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A Comparison of Romantic Era and 20th Century Symphonies - Essay Example

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A Comparison of Romantic Era and 20th Century Symphonies

This analysis will therefore assess the works of Franz Peter Schubert and Carl August Nielsen. The pieces to be analyzed are Symphony No.9 in C Major "the Great" D944 by Franz Peter Schubert (Romantic Era) and other pieces by Carl August Nielsen (20th Century) like symphony number 4. Symphony No.9 in C Major "the Great" D944 by Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828) Franz Peter Schubert was born in the year 1797. He grew up in Vienna in a family of fourteen kids, him being the twelfth born. His interest and skills in music became apparent as early as when he was eleven years of age. Because of this extraordinary gift, Franz was allowed to join Chapel Royal Choir. During his early life, he received his education at the Imperial Seminary, gaining vast experience in practical music. His liking for music saw him achieve great strides by completing six symphonies by the time he was 22 years. Other achievements that he made were twelve piano sonatas, eleven string quartets, and the Trout Quintet. In general, Franz grew up to compose an estimated six hundred and forty songs. Most of his symphony pieces are in C major. Like other orchestral pieces, his works were also overwhelming with what was perceived to be technical difficulties (Clive, 9). 1st Movement: Andante - Allegro Ma Non Troppo The pieces are introduced with an unaccompanied unison theme that proceeds all the way to the 8th bar. It is a predominantly horn theme. Its purpose is that it acts to unify other subsequent themes and harmonize them at later stages to complement one another. This actually what brings forth the real feeling and function of the symphony. Later in the 8th bar, we find that the strings enter with a moving rhythmic triplet figure. This rhythm represents the feature of the first movement. From here, the next rhythm we progress to is a straight away lyrical episode, which takes in to consideration the initial 8 bars. These first bars are sustained with a solo woodwind. From here, the symphony then proceeds with some variants at fist. Staccato strings come in here to bring up the theme. Some scholars have interpreted the early use of staccato here to be a pace setter for a later melancholic mood given these variants. The next thing is that the theme then moves to lower strings as the Andante carries on. The purpose of having adante here is to explore the themes as well as the assembled rhythmic material. Drawing towards the end, one can notice a hint of a theme, which is to become the Allegro's first theme. The Andante is brought to a stimulating and full orchestral close in a captivating style while the Allegro continues without a break. At this juncture, strings, trumpets and timpani bring in the Allegro's first theme in what appears to be a full blast. As the theme rises, well-chorded triplets from the woodwind beautifully link it. The Allegro is now on the 17th bar but Franz is already introducing another theme. This is the second theme marked with dotted crotchet-quaver - rising and falling. There is a blend of support from woodwind and horns with a triplet configuration. There is no change in this new pattern with the full orchestra climbing up to a C major climax. In the next 2 bars, Franz modulates the symphony to E minor. Oboes and bassoons introduce the movement’s third theme. Violin arpeggios deftly accompany these and are then extensively developed rhythmically. It appears that there is a musical rhythmic contest since duple and triple rhythms proceed to contend with one another. Staccato and legato is also employed. The mood is now more speculative, with what appears to be a touch of melancholy. Using the three trombones artistically harmonize the additionally ...Show more


Both romantic era and 20th century symphonies were some the greatest symphonies of all times.Composed at a period when great attention was paid to musical tonality, these compositions employed the use of varying themes that were carefully developed…
Author : kozeymaggie
A Comparison of Romantic Era and 20th Century Symphonies essay example
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