Lecture 5: Intro to Romanticism
Schubert, “Der Lindenbaum”
Weber, Der Freischütz, Wolf’s Glen scene
Reading from textbook:
Chapter 18, with special focus on pp. 411-416
Chapter 19, pp. 460-461
Romantic Themes and Images
Romanticism first appeared in painting as a way of opposing academic and classical
o NEOCLASSICAL. Also a romantic movement
Tragic and isolated young man (often a creeper XD)
o Troubled by suicide, depression, etc.
Nature, especially trees, streams, the colour green, etc.
Hunting and horns! (upper class stuff)
Romanticized view of the medieval period
what does romanticism do to music?
o Advent of programmatic music: instrumental music w/ ideas/stories! (literary
o cyclic structure (recurring theme)
o complex harmony → unrelated keys. Tonal relationships and harmonic movement
not always based on tonic and dominant
o is not autonomous: free from notion that it must serve the words of a
ideal mode of instrumental as premier mode of expression resulted in PROGRAM
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
composed in almost every genre of his time
many characteristics of the Romantic Lied depicted in Schubert’s 600+ songs, many
performed in his home: Schubertians
strong sense of harmonic colour: complex modulations, sometimes in long passages
set poetry often to the works of Goethe, and Muller
5 in a song cycle Die Winterreise (The Winter Journey) 1827
o Poems by Wilhelm Muller
About nostalgia of a lover revisiting in winter the haunts of a failed summer romance o Recalls lying under a linden tree dreaming of his love. A chilly wind rustles the
branches, which seems to call him back to find rest, or death.
Modified strophic form marks progress of the story
o First remembers summer love, major key
o Second: changes to minor to suggest the chill of the winter
o Third: heralds the cold wind with a new, declamatory melody
o Fourth: returns to the major mode and original melody – more threatening than
Piano accompaniment = rustling leaves of the tree, later repeated, altered with chromatic
harmonies cold wind!
Horn call = romantic image! Evokes associations with nature and outdoors as well as
distance – separation from beloved
Modified strophic form reflects the story
have to consider multiple things in lieder:
1) text setting:
o how has composer chosen to organize the poetic verses into music
strophic: repeat same melody throughout different verses/stanzas
straight composed: music changes, nothing repeated
often has something in the middle: “modified strophic form” → perceived
music is repeated, but with modifications
first 2 poetic stanzas = one musical verse
same music returns, but modified for the next 2 verses
second last poetic verse = different music
goes back to original theme, repeating the last verse (last 4 lines) → needs 8 lines to fit!
How does composer lay music over poetic text
form of: A A' B A''
2) second level of text setting: what does the composer do musically to intensify what is