Impressionism

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History and Analysis Competency – Impressionist Era
Impressionism was a movement in predominately French Classical music spanning from 1875 – 1925 in which the music focused on suggestions and atmosphere. It was one of the last periods of Western Classical music before the Modern period. There were many composers who have some, or all of their music being influenced by the Impressionist era including Ernest Fanelli, Isaac Albeniz, and John Alden Carpenter. Musical Impressionism was a direct answer to the Romantic era, which consisted of mostly symphony and concerto tones, the Impressionism era, brought forth shorter forms like arabesque, prelude, and nocturne.

To start with the first composer, Ernest Fanelli, who was of Italian descent, was born in 1860, and lived all the way through 1917. Although his family was Italian, he was born in Paris. Fanelli had more than 15 pieces ranging from 1872 all the way through 1894. Most notable, Tableaux Symphoniques d'apres le Roman de la Momie, which he produced in 1883. Listening to this piece was very relaxing for me, as someone who loves the sound of nature, and the elements of nature that this piece reminds me of. The majority of Fanelli’s work is considered to be at least inspired by the Impressionism era in classical music.

The other two artists, Isaac Albeniz and John Alden Carpenter were neither really from France with them being from Spain, and The United States of America, respectively. Although they were born around the same time period, 1876 – 1951 for John, 1860 – 1909 for Isaac, they both produced similar elements to Ernest Fanelli’s music from around the same time. Although Isaac wasn’t from France he did get some of his inspiration from time he actually did spend in France. Some key pieces from Isaac were Chants d’Espagne(Piano), Suite espanola(Piano), and Doce piezas caracteristicas(Piano) which was literally translated to 12 characteristic pieces. Three notable pieces from John Alden Carpenter were...
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