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Mid-to late- Romantic Music Nineteenth Century II.

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Presentation on theme: "Mid-to late- Romantic Music Nineteenth Century II."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mid-to late- Romantic Music Nineteenth Century II

2 Romanticism Romanticism had become established: Music should represent human emotions to the utmost, and it must tell a story or express an idea that is profound, resonant, or uplifting Most important genres were solo piano works, symphonic program music and opera Symphonic Program music followed two paths: programmatic symphony – full length symphony, with each of its three to five movements depicting an episode in the narrative and symphonic poem - single-movement self-contained work, also for orchestra and also programmatic Opera, different types: grand opera – Lofty subjects, grand productions; opera comique (comic opera) – Humorous or happy subjects, simple productions. The dialogue is also spoken as opposed to a recitative; lyric opera – Stories of tragic love, full productions

3 Franz Liszt ( ) Born in Hungary; his father was an administrator and court musician at the Esterhazy palace. Liszt first learned to play the piano with his father, but after a move to Vienna, he studied composition with Antonio Salieri At age eleven, Liszt gave his first concert. When he was thirteen, his family moved to Paris, and he began to tour Europe as a piano virtuoso. He had striking looks, a flamboyant manner and a reputation as a womanizer; all of which furthered his career. At twenty, he heard Paganini for the first time. Like everyone else, he vowed to reach the same virtuosity on the piano. He did and was known as the “Paganini of the piano”

4 Develops new relationships Gained friends Berlioz and Chopin Began living with the Countess Marie d’Agoult, a novelist who published under the name Daniel Stern. The Countess left her husband to live with Liszt; they had three children together (one of whom, Cosima, later left her husband to live with Wagner) In 1842, Liszt settled in Weimar, Germany and was appointed music director. He wanted to devote more time to conducting and composing. His relationship with the Countess ended and he began an affair with a Russian princess. While with her, he completes the works in which he is best remembered. In 1861, Liszt resigned from Weimar and went to Rome to begin religious studies. During this time, he composed psalm settings, Masses and an oratorio. Liszt died in 1886 while visiting the new opera house at Bayreuth.

5 Liszt’s Music Experimented with unusual harmonies and chords and seemed to ignore the rules of traditional harmony altogether. Liszt’s piano music is extremely difficult. Schumann said, only “ten or twelve people in the world” had the technical ability to play Liszt’s music. His Piano Sonata in B minor includes a technique known as thematic transformation – multiple themes are presented at the outset and then reappear in different forms throughout the piece. Many of his pieces are in dance form: waltzes, mazurkas, polonaises, and Hungarian dances He also composed many transcriptions – a “translation” of a piece of music from one medium to another. He took many orchestral pieces and reworked them to be played on the piano.

6 LISTEN Transcendental Étude No. 10 in F Minor Composed in 1839 for solo piano Liszt was fifteen years old when he composed this piece in He revised and reissued it in Liszt explores every possibility of demanding piano technique including: doubled octave passages, rapid skips, intricate bass tracery, fast runs, massive chords and widely separated hands, unusual harmonies

7 Giuseppe Verdi Born in northern Italy, where his father ran an inn. As young man, Verdi played organ at the village church and conducted the town band in Busseto. One of Busseto’s wealthy merchants later sent Verdi to Milan to study music. Milan was the center of Italian opera and home of the famous opera house, La Scala. Verdi was determined to become an opera composer. After marrying his sixteen year old bride, he moved to Milan permanently.

8 Tragedy Within the first two years of his marriage, the couple’s two babies died. And soon after his wife also died. Verdi was overcome with depression and decided to compose no more. Verdi got out of his slump when the manager at La Scala made him take home a new libretto called Nabucco. Verdi said upon reading the libretto, “I was much moved because the verses were almost a paraphrase from the Bible, the reading of which had always delighted me.” By the next day he was already working on his new opera. Nabucco was produced at La Scala in 1842 with great success. During the next eleven years, he composed 15 operas and became a wealthy man. He continued composing operas throughout the remainder of his life. He died at the age of 88. A day in which Italy declared a national day of mourning.

9 Verdi’s Music He wrote in other musical genres besides opera, though this was his most well-known genre He composed choral works that include a requiem Songs String quartet He composed 28 full-length operas, among which are some of the best-loved operas in the world What makes his operas so successful? His gift for vocal writing (listeners love his soaring melodies), rhythm (composes stirring rhythms), human drama (sought out dramatic situations)

10 LISTEN Otello (Excerpt) Composed in 1887 Otello was the last of Verdi’s tragic operas. Inspired by Shakespeare’s play Othello Story = The story revolves around the evil deception of Iago, a member of the Venetian army. He is jealous of the promotion of his friend Cassio to a high post. Iago is determined to destroy Cassio’s career by deceiving Otello into thinking that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Otello’s new wife. This excerpt is taken from the end of Act II, where Iago cleverly tries to convince his commander (Otello) that his rival (Cassio) has romantic interests on Desdemona. The scene builds from the lightly accompanied opening and the representation of sleep-talk to a huge orchestral climax of sworn revenge.


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