The Romantic Period

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John Doe Compare & Contrast Essay The Romantic period (1820-1900) leapt out of the Classical period’s “age of reason” and into an age of fascination and imagination. Great emotion and individualism were characteristics of all art forms in the Romantic, including music. Composers took the musical forms of the Classical period and pushed the envelope in all facets. They reveled in the use of greater dynamics, more expression, and a greater use of timbre than ever before to create a more rich and sensuous sound. Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner stretched the limits of music and stood among the elite composers of this great age of musical accomplishment. Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was born in a small village in Doborjan, Hungary. Franz came from a musical background. His father worked, as Hadyn once did, at the Esterhazy estate. Franz was like Mozart in that he was somewhat of a child prodigy. He showed remarkable talent with the piano as well as in sight reading music. Franz had a turning point in his career when at nineteen he came across the great violinist Paganini. Paganini would bedazzle audiences with his abilities on the violin. Franz vowed then, and there to be the pianist version of Paganini. Already an accomplished composer, Franz took time off from concerts to work tirelessly day in and day out until he emerged, a few years later, as the greatest pianist of his time. Liszt created sounds from the piano as if an orchestra were playing them, and he had remarkable finger dexterity; works such as Douze Grandes Etudes and Paganini Studies show off his amazing talent on the piano. He was an excellent showman. His work encompassed the use of bold leaps, and extreme dynamics. He pioneered thematic transformations (a method of development) and originated the symphonic poem, a one-movement piece based on a literary work.
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