Download Chapter 12: Romantic Orchestral Music

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Chapter 21:
Romantic Music: Program Music, Ballet,
and Musical Nationalism
Program Music
• Program Music
• On the other end of the spectrum
• Absolute Music:
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)
and the Program Symphony
Born near Grenoble, France
Composer and music critic
Skilled in orchestration
Influenced by literature, especially Shakespeare
Symphonie fantastique (1830)
• The first complete program symphony
• Berlioz wrote the program based on his love affair with
Harriet Smithson
• Five movements:
I. Reveries, Passion
II. A Ball
III. Scene in the Country
IV. March to the Scaffold
V. Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath
• Unifying theme: idée fixe (fixed idea)
IV. March to the Scaffold
• Re-creates the sounds of the French military bands he
heard as a child
• Rousing march tempo
• Exceptionally heavy low brass
• Use of the ophicleide (tuba)
V. Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath
• Berlioz creates his personal vision of hell
• Parody of the idée fixe
• Dies Irae chant – burial hymn of the medieval church
Tchaikovsky’s Ballets
• Ballet
• Swan Lake (1876), Sleeping Beauty (1889), The Nutcracker
• “Dance of the Reed Pipes” from The Nutcracker
– Ternary form
– Evokes the sound of shepherds playing pan-pipes
– Clear meter
Music and Nationalism
• Arose from the political upheaval of the 19th-century
• National anthems, native dances, protest songs, victory
• Use of indigenous musical elements
– Folksongs, Scales, Dance rhythms, Local instrumental sounds,
Programs based on national subjects
Russian Nationalism:
• Russia was one of the first countries to develop its own
national style of art music, distinct and separate from the
traditions of German orchestral music and Italian opera
• Modest Mussorgsky, “Pictures at an Exhibition”
• Rimsky Korsakov, “Night on Bald Mountain”
Pictures at an Exhibition (1874)
• Originally for piano; orchestrated by Maurice Ravel in
• Each movement depicts a different drawing or painting by
Victor Hartmann (1833-1873)
• Promenade: Opens the work and serves as transition
between movements
• Polish Ox-cart: Creates a sense of time and movement
– Two-note ostinato
– Crescendo and decrescendo as the cart approaches and
slowly disappears
– Begins and ends with the lowest sounds; orchestrated
with tuba and double basses
• The Great Gate of Kiev: Impression of a parade
passing through a great arch
– Rondo form: ABABCA
– Use of different musical
styles in each section