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Music (romantic period)

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romantic period

romantic period


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  • 1. Unit II LESSON 5
  • 2.  The PIANO  Is a large – stringed musical instrument with a keyboard invented by an expert harpsichord maker,  Bartolomeo Cristofori
  • 3. FRANZ PETER SCHUBERT
  • 4. Vital Statistics  Born: January 31, 1797, in Vienna Died: November 19, 1828, of syphilis Nationality: Austrian Genre: Classical Performed as: Pianist, singer During the composer's lifetime: The twin revolutions of Beethoven and Rossini in music. Newly built Washington, DC, becomes the capital of the young United States.
  • 5.  Biographical Outline  College boy, 1808: After primary education at his father’s school, Schubert is accepted into the prestigious choir of the Hofkapelle (court chapel), which includes free enrollment at the Imperial and Royal City College.  Day job, 1813: Schubert has already decided to become a composer, but returns to his father’s house and became a schoolteacher to support himself. He also studies with Antonio Salieri, the aging imperial court music director.
  • 6.  Creative fire, October 1814-1816: Schubert hits his compositional stride with a flurry of works: The songs Gretchen am Spinnrade (Gretchen at the spinning-wheel) and Erlkönig (Elf-king) are among 150 that he writes in that year. He also finishes two string quartets, two symphonies, two Masses, and four German singspiele, or song-plays.  Turning pro: In 1819, Schubert gives up teaching, for good. Performances of his music slowly increase, and he begins to publish. By the end of 1821, he is established in Viennese musical life.
  • 7.  Circle of friends: Many Schubert performances take place at private gatherings in the homes of friends and supporters. By 1822, “Schubertiads,” or evening- length recitals, are given regularly, with the composer at the piano.  Darkness and light, 1822: Schubert shows the first signs of syphilitic infection. He is hospitalized for a short time in spring 1823. His music takes a leap forward with the “Wanderer” Fantasy for piano, the “Unfinished” Symphony in B Minor, the Mass in A-flat Major, and several of his greatest songs.
  • 8.  End of the road, 1828: His health failing, Schubert also falls on hard times financially. His compositional production in the final months of his life gives no indication of his impending death. He is buried in the same cemetery as Beethoven, who had died a year and a half earlier.
  • 9. Facts  The Man: Schubert was short and rotund, with a high forehead and curly hair. He was friendly, but often was uncommunicative.  Hobby: Schubert loved drink and tobacco, often partying till after midnight, then waking up to compose from six in the morning until one in the afternoon. He was highly sexually active  A life for art: Schubert could not manage his finances or most practical needs. He lived immersed in his art; in his writings and reported conversations, he often referred to himself as an outsider, alienated from the world around him.  Operaphile: Schubert loved the theater and tried, unsuccessfully, to break into the opera world. He wrote many stage works, most of them unperformed in his lifetime.  Recognition: Although more than 100 Schubert publications were issued in his lifetime, his greatest piano and chamber works remained unpublished for decades after his death. The Symphony No. 9 was not performed until 1839, at the instigation of both Schumann and Mendelssohn; the “Unfinished” Symphony (No. 8) was not performed until 1865.
  • 10. JOHANNES BRAHMS
  • 11.  Vital Statistics  Born: May 7, 1833 in Hamburg, Germany Died: April 3, 1897 in Vienna, Austria Nationality: German Genre: Romantic Performed as: pianist and conductor During the composer's lifetime: Otto von Bismarck forges the German Empire. The “Second Industrial Revolution” creates considerable middle- and upper- class wealth, spurring arts patronage and amateur music- making.
  • 12.  Biographical Outline  First gig, late 1840s: Pianist, performing at social gatherings and respectable entertainment halls. Develops love of books and scholarship while completing high school and studies with a leading, local piano teacher.  Friends for life, 1853: Brahms meets the composer Robert Schumann and his wife, pianist Clara Schumann. Robert writes a rave essay on Brahms and his music, gets him accepted by a major publisher.  Disaster and love, 1854: After Robert has a mental breakdown in 1854, Brahms helps Clara manage her seven-child household, taking charge while she earns money on concert tours. He falls in love with her, but after Robert’s death in1856 and a holiday along the Rhine with her, they separate, although Clara remains his closest friend and advisor.
  • 13.  Chrysalis, 1855: Dissatisfied with his compositions, Brahms plunges into counterpoint exercises and study of early music. He emerges, several years later, with formidable composition technique and rewrites several works previously begun, particularly his first piano concerto. The concerto flops at its premiere in Leipzig in 1859 but endures today as one of the great works of the orchestral repertoire.  Vienna, 1862: Brahms sees Vienna for the first time and establishes a presence there. He becomes director of Vienna’s Singakademie (choral society). Moved by the death of his mother in 1865, he writes A German Requiem (1868), one of the major choral works of the century. On the success of that and his Hungarian Dances (1868), Brahms becomes wealthy and famous.
  • 14.  Better late than never, 1873: Breaks a creative logjam by writing two string quartets that meet his exacting standards, and the Variations on a Theme of Haydn. Finally writes his First Symphony, 1876, and nearly all of his most famous orchestral works afterwards, the last in 1888. He continues to compose chamber masterpieces, and, in his last years, Brahms sees his music triumph throughout Europe and America.  Developed cancer, while finishing a composition.
  • 15.  Fun Facts  Whisker legacy: Brahms was famous for his large beard and portly appearance, but he was quite thin as a youth, with baby-smooth cheeks, and didn’t grow his beard until he was 45.  Personality: Brahms was shy and reserved, but he had many friends. Though he never married, he loved playing favorite uncle to the children in his circle.  Famous letters: The conductor Hans von Bülow once wrote that he liked the key of E-flat with its “three Bs, Bach, Beethoven and Brahms." “The Three Bs” has became a catch-phrase representing musical greatness.  Fine tobacco: Brahms loved a good cigar, but hated import duties on tobacco. He once was caught smuggling it, stuffed into stockings in his luggage.  Picky, picky: Brahms was ruthless about his own music, destroying scores that he felt were not his best even late in his career, along with all his sketches.
  • 16. FREDERIC FRANCOIS CHOPIN
  • 17.  Vital Statistics  Born: March 1, 1810, near Warsaw, Poland Died: October 17, 1849, Paris Nationality: Polish Genre: Romantic Performed as: Pianist During the composer's lifetime: Poland struggled for independence from Russia.
  • 18.  Biographical Outline  Polish at heart: Chopin grows up in Poland, but his talents quickly outgrow what the Warsaw musical scene can offer him. He emigrates to France in 1831, but remains Polish to the core. Chopin writes the first of his mazurkas (Polish dances) in Vienna in 1830, when the first Warsaw uprising took place, and becomes even more conscious of his national identity after that.  Making a splash, 1832: Chopin arrives in Paris when sympathy for the Polish cause is high. His first concert is well-reviewed, and he catches the attention of the younger generation of musicians in the city, like Berlioz and Liszt.
  • 19.  High society: Chopin quickly expands his social connections, and from late 1832 on he rarely appears in public concerts. His income derives from teaching, for which he charges a princely sum, as well as performances at salons. (Salons were private gatherings at which art, philosophy, and ideas might be discussed. Most were hosted by socially connected women.) After 1833 his income is bolstered by publication of his music.  Liaison: In 1838, Chopin and the novelist George Sand (her real name was Amarice Dupin) become lovers. They spend the winter in Majorca, where Chopin’s tuberculosis is first diagnosed.  Hunkering down, 1840s: Introverted and sickly, Chopin secludes himself in a small circle of friends and artists, including Mendelssohn, Berlioz, the painter Eugene Delacroix, and the poet Heinrich Heine. He spends summers at Sand’s manor house, until their relationship ends in 1846.
  • 20.  Decline: Chopin takes an ill-advised trip to London and Scotland in 1848, at the invitation of his pupil Julie Stirling. He makes little money there, however, and his health worsens. He returns to Paris, dying, and is attended by his sister, Ludwika, and her family.  Last written words, age 39: "As this cough will choke me, I implore you to have my body opened, so that I may not be buried alive."
  • 21.  Fun Facts  I left my heart in Warsaw: Although he was buried in Paris, Chopin’s heart was removed and buried in Poland. To this day, Chopin is still revered in Poland as one of the country’s great cultural heroes.  A true Romantic: Chopin had a seductively otherworldly air, and loved intellectual company and high society. He could also be cold, petty, and arrogant.  In film: Chopin has been the subject of several movies: A Song to Remember (1945), with Cornell Wilde as Chopin and Merle Oberon as Sand, is an Old Hollywood classic, and was nominated for six Oscars. James Lapine’s independent film Impromptu (1991), with Hugh Grant and Judy Davis in the leads, is more detailed and less idealized. A Polish version of this story is Chopin: Desire for Love (2002).  In his own words: "Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer, and pour out my despair at the piano!"