March 13, 2014 – History
Precursor is the concert orchestra. Performed in a concert not as a prelude to an opera:
example, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer night’s dream.
Symphonic poem: Very romantic idea, to inspire the listener. Poetry was the highest romantic
form. Programmatic titles. Preface that goes with the music so that you know what it’s about.
Length is free. It can portray a character or tell a story. Pick the text first and let the music be
inspired by it.
Liszt: orchestral is what he’s known for. Extra programmatic material. New German School of
music: Wagner and Liszt (idea is that the music needs to be grand and tell a story).
Championed Goethe’s poetry. 1848: political situation in Europe, all the revolutions, demands of
the middle class on the monarchy, most of the revolutions weren’t very successful. Wagner was
exiled and Liszt took him out of Dresden to Paris to save him from execution. Influence? Dark
tones, military themes, seeking for the pastoral and the calmness, looking for peace. Symphonic
• 1848-1857: composed 12 symphonic poems.
o Les Preludes: 3 symphonic poem 1854, overture for a choral work that was
never published. Life is a struggle. Influenced by the revolution. The music drives
but then by the end the music becomes more pastor