The Blog


• 19th century political and social climate marked by politics fervor , desire for independence, and escape from oppression
• Folk songs: Frederic Chopin’s “Polonauses” and “ Mazurkas”, Antonin Dvorak’s “Slavonic Dances”, and Franz Liszt’s “Rhapsodies”.
• Also local myths, and legends and historical events were characterized. Like, Bedrich Smetana’s “Vltava” ( “The Moldau”)

• Seeking distraction and relief from the pressures of everyday teality
• Flights of fantasy, reveire and imagination. Like literature of personal journal of Thomas de Quincey “Confessions of an English Opium-Easter”
• Example: Hector Berlioz’s “Symphonies Fantastique”
Fascination with the supernatural
• Writers and painters were drawn to mystical, magical and spectral phenomena
• Fairy tales by Brothers Grimm in 1812
• Paintings by John Henry Fuseli “ Titania and Bottom”
• Carl Maria von Weber’s opera “ Der Freischutz”, Adolphe Adam’s music for the ballet “ Giselle “ and Hector Berlioz’s “ Symphonies Fantastique”( 5th movement)
Morbid fascination with death
• Attraction to the finality of death, to the macabre, the sinister
• Franz Liszt’s “Totentanz” (Dance of Death) and the final :love death aria by Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde”(Leibestod)

Art as religion
• Art became a replacement for traditional religion
• The pursuit of the divine spark, the search for sublime beauty
• Richard Wagner referred opera “Parsifal” as festival drama of consecration
Adoration of nature
• Nature viewed allegorically; a mirror of the artist’s soul
• Celebration of the awesome forces of nature, including the violence of ocean storms, untamed wilderness
• Paintings J.M.W . Turner and Caspar David Friedrich; Music Ludwig van Beethoven “Symphony No 6 “ Pastoral”


References “Music History” by J. Lopinski. J.Ringhofer,P.Zarins; “The Enjoyment of Music 10th Edition” by K.Forney, J.Machlis.