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Romantic Period

From Audio: History of Classical Music in 60 Minutes

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station description A Classical Music Podcast for Beginners all the way to Experts.
Sticky Notes: The Classical Music Podcast
Duration: 08:02
What was the Romantic Period? Tchaiovsky, Mahler, Wagner, and more all are credited to be a part of the Romantic Period and even credited to be part of the change behind the music. The Romantic Period was about the journey, about the emotion behind a piece of music.
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What was the Romantic Period? Tchaiovsky, Mahler, Wagner, and more all are credited to be a part of the Romantic Period and even credited to be part of the change behind the music. The Romantic Period was about the journey, about the emotion behind a piece of music, and we can see this with pieces such as The Firebird.
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santa clara spans from around 17 80 to 1910 and it contains more of the most famous names in classical music. Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Mahler, Puccini, Brahms, Schumann, verdi Shoppin and many, many others completely changed the direction of classical music. This followed closely with trends of romanticism and literature and art that were going on at the time, but just like in the classical period, the romantics revered the past. But instead of dignified and pure art, the romantics revered all of the fantasy and supernatural traits of the medieval period. Remember Hildegard and her visions. The romantics loved that stuff. Hold on a second, I did forget about one composer when I listed off some of the romantics and that was Beethoven. He always is rattling around somewhere in classical music. Beethoven was actually the first composer to be described as romantic by the great writer E. T A Hoffmann in his famous and completely over the top and the best way review of the premier of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. What made the music romantic though? Well this began with Beethoven but personal expression and emotion became more and more important in music. The music became about a journey from start to finish. An emotional journey between the composer and the listener, with the performer as a vessel to portray that journey. Not all of Beethoven's music is like this. But as the romantic period got into full swing, more and more music followed this purely subjective personal template. Another trade of the romantics as an attachment to nature and basing music on external sources like books, poems or stories. One of the most famous examples of this is Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique in this story concocted by Berlioz's himself. A young man poisons himself with opium and dreams about his scorned lover. This symphony features a beheading and witches and skeletons dancing on the grave of the beheaded young man while laughing uproariously. This is vividly portrayed in the music. Mhm. Yeah. Yeah. Mhm. Yeah. Yeah. Mhm mm. For all of this craziness though there was still a more conservative side of the romantics, Johannes Brahms, one of my personal favorites felt completely indebted to Beethoven and continued writing music that was certainly romantic but in a way classically romantic until the end of his life. Listen to this clip and just think about the fact that it was written 50 years after the Berlioz's. I just played for you. So as you can see again and again music isn't completely linear and it certainly wasn't seamless still though even if composers like Brahms and Schumann were writing more conservative music, personal expression and a personal story were still important parts of their music. Life experience became a totally accepted thing to openly portray in your music. There was also importantly an expansion of european classical music beyond the traditional, central and Western european borders. Tchaikovsky, one of the first extremely prominent Russian composers was the king of portraying personal expression and subjective experience in his music while also portraying music of his homeland, which sounded very exotic to the traditional ears of europe. And soon the United States Listen to this heart breaking song from his 4th symphony. Mm hmm. Mhm, mm hmm. Mhm, mm. Mhm. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This will come up later when we talk about contemporary music. But this clip that you just heard is actually Trajkovski quoting a Russian folk song in the romantic era, composers began to take from folk influences more and more. And this continued especially into the contemporary period. And in a way this called back to the medieval period where oral tradition reigned. Many of the songs and folk tunes that romantic and contemporary composers borrowed from and sometimes outright stole for their compositions came directly from oral tradition that had been passed down for centuries. Time always repeats itself in the history of Western classical music. Another of the greatest masters of portraying life experience was Gustav Mahler. He portrayed friends, enemies, philosophy, religion and the list goes on. His music somehow feels very modern to me, even though it's quite clearly from the 19th century, it's deeply subjective music. Mahler's view of the world. He even said, quote, I portray the whole world in my third symphony, but his music is also personal. His music can be unbearably exposed and emotional and I think it's appropriate for the time we live in Fair warning. His symphonies are long, the shortest one is 50 minutes. But if you take a few minutes to orient yourself to what he's writing about and I've done a ton of shows about Mahler. If you want to check those out and then throw yourself into his music with no limitations, listening to a Mahler symphony can be an overwhelmingly emotional experience. Yeah, But the contemporaries are knocking at the door with Mahler. He died in 1911, but already by 1865, 1 Chord would change the direction of music forever. Many composers credited this chord with sparking in them an interest in composing. And many commentators say that this chord singlehandedly pushed music to a new place, composers like Mahler, Debussy, stravinsky ravel and so so many others would never have written the way they did without that cord. Why? What makes it so special? Well on my Patreon exclusive mini episode, I'll talk about what makes the Tristan chord from Wagner's Tristan and Isolde such a special moment. Now I hate to be leaving out composers like Puccini, Chopin, Mendelssohn, schubert Schumann divorce Jack ethel Smyth, Louise frank, but there just isn't time the elevator to the contemporary floor of our museum is leaving.
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