszt, Mendelssohn,
Robert and Clara Schumann,
Brahms
• Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words
Op. 62 No. 6 & 7
• Fortepiano by Graf, Vienna
– Mendelssohn “Spring Song”
Frederic Francois Chopin
1810-1849



The national composer of
Poland
Warsaw Conservatory
Liszt, Berlioz, Victor Hugo,
George Sand,
Alxendre Dumas,
Eugene Delacroiz
•
Daguerreotype of Chopin, 1849,
once attributed to Nadar. Nineteenth-century
collotype courtesy of
Wurlitzer-Bruck, New York City.
FREDERIC CHOPIN
1810 - 1849




1810 - Chopin born on March 1 in Zelazowa
Wola of French-Polish parents. In October the
family moves to Warsaw
1817 - Chopin has a Polonaise published
1820 - Italian soprano gives Chopin a gold
watch after hearing him play
1825 - Chopin plays the aeolopantaleon for
Tsar Alexander I
AEOLOPANTALEON

Aeolopantaleon
• Invented by a cabinet maker, Dlugosz
• Half aeolomelodikon and half piano
• Aeolomelodikon
– Invented by Jacob Hofman, a naturalist around 1825
– A type of organ with a keyboard and foot pedals
– The foot pedals activated a pair of bellows and forced
air through metal cylinders into large tin trumpets
– The sound could be reedy, like a clarinet, of brassy
– It could drown out a 50 piece orchestra
FREDERIC CHOPIN
1810 - 1849







1827 - Chopin studies at the Warsaw
Conservatory
1829 - Chopin makes his Vienna debut
1831 - Chopin settles in Paris
1834 - Chopin meets Mendelssohn
1835 - Chopin is impressed with Clara Wieck’s
(Clara Schumann) playing
1838 - Chopin and George Sand (Aurore
Dudevant) become lovers
1840 - Chopin’s health deteriorates
CHOPIN 1810 - 1849





1844 - Chopin’s father dies
1846 - Chopin’s
relationship with George
Sand cools down
1848 - Chopin leaves Paris
for England and Scotland
1849 - Chopin dies on
October 17 in Paris
Film: IMPROMPTU
Chopin’s Music

Modern Piano Style
• creative life centered around the piano
• created the feeling of sustaining the tone through
ornaments
• part of the standard repertory

Principal Works Include
•
•
•
•
2 piano concertos
piano solo music
chamber music (all with piano)
songs
The Music

Polonaise in A-flat, Op. 53
•
•
•
•
•

composed in 1842
tempo rubato
A-B-A form
triple-meter Polish dance (A section)
rapid descending octaves in the bass (B section)
Prelude in E minor
•
•
•
•
composed in 1839
from a set of 24 preludes inspired by WTC
very simple, yet very expressive
free form
Romanticism in Music
The Art Song

Song structures
• strophic
• through composed
• Song cycle


Lied
Composers of songs
•
•
•
•

Schubert
Schumann
Brahms
Wolf
Poets
• Goethe
• Heine
Born: Himmelpfortgrund, a
suburb of Vienna,
January 31,1797
Died: Vienna, November 19,
1828

Franz Schubert
Schubert and the Lied

Schubert
•
•
•
•

Viennese
gifted song composer
bohemian life
died young
Genres
• Lieder
• symphonies
• chamber music
Schubert: “Erlkonig”





Narrative poem by Goethe
Through-composed Lied
varied ranges in dialogue
Composed in 1815 - Schubert was 18
Characters:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Narrator, Father, Son, Father
Erlking
Son, Father
Erlking
Son, father
Erlking
Son
Narrator
Robert and Clara Schumann





Robert Schumann
1810 - 1856
Robert studied with
Friedrich Wieck, Clara’s
father
Established The New
Journal for Music
Suffered from an accident
to his right hand
Married Clara in 1840




Clara Schumann 1819 1896
One of the most
distinguished musicians
of
the 19th century
age 5 - studies piano
age 9 - first public
appearance
Father opposes marriage
Robert and Clara Schumann
 Robert
 Suffered a breakdown in
1844
 1850 appointed Music
Director at Dusseldorf
 Auditory hallucinations
 Tried to commit suicide
 Died at age 46
 Clara
 8 children
 more famous than her
husband
 Leading
performer
of the music
of Robert
Schumann,
Johannes
Brahms, and
Frederic
Chopin
Robert and Clara Schumann
 Robert
 Works include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
300 songs
4 symphonies
Chamber music
Chamber music
Piano music
Opera
Choral music
 Clara
 Accepted the 19th century
view of women
 last public concert at age
72
 Principal works
•
•
•
•
solo piano music
piano concerto
chamber music
songs
Robert and Clara Schumann
 Robert
 “And if the Flowers
Knew”
• 1840
• Lied, from a song cycle
Dichterliebe, “A Poet’s
Love”, No. 8
• Modified Strophic
• Poem by Heine
 Clara
 Scherzo, Op. 10
• 1838 - age 19
• typical of the Romantic
Period, the composition is
marked to be played “with
passion”
• Form: scherzo with 2 trios