The Romantic era
The earliest Romantic composers were all born within a few years of each other in the early years of the nineteenth century. These include the great German masters Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann; the Polish poet of the piano Frédéric Chopin; the French genius Hector Berlioz; and the greatest pianistic showman in history, the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt. The field of Italian opera was dominated by Giuseppe Verdi, while German opera was virtually monopolized by Richard Wagner.
Composers like Antonin Dvorak began looking for ways in which they could express the musical soul of their homelands. Legends were therefore used as plots for operas, and folk melodies and dance rhythms were frequently used as inspiration for symphonies and instrumental music.
With the continued enhancement of instruments, plus the invention of new ones, the late Romantic composers of the second half of the nineteenth-century created richer and ever larger symphonies, ballets, and concertos. Two of the giants of this period are the German-born Johannes Brahms and the great Russian melodist Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Copyright © 2002-13 Presto Classical Limited, all rights reserved.