A discussion on the nationalism in german music in the early romantic period

Share1 Shares Classical style music has often gone hand in hand with the virtue of patriotism — especially in the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th century. This list looks at ten composers mostly Classical and Romantic who epitomize the practice. Be sure to add your own selections to the comments. The Italian operas embodied the entire opera tradition of western classical music, with the use of arias and overtures.

A discussion on the nationalism in german music in the early romantic period

It should be noted, however, that throughout the history of music there has been a tension between the Classical and Romantic views of life and art.

Objectivity versus subjectivity, form versus freedom, and individuality versus universality are issues that composers and other artists have confronted in every age.

Romantic tendencies were evident in the music of all three of the preeminent Viennese classical composers particularly Mozart and Beethovenand by the end of Beethoven's career, the romantic spirit was firmly entrenched in Europe, remaining the dominant force in music until the beginning of the twentieth century.

There are some fundamental Romantic characteristics that should be noted to begin this discussion. Classicism and romanticism represent two opposing views of life and art.

German Romanticism and Nationalism

Whereas classicism is objective, romanticism is subjective. Control of harmonic tension, balance between dissonance and consonance, and the careful and complete exploitation of thematic development give Classical music a definite and distinct formal structure.

Conversely, the Romantic spirit requires the loosening of formal constraints and the uninhibited expression of the individual composer's ideas and emotions. One way in which the Romantic spirit was expressed in the nineteenth century was through nationalism.

Whereas classical music tended to be universal in character, during the nineteenth century certain composers and compositions paid tribute to their country of origin through the use of folk melodies, dances, or instruments, or through the musical depiction of some locale in the homeland. Just as nationalism reflected a preoccupation with the composer's own national heritage, exoticism was a Romantic fascination with music from other lands.

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An often cited example of this tendency was Rimsky Korsakov's Scheherazade, depicting scenes from the Arabian Nights. In fact, anything mysterious or exotic appealed to the Romantic mind. The writing of Poe exemplifies this preoccupation with the mysterious or morbid.

Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique tells of a young man's opium-induced visions of his beloved. Berlioz wrote a commentary, or program, describing the extramusical scenes depicted by each of the work's five movements.

The idea of program music, intended by the composer to depict specific nonmusical ideas, was another important aspect of nineteenth-century Romantic style.

A discussion on the nationalism in german music in the early romantic period

Although the forms of the Classic period continued to be used by Romantic composers, they took many more liberties with them, expanding and contracting them to suit their individual tastes.

During the Romantic period, both miniature and heroic forms became popular. The lieder of Schubert exemplify the romantic spirit in a small and intimate form, just as Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand does so by involving two four-part choirs, a boys' choir, seven soloists, and a large orchestra in an undertaking so massive that it limits the opportunities to hear it performed.

During the Romantic period, the resources of tonality were completely exhausted, and chromaticism too was fully exploited. The highly chromatic works of Wagner and other late-nineteenth-century composers represented the final stage of this process, which led to a variety of alternative harmonic organizational structures that signaled the end of the Romantic era, around the beginning of the twentieth century.

Romantic composers were anxious to exploit to the fullest the potential of the orchestra in terms of tone color, as well as pitch and dynamic range, making unprecedented demands on players.

The orchestra increased in size during the nineteenth century to the point where it sometimes numbered in the hundreds. BY the late nineteenth century, dynamic markings such as pppp or ffff were common, and extensive use of crescendo and decrescendo added to the expressive resources available to composers.

Much of the writing for chorus from this period also seeks to fully exploit the possibilities of the human voice. Beethoven's Missa Solemnis makes great demands on the singers, and the performance of choral-orchestral masterworks composed later in the century also requires singers with solid vocal technique for a successful performance.

This fascination with tone color and the use of augmented instrumental forces helps explain the dominance of instrumental music in this era. Without exception, the musical giants of the era were primarily composers of instrumental music.


Three hundred years earlier, during the Renaissance, choral music had been predominant, with instrumental parts added occasionally that reinforced doubled the choral lines. Through the ensuing centuries, the balance in importance between choral and instrumental music as the setting for stylistic change shifted steadily from choral to instrumental forms.

Romantic Composers and Style Gioacchino Rossinithough noted primarily for his operas, wrote several choral works in his later years. Despite its title, the mass is a major work involving choir, quartet of soloists, and orchestra originally, it was scored for two pianos and the orchestration was added later.

Franz Schubert wrote six masses and several shorter choral works on both sacred and secular texts. Schubert's last two masses are considered his most important choral pieces, although it should be noted that his Mass in C and the shorter works sacred settings and choral lieder provide some excellent performance possibilities for school choral ensembles.

Felix Mendelssohn wrote three oratorios: PaulElijahand Christus unfinished at the time of his death. In addition, he wrote some choral lieder, motets, and psalm settings.Nationalism In German Music During The Early Romantic Period Essay; Artistic an was era) Romantic the as known (also Romanticism as well as individualism and emotion on emphasis its by characterized was Romanticism literary, century, 18th the of end the toward Europe in originated that movement intellectual and musical , to from period approximate the in peak its at was .

Free term papers & essays - Nationalism in German Music During the Early Romantic Period, Music. Romantic nationalism (also national romanticism, organic nationalism, identity nationalism) is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy .

While Wagner’s German text clearly states German Nationalism, much of German instrumental music of the Romantic period reflected the language. Compared to French Romantic music which is much more flowy, German Romantic music can be much more .

German art song, solo voice with piano accompaniment, romantic era text, sometimes grouped into song cycles Art Song a composed song in which the text, melody, and accompaniment, are interrelated to .

Early Romantic nationalism was strongly inspired by Rousseau, and by the ideas of Johann Gottfried von Herder, who in argued that the geography formed the natural economy of a people, and shaped their customs and society.

Musical nationalism - Wikipedia