Author Topic: Florestan´s Romantic Salon  (Read 10514 times)

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Offline amw

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2016, 06:08:10 AM »
Can someone confirm or deny that Album for the Young cannot have been intended for youngsters because most of the pieces are too difficult? It's one of Green's "arguments."
The pieces are more or less graded in order of difficulty (though "order of difficulty" obviously changes with time and culture), starting at about Grade 1-2, with the most difficult ones (Sylvesterlied, Figurtiert Choral u.a.) being Grade 5 or thereabouts—which is an "intermediate" level. These days novice pianists could start at the beginning almost immediately, and would probably be playing the last ones after a year or so of study. I don't know what it was like in Schumann's time.

Of the three piano sonatas for his daughters one of them is slightly more difficult than the other two, which I assume reflected their playing abilities at the time. The Kinderszenen may have been meant for beginners/intermediate pianists (being called Leichte Stücke) but, although technically easy, are only suitable for advanced pianists and professionals due to many subtleties of phrasing and touch, and lots of octaves and tenths. (That said they are the easiest of Schumann's early works.)

Offline Florestan

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2016, 11:59:35 AM »
"Liszt was the first composer-performer to find ways, as a pianist and conductor, to reach a wide public, to make music accessible and enjoyable to more than a self-styled elite of connoisseurs. He did so by connecting music to the public’s wider interests, in poetry and prose, in politics, in history, and in art and religion. " (emphasis mine)

RTWT here: http://publicdomainreview.org/2011/10/17/what-makes-franz-liszt-still-important/
Delight and liberty, the simple creed of childhood. - William Wordsworth

Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen,
Die da träumen fort und fort,
Und die Welt hebt an zu singen,
Triffst du nur das Zauberwort.
- Joseph von Eichendorff

Offline Scion7

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2016, 05:39:17 PM »
Caspar David Friedrich!



If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians. - H.P. Lovecraft

Offline North Star

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2016, 12:32:58 AM »
The notion of the sublime was a defining element of Romantic art, and instrumental to the rising appreciation of the landscape during the era. At Tate Gallery's website, there's a fine collection of essays on the sublime, in baroque, Romantic, Victorian, modern and contemporary art.

Quote
Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry (1757) connected the sublime with experiences of awe, terror and danger. Burke saw nature as the most sublime object, capable of generating the strongest sensations in its beholders. This Romantic conception of the sublime proved influential for several generations of artists.

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/the-sublime

   
Joseph Mallord William Turner: The Shipwreck, exhibited 1805                    John Martin: The Great Day of His Wrath 1851–3
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2016, 12:57:33 AM »
Scion and Karlo, thanks for your posts. Indeed, Friedrich and Turner are among my favorite painters.



« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 01:02:14 AM by Florestan »
Delight and liberty, the simple creed of childhood. - William Wordsworth

Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen,
Die da träumen fort und fort,
Und die Welt hebt an zu singen,
Triffst du nur das Zauberwort.
- Joseph von Eichendorff

Offline Florestan

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Weber Revisited
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2016, 02:35:28 AM »
Carl Maria von Weber is one of my favorite Romantic composers, and not just for Freischutz. I find also his instrumental music to be extremely appealing. The piano sonatas in particular are perennial favorites in the genre, despite the common criticism leveled at them for being rather disjointed. My joy was all the more greater when a few days ago I stumbled upon this book, edited by R. Larry Todd, probably the world´s leading expert on Mendelssohn:



Among the many articles included, the one that picqued my interest the most is Michael Tusa´s In Defense of Weber, which offers a sympathetic assessment of his piano music. After pointing out some innovative features of his piano variations, he proceeds to an in-depth analysis of the four sonatas and shows, in rather dry, technical language sometimes impenetrable for me as a non-specialist, that far from being disjointed, there is always an unifying structure and conception behind them. The best case he makes is for the fourth, which according to Julius Benedict who was Weber´s pupil, even has a psychological program conceived by the composer himself. It is surprising for me that Tusa fails to notice, or at least to mention, that the program of the sonata (composed in 1822) matches very closely the mental tribulations of the main character in E. T. A. Hoffmann´s The Sandman, published in 1817. Now, whether Weber had read it is a matter of speculation from my part, but given that (1) he was acquainted with Hoffmann´s music, having written a sympathetic review of his opera Undine (read it here: http://www.raptusassociation.org/hoffm_undinewebere.html) and (2) he was an active member of a literary/artistic association bearing the curious name "Faust´s Descent to Hell", (of which another prominent member was his friend and fellow composer Franz Danzi) it is not implausible. Be it as it may, Weber´s own program is clearly reflected in the music. If you are interested I suggest you listen to the whole thing and try to figure it out before discovering the original*. It would be a nice opportunity to hear this neglected pianistic gem.

I have two recordings of it:



Both are excellent in conveying the mood(s), Endres being slightly better musically, especially in the final movement, and Olssohn having the better sound. If you are seriously interested in Weber´s piano music, you should have them both.

* Tusa´s article can be read almost in full here: https://books.google.ro/books?id=FWNGAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA146&lpg=PA146&dq=michael+tusa+in+defense+of+weber&source=bl&ots=M0uXqXTKJY&sig=UuP2RV9gWQzjLOwuOoU9evaeTDk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwid5_rB48zMAhVLkiwKHWMsDgwQ6AEILjAG#v=onepage&q=michael%20tusa%20in%20defense%20of%20weber&f=false (scroll one page down)


Delight and liberty, the simple creed of childhood. - William Wordsworth

Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen,
Die da träumen fort und fort,
Und die Welt hebt an zu singen,
Triffst du nur das Zauberwort.
- Joseph von Eichendorff

Offline Scion7

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2016, 02:49:00 AM »
Weber's a transitional figure - a lot of his music is firmly in the Classical camp.
Any of his winds chamber music, for example, follows the early Beethoven/Mozart mould.

That said ... "ZAMUEL - ZAMUEL - COME FORTH AND MAKE FLORESTAN YOUR WINEPRESS ... mu-ha-ha-ha-haaaa!"

<devil/vampyre-stabbed in the back just when you thought it was safe-grinning with malice-emoticon>
If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians. - H.P. Lovecraft

Offline Florestan

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2016, 03:23:13 AM »
Weber's a transitional figure - a lot of his music is firmly in the Classical camp.
Any of his winds chamber music, for example, follows the early Beethoven/Mozart mould.

I beg to differ. His winds chamber music has an unmistakably Early Romantic soundworld and feeling.





Delight and liberty, the simple creed of childhood. - William Wordsworth

Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen,
Die da träumen fort und fort,
Und die Welt hebt an zu singen,
Triffst du nur das Zauberwort.
- Joseph von Eichendorff

Offline Scion7

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2016, 04:11:47 AM »
I don't hear it at all.  Oh, well.
(are you sure that's not the wine 'n' Brânză de burduf talking?)
 :P
If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians. - H.P. Lovecraft

Offline Florestan

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2016, 04:24:02 AM »
(are you sure that's not the wine 'n' Brânză de burduf talking?)
 :P

Only a fool would have brânză de burduf with wine. It goes much better with ţuică.

I´ll give you that the Clarinet Quintet is more Classical than the Trio for Flute, Cello & Piano, which is firmly Romantic.
Delight and liberty, the simple creed of childhood. - William Wordsworth

Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen,
Die da träumen fort und fort,
Und die Welt hebt an zu singen,
Triffst du nur das Zauberwort.
- Joseph von Eichendorff

Offline Scion7

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2016, 04:30:29 AM »
I'll give it a spin later this afternoon to see if you speak the truth  . . .
                                                                                                        . . . or if you are telling a LIE!

[ and the Wallachian law for fibbing has never been changed from Vlad's day, barbaric and 'orrible tho' it be - the liar shall be tied by the neck to a post in the public square (in this case, the local Bucharest Origo's) and his tongue shall be pierced, ring-chained, and stretched out for the crows to feast upon, while your friends and co-workers yell out "Turk!  Turk! Mongol!" ]

<stern justice emoticon>

If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians. - H.P. Lovecraft

Offline Jo498

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #31 on: May 09, 2016, 04:32:43 AM »
While I can agree that Weber has one foot still in classicism, "transitional" does not seem to capture well what he achieved. It's more "both" than "in between".
The three mature operas can hardly described as anything else than fully fledged romanticism and they are his most important works, I think. Freischütz was immediately recognized as the birth of German romantic opera and while the two later ones are dramaturgically problematic they also contain great (and highly romantic) music (Tovey claimed that despite its dramatic flaws "Euryanthe" was in some respects as good as Wagner's "Lohengrin" 25 years later.)

Some other pieces, e.g. the piano concerti are quite "classical", sometimes more "conservative" than Beethoven. Then the f minor concert piece is another key work for romanticism. The clarinet works are often in between, oscillating within one piece between moody romantic opera and a slightly shallow virtuoso brand of classicism (e.g. the 2nd vs. 4th movement of the clarinet quintet). I find his music often fascinating and I think he is underrated today (except for Freischütz which is still very popular in Germany but less elsewhere) but there is no doubt that his output is fairly uneven.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Florestan

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2016, 04:35:00 AM »
I find his music often fascinating and I think he is underrated today (except for Freischütz which is still very popular in Germany but less elsewhere)

Agreed.
Delight and liberty, the simple creed of childhood. - William Wordsworth

Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen,
Die da träumen fort und fort,
Und die Welt hebt an zu singen,
Triffst du nur das Zauberwort.
- Joseph von Eichendorff

Offline Scion7

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2016, 04:39:48 AM »
Agreed.
Thirded.

While at university I sought out and bought every instrumental Weber work - made the morning wake-up routine chipper.
If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians. - H.P. Lovecraft

Offline Scion7

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #34 on: May 09, 2016, 05:27:30 AM »
...  the Trio for Flute, Cello & Piano, which is firmly Romantic.

Ok, curiosity got the better of me, so I drug out the live recording of this piece from 1819 -

Trio for Flute, Cello & Piano in g, Op.63
WEBER-Kuoto, Hasegawa, Grice
Allegro moderato-Scherzo. Allegro vivace-Schäfers Klage. Andante espressivo-Finale. Allegro


- that I had on the computer, since the LP at home is ... at home. 
The first movement is a battle between the Classical and the Romantic in tone - the Scherzo seems purely Classical - the Shepherd's Lament, due to the programmatic nature, I will grant you is Romantic.  The Finale I would put in the Romantic side of the line.

Well, stone the crows - the crows don't get theirs today.   :)
If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians. - H.P. Lovecraft

Offline Florestan

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2016, 05:33:33 AM »
Ok, curiosity got the better of me, so I drug out the live recording of this piece from 1819 -

Trio for Flute, Cello & Piano in g, Op.63
WEBER-Kuoto, Hasegawa, Grice
Allegro moderato-Scherzo. Allegro vivace-Schäfers Klage. Andante espressivo-Finale. Allegro


- that I had on the computer, since the LP at home is ... at home. 
The first movement is a battle between the Classical and the Romantic in tone - the Scherzo seems purely Classical - the Shepherd's Lament, due to the programmatic nature, I will grant you is Romantic.  The Finale I would put in the Romantic side of the line.

So I win 2.5 to 1.5  :D
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 05:56:29 AM by Florestan »
Delight and liberty, the simple creed of childhood. - William Wordsworth

Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen,
Die da träumen fort und fort,
Und die Welt hebt an zu singen,
Triffst du nur das Zauberwort.
- Joseph von Eichendorff

Offline Cato

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2016, 06:34:26 AM »

The three mature operas can hardly described as anything else than fully fledged romanticism and they are his most important works, I think. Freischütz was immediately recognized as the birth of German romantic opera ...


Certainly Thomas Mann in his novel Doctor Faustus mentions the opera almost as an Ur-symbol of Romanticism, especially the famous Wolf's Glen (Wolfsschlucht) scene.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/HysUA8wx7UM" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/HysUA8wx7UM</a>
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 07:48:01 AM by Cato »
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #37 on: May 09, 2016, 06:58:36 AM »
Some other pieces, e.g. the piano concerti are quite "classical", sometimes more "conservative" than Beethoven.

The two piano concerti are a mixed bag but their "classicism" is more Beethoven-like, one foot in the Romantic camp already, than Haydn-like or Mozart-like. I´d say that both Adagios are quite Romantic in mood.

The problem with Weber is that he died too young. Had he lived longer he could have probably developped a mature, full-fledged Romantic style in his orchestral and chamber music too. Think about Louis Spohr: two-year older than Weber, he outlived him by more than 30 years and evolved from late Classicism / Early Romantic to firmly Romantic.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 07:24:44 AM by Florestan »
Delight and liberty, the simple creed of childhood. - William Wordsworth

Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen,
Die da träumen fort und fort,
Und die Welt hebt an zu singen,
Triffst du nur das Zauberwort.
- Joseph von Eichendorff

Offline Florestan

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #38 on: May 09, 2016, 09:25:09 AM »
Actually, there is no need to break the rules in order to be a Romantic. One can write in the strictest Classical form and yet be red-hot Romantic.  :D

Delight and liberty, the simple creed of childhood. - William Wordsworth

Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen,
Die da träumen fort und fort,
Und die Welt hebt an zu singen,
Triffst du nur das Zauberwort.
- Joseph von Eichendorff

Offline Scion7

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Re: Florestan´s Romantic Salon
« Reply #39 on: May 09, 2016, 04:24:19 PM »
Yes, just ask Brahms.
If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians. - H.P. Lovecraft

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