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Romantic Composers' Enthusiasm for Writing Orchestral Program Music - Essay Example

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Romantic Composers' Enthusiasm for Writing Orchestral Program Music

Being a representative of Early Romanticism, Hector Berlioz was one of the true founders of Romantic era in music. Writing in the grand romantic tradition, Berlioz is famous for his large operas and symphonies. He brought the true Romantic spirit into program music and can be considered as not less significant and even revolutionary figure than Beethoven with his passion and emotional depth of expressions. Berlioz is mostly famous for his Symphonie fantastique and Grande Messe des morts; both appeared as true progress in program music organizing. Written in 1830, Symphonie fantastique is divided into five thematic parts or movements. This Berlioz's composition can be surely referred to as program music since it is subtitled as An Episode in the Life of an Artist and has its own narration. During the time of writing this symphony, Berlioz has extremely fallen in love with the Irish actress, Harriet Smithson, and this fact is the background of the Symphonie fantastique plot. As for the technical content and using new approaches in the composition, Symphonie fantastique is filled with the intensively dramatic music and unusual timbres and textures. Being a professional conductor and highly talented composer, Hector Berlioz used a large orchestra with prominent role of brass and percussion p to four timpani players. On the other hand, it occurs that Berlioz was also highly impressive and sensitive person, and, therefore, composition was always an extremely creative process for him. As it is said in introduction of Symphonie fantastique text: "In this condition his sensations, feelings and memories find utterance in his sick brain in the form of musical imagery. Even the beloved one takes the form of melody in his mind, like a fixed idea that is ever-returning, that he hears ...Show more


This essay will explore the power of the orchestral music and what influence has it made during Romanticism period, and how Romantic composers have dealt with program music.Romantic composers who dealt with program music were not an exclusion from the influence of the indicated new ideas…
Author : gaylorddooley
Romantic Composers Enthusiasm for Writing Orchestral Program Music essay example
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