Thursday, June 9, 2016

Romanticism in Music

Last time we looked at Romanticism in art. Today, let’s see how it shows itself in music.

During the mid to late 19th century, composers sought to stretch the musical limits of the past while using their imaginations. Robert Schumann is one great example of a Romantic composer who reflected himself and drew on the listener’s imagination in his Carnaval. This collection of twenty short character pieces written for the piano depicts a masquerade. Each piece in the collection is either the name of a dance, a costumed character, or a friend of Schumann who shows up at the ball. Titles include “Chopin”, “Clara” (after his friend and wife), “Florestan” and “Eusebius” (characters he created to reflect different sides of his own personality), and even “Coquette”, depicting the flirtation amongst party guests.

You can listen to Carnaval below. Do you think Schumann does a successful job at reflecting the Romanticism of his time?

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