March 11, 2014 – History
Liszt developed the symphonic poem, trying to express a poetic idea.
Musical reaction to Liszt’s symphonic poem. Effect on the new generation, Russia and Bohemia,
the form becomes very popular. Ideas of programmatic music are championed, music that goes
beyond music and expressive more. Liszt believes that the idea is the most important part of a
• Brahms + Classical revival: fed up with the idea of programmatic music
o Brahms was well trained, path of the virtuosic pianist but he turned to
composition. 1853 born. Concert tour and Brahms met Liszt for the first time.
They clashed and he left after 2-3 weeks. Liszt championed everyone else’s
music but never touched Brahms. Brahms went to Schumann’s house and meets
them (Schumann is near his nervous breakdown), Brahms played his sonata and
this was the start of their friendship. Schumann praises Brahms extravagantly,
Brahms represents the new German style. Schumann was interested in Bach,
Schubert, Beethoven and Brahms was influenced greatly by this. Clara fell in
love with Brahms. Year later Schumann went crazy and he was placed in an
asylum (died there from starvation). Only saw Brahms, Clara saw him the day
before he died. Brahms takes on the burden of the integrity of German music.
o Music that returns to the classical mode of composition. Music that is rigorous,
motivic development and form. Excels in chamber music and takes his
symphonic music very seriously. Must hold up the tradition of Beethoven.
Practices his symphonic music through orchestral serenades.
o His first concerto was disliked because they weren’t like Liszt. Piano Concerto in
o Writes only 4 symphonies. Beethoven mold: 4 movements. Non-programmatic,
not overtly cyclic with thematic transformation ect. But more motivic. More ndigrd
on the outer movements (large introduction). Slow movement is always 2 . 3
movement is strange: lighter than a Scherzo, gentler, referred to an intermezzo.
Orchestration is very conservative. Adherence to strict forms (revives the old
forms but uses them in different ways), prepares the key very carefully.
Continuing tradition. Programmatic overtones but not explicitly programmatic.
1876: 1 symphony. C minor.
• 1 movement: Germ cell: opening idea, the entire piece grows
from it. Has an introduction and the last movement has an
• Taking 3 different ideas and reworking them throughout the entire
movement. Motives moving from one idea to the