Berlioz, Goya and Poe: The dark side of the Romanticism movement
The Industrial Revolution changed not only the way that the world functioned in its day to day proceedings, but it also inspired a new wave of creativity in art, music, and literature. This new wave ignited a yearning not only in those who created the works, but also in those that were inspired by the works themselves. The works that were classified as part of the Romanticism movement contained a combination of seven various aspects. Those seven aspects include imagination, nature, symbolism, emotion, individualism, the supernatural, and the exotic. Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Francisco Goya’s The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, and Edgar Allan Poe’s The City in the Sea are shining examples of the seven aspects of Romanticism. Hector Berlioz was one of Beethoven’s successors, but he made a name for himself by being original. Like Beethoven, his work was autobiographical and he created new methods in composition. Berlioz wrote a total of three symphonies in his artistically charmed life: Roméo et Juliette, Harold en Italie, and the Symphonie fantastique. Berlioz’s symphonies were notorious for being almost deafeningly loud due to the size of the orchestra that played them. “The Symphonie fantastique, subtitled “Episode in the Life of an Artist,” was inspired by the composer’s passionate love affair with Irish Shakespearean actress Harriet Smithson.” (Sayre 902) “The emphasis on overwhelming emotion, passion, and otherworldly scenes marks Berlioz as a key figure in the romantic movement of the nineteenth century.” (Sayre 911) What is significant about this piece is that there are five movements instead of four that were traditionally performed in symphonies of the day. In movement one, we see a young musician that meets and falls in love with the girl of his dreams. Movement two finds our hero watching his beloved dancing a concert waltz. The third movement in the piece shows the...
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