Characteristics of Romantic Period

Topics: Sonata form, Ludwig van Beethoven, Orchestra Pages: 2 (531 words) Published: September 13, 2011
Characteristics of Romantic Period
* Rachmaninoff Piano concerto No.2 1stmovement

Sergei Rachmaninoff’s piano concerto No.2 is composed in 1900 at the end of the Romantic period emphasizing anti-modernism and representing the older Romantic tradition. The first movement is in sonata-allegro form, which is exposition, development, Recapitulation and Coda, preserving and extending the formal structure from the Classical period. The piece is very emotional and expressive, containing a lot of Modulation and change of tempo. Rachmaninoff’s composition in general requires both great techniques and musical interpretation, while his concerto No.2 is the most popular piece which established his fame as a concerto composer.

While most concertos begin with the orchestra, this movement begins with piano solo. The key of this piece is C Minor. However, the tonic is introduced in measure 9 which also represents music In the Romantic period as having more freedom in form and design being more personal.

In figure 1, the beginning 8 chords have a gradual dynamic change from pp to ff. This crescendo follows by a ritardanto in the end of the introduction crates a magnificent feeling. The basic motif appears on the 2nd beat in measure 8, this is centre idea of the piece which will appear throughout the piece.

The violin, violas and cellos plays main melody in theme I in r1 (rehearsal unit 1) as the piano accompany with arpeggios. The first theme contains 2 melodies as shown below. (Figure 2) Piano enters Theme b at r.3, this is the shows tone-colour changes that a concerto may express and Rachmaninoff frequently used tone-colour changes in his concerto.

After Theme I, there is transition I which leads to the 2nd theme. (Figure 3) The 2nd theme is in Eb major which is the related major of the tonic key, this shows frequent modulation in the Romantic period. However, its structure consists of a 10-measure irregular period with an authentic cadence which is...
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