Composer Style Report: Fredric Chopin
French Revolution signified a time of great change, influencing not only the political and cultural atmospheres of France and Europe but human society as a whole. The message of liberty, equality and fraternity were spread worldwide setting the stage for free thinkers and encouraging men of action to pursue independent endeavors through the Age of Enlightenment. Resulting partially from the libertarian and egalitarian ideals of the French Revolution and Age of Enlightenment, the Romantic Movement aimed to revolt against the prescribed rules and rigidity of its classical predecessors. The Classical Period was, in fact, a short era, generally spanning the second half of the eighteenth century. Of the various composers of this age, there are only three who are very widely known: Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. The Romantic Era, however, produced many more composers whose names and music are still familiar and popular today: Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Mendelssohn to name a few.1 Seeking new freedoms by rebelling against traditional ideas about art and creativity, the Romantics ignored realism and instead drew inspiration from emotions, dreams and the imaginative. Romantic artists celebrated nature, patriotism, passion, and the mystical world.2 Contemporary musicians, though swept up in romantic ideals, respected the composers of earlier generations, such as Back, Mozart, and especially Beethoven. They continued to write symphonies, concertos, sonatas, and operas, all forms that were popular with composers of the preceding Classical Era. They also adhered to the “rules” that these musical forms followed through maintenance of the rubrics of rhythm, melody, harmony, harmonic progression, tuning and performance practices of the Classical period.3 Yet Romantic musicians yearned for new musical expression and sought to use richer harmonies and changing tempos. Emotional themes were very popular with an emphasis on feelings and...
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