1. What are the differences between Classical and the Romantic styles?
Rules, rules, rules. Classical compositions are filled with the pragmatic way in which the music “should” be composed. This was not only thrown out the proverbial window in the romantic but was sought after. The resounding chord progression and the enhanced rubato took the restraints that were so prevalent in the classical era. All the sounds of a classical orchestra are somewhat dwarfed by the sheer size of the romantic orchestra, which was built to add more colors and combinations of color to the artists repertoire. The sharp sonorities of classical instrumentation almost seem to be black and white to the “HD” sound of the romance. On another note, people we less restrained as well. During the baroque and classical periods, people did not have a lot of choice in what music they would be entertained with, but during the romance period, people wanted value for their money and were more likely to attend concerts for music that they knew they already liked. Much like today, I doubt I would pay a hefty admission to hear music I was unfamiliar with.
2. Pick a Romantic composition and discuss it in detail.
How could I not choose the Overture-Fantasy by Tchaikovsky? A completely moving piece by an astounding composer (no I’m not showing favoritism ‘kidding’). Seriously, almost immediately into the first intro we can feel the looming echoes of the romance period with an almost angry undertone of andante bass, which builds to a soft announcement of harp strings. The build and preparation in the introduction by the strings with an increasingly resounding timpani crashes like a wave as we enter the first allegro of the vendetta. Next we are gifted with the full orchestra echoing amongst cymbals for the second entry of the vendetta immediately followed by a teasing of the love theme. The love theme sets in flowing full of color, the mixture of separate instruments added during the romance period are very evident. Horns climb in next for the development of the vendetta, announcing the strings marching to the cadence of the percussion syncopated heavily by percussion and punctuated by the cymbals crash; all this development for but one purpose, to almost climax in the recapitulation of the love theme. The build of emotion so prevalent in the romance period is felt during the recapitulation when the vendetta collides with the love theme to provide a searing conflict, only to be revived anew in the moderato coda, but chills my spine to the very end with