so many composers tried to break the mold but at the same time a lot of them reverted after emotional and financial hardship. Composing music for the public paved the way for Mahler and Wagner and many of the other composers. The expectations the public had on composers made it difficult for some composers to write for them. The trouble many composers found in writing what they wanted to write also made (as we just discussed in class regarding Berlioz with the Paris Opera, as well as with Wagner). Noting the changes this had for both the masses in their influence and the composers would make for an interesting topic. Your number one is very similar to what Allison said she wants to do, which seems solid, too, bringing in how other composers played off of that. Your second topic seems like it could be more focused, like: programmatic music for Romantic composers showed the progression away from strict classical form towards forms dictated by the drama and the emotion, etc., as we have seen with Berlioz in class.
During the time of the romantic era there were many composers who composed music for the public rather than for nobles which started becoming more popular.
Due to financial needs and social expectations, many Romantic era composers had to choose between composing for themselves or for the public.
The Romantic era, influenced by ideas set forth by the Sturm und Drang movement of theprevious century and acting as a resolution of sorts to the French revolution, brought new meaning and motivations to the art forms of the 19th century. With this movement, adherences to classical forms were questioned and dramatic content alongside music took a major seat, seeking to bring a greater sense of expression to the relative rigidness of classical form. There were two notable directions that were taken by music contemporaries of this time, however: the progressive and the conservative. The so called conservatives, notably headed by Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Schumann, together sought to hold on to the classical forms that had been left to them and expand within them; this is referred to as absolute music. The progressives, lead by the trinity of Berlioz, Liszt, and Wagner, sought to move away from classical forms, taking the ideas associated with most notably sonata form and adding them to their own extra-musical poetic and dramatic content; this is programmatic music. Liszt's symphonic poems show the Romantic idiom of programmatic music, bringing the music to life with new extramusical meaning while also merging old formal structures with new ideas of continuity.
In order to understand the Romantic idiom that is programmatic music, it is important to first look at where the composers and their music from this period as a whole was stemming from, and that was from Beethoven. The conservatives and progressives had developed a shared
Freeman 4sense of responsibility for continuing Beethoven’s legacy, but each branched off in different directions. Beethoven had been seen as the pinnacle of the Classical era, and he was even considered in many ways to be the start of the Romantic period, his influence on harmony and form unparalleled in his time, and herein lies where these two musical schools took their separate ways. Programmatic composers felt they could go beyond and push past what Beethoven had done previously in this new era, whereas the more conservative composers felt that Beethoven really had been the pinnacle and that it was now their job to continue within his framework (Urpí). Franz Brendel, a musicologist from this time, coined the phrase “new German school” for Berlioz, Liszt, and Wagner under the notion that they would become the “shining hope of the German musical tradition in the post-Beethoven era” (Janik, 26). Brendel was not just a musicologist, but was one of the leading...