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A Romantic journey
• Our second presentation is
focussed on the German romantic
vision of nature and forests,
including an excerpt of a short tale
by German writter E. T. A.
Hoffmann, ilustrated with the
pictures of painter Friedrich and
the music by Schumann.
• Besides this, we are going to use
some pieces by the greatest Lieder
composer, Franz Schubert. We know
that he was born in Vienna, but his
music was important for the
development of the aesthetic basis
of Romanticism.
Begining of XIX century was an exciting time for Europe.
1789 French Revolution finished with the Ancient
Regime, replacing it with a new social and political order,
based on the concept of equality.
Future seemed to be a
prosperous horizon
• Philosophy and Science provided the basis
for a new conception of live, with the human
individual as the main actor of his own live,
and nature as his scenery.
A nature that, sometimes is frightening....
• “The most remarkable sounds of Nature are the
Ceilán voices and music, those mentioned by
Schubert on his writing about the nightly
aspects on the Science of Nature. These voices
can be heard during the silent nights, sounding
like plainty human voices, far away sometimes,
really close to us others. Even the most rational
and relaxed people
feel themselves frightened....”
The wood becomes a
damned place...
• But even in those cases, nature
was always appealing. Humans
were attracted by the inmensity, the
wildness and the magic of Nature. Forests
were the metaphor of the moment of
History in which they lived: a place to
experience freedom, plenty of
opportunities, treasures to be
discovered, pleasures to enjoy ... and dark
shadows... Artists described it with a
delicious naivité
But Nature´
beauty was
for the
people of
that time.
This music
talks about
Bird: wise
and beatiful
• The name of the next piece is
"lonely flowers" or
"loneliness". Lonely flowers in
the middle of the woodland .
• Again, a metaphor: every
individual has to be
considered as a valuable,
beautiful being, that, at the
end, is alone. Perhaps
a consequence of the
philosophy, that claims for
our independence of God,
perhaps because romanticism
refuse the certainty and loves
• This is the story behind
Friedrich´s picture:
A brave man journeying alone,
close to the abyss, looking at
a cloudy, overwhelming
beauty, wild, appealing,
frightening and generous
• This was how Nature was
pictured during romanticism.
• This was the portrait of the
romantic individual.
• Nowadays, the
Relationship between man
And Nature has changed. Now, the
part to be frightened of are the
humans, the woodlands are no
longer dangerous. Now Forests are
seen as a peaceful, delicate, limited
and necessary resource for life. A
very important thing to take care of.
• We would like to finish this
presentation with the words that
king Felipe II, who ordered the
construction of this building, said
more than 400 years ago:
• I am really concerned
with the care of our
forests that are almost
exhausted. We have to
look forward and think
of our children
and grandchildren
because it is our duty to
give them
this invaluable heritage.
Music Analysis I
Prof. Juan Manuel Alonso and students