Tuesday, November 30, 2010

*~! Romanticism !~*

Examine alternate pieces by a composer, artist, or writer that we did talk about in class. How do these pieces affirm or call into question the period characteristics we've been discussing.

During the Romantic period, there was a definite shift from tradition, social structures, and logic to intuition, individualism, and imagination. Everything is more natural and free. In class, we listened to Smetana’s “The Moldau” and it was a beautiful symphonic poem about a river in the Bohemian Forest flowing throughout the green pastures and finally reaching the sea.
As an alternate piece, I chose Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride”. Its basic plot is about a marriage in which love conquers all despite parents and marriage brokers who are trying to destroy the couple’s marriage. This piece starts off with low, deep tones and a fast speed, and it gets louder near the middle with softer, higher-pitched instruments. Then, near the end, the piece slows down initially and finishes with a fast paced ending. You can imagine the story in your head as you’re listening to it, which is the purpose of an art song; to allows the listeners to hear the stay through the composition.
There is definite texture in this piece with the different instruments and sounds used due to the technological improvements on certain instruments as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Also, orchestra size increased rapidly during the romantic period yielding a larger range as well. Finally, “The Bartered Bride” embodies the concept of the Romantic period where there is no more form and where imagination is used to express emotions of the musician.

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