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Romantic Music: Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann Essay

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Updated: Jun 4th, 2021

A romantic style replaced classicism and marked the beginning of the new era of development in music. Composers began to resort to the uncommon forms of the expression of their ideas that were reflected in unique melodies. According to Kamien (2018), this style differed from classicism with “unprecedented emphasis on self-expression and individuality of style” (p. 219). Although composers continued using some musical forms of the past era, emotional intensity became the main feature of the romantic movement. Dynamic and harmonic shades became richer compared with those that were common during the classical period. Music acquired a more revolutionary and free character, and composers had an opportunity to realize all their creative ideas boldly.

One of the representatives of musical romanticism was Frédéric Chopin, the creator of a piano ballad style. He was famous for his unique waltzes that became a vivid reflection of expressive ideas and were filled with drama and vivid emotions. Kamien (2018) gives an example of “Nocturne in E Flat Major,” the outstanding work that reveals Chopin’s art to the full extent. Transitions from one register to another are the technique that allows achieving the effect of changing the mood and reflects the colorfulness of a melodic line.

Another representative of musical romanticism was Robert Schumann, the author of lyrical works filled with sensual motifs. The composer created concerts for the piano and dedicated his career to making several cycles. Kamien (2018) notes that the compilation “Fantasy Pieces” consisting of eight individual parts was one of the most significant of Schumann’s works. Each of the pieces had its unique character and mood, which was the feature of romanticism as a style where a change of emotions was the leading method of influencing the public.

Reference

Kamien, R. (2018). Music: An appreciation (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

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