Romantic

As the Classical period reached its zenith, it was becoming increasing clear (especially with the late works of Beethoven and Schubert) that the amount and intensity of expression composers were seeking to achieve was beginning to go beyond that which a Classically sized/designed orchestra/piano could possibly encompass. The next period in musical history therefore found composers attempting to balance the expressive and the formal in music with a variety of approaches which would have left composers of any previous age utterly bewildered. As the musical map opened up, with nationalist schools beginning to emerge, it was the search for originality and individuality of expression which began here that was to become such an over-riding obsession in the present century.

The Romantic era was the golden age of the virtuoso, where the most fiendishly difficult music would be performed with nonchalant ease, and the most innocuous theme in a composition would be developed at great length for the enjoyment of the adoring audience. The emotional range of music during this period was considerably widened, as was its harmonic vocabulary and the range and number of instruments which might be called upon to play it. Music often had a ‘programme’ or story-line attached to it, sometimes of a tragic or despairing nature, occasionally representing such natural phenomena as rivers or galloping horses. The next hundred years would find composers either embracing whole-heartedly the ideals of Romanticism, or in some way reacting against them.

Of the early Romantic composers, two Nationalists deserve special mention, the Russian Glinka (of Russlan and Ludmilla fame) and the Bohemian Smetana (composer of the popular symphonic poem Vltava or ‘The Moldau’). However, the six leading composers of the age were undoubtedly Berlioz, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt and Verdi.

Album Title Catalogue No.
(re)creations ACC-30531
[BLUE] 8.226914
… Dolly Today … around Fauré STR33834
… First Steps UP0137-2
… just songs! OC801
100 Anniversary Edition - Salzburg Festival 755608
100 Anniversary Edition - Salzburg Festival 755704
100 Christmas Classics C7331
100 Christmas Meditation C7371
100 Famous Marches 75442201072
100 Masterpieces of Sacred Choral Music C7155
101 Classics: The Best Loved Classical Melodies 8.508004
101 Great Orchestral Classics, Vol. 1 8.551141
101 GREAT ORCHESTRAL CLASSICS, Vol. 10 8.551150
101 Great Orchestral Classics, Vol. 2 8.551142
101 Great Orchestral Classics, Vol. 3 8.551143
101 Great Orchestral Classics, Vol. 4 8.551144
101 Great Orchestral Classics, Vol. 5 8.551145
101 Great Orchestral Classics, Vol. 6 8.551146
101 Great Orchestral Classics, Vol. 7 8.551147
101 Great Orchestral Classics, Vol. 8 8.551148
101 Great Orchestral Classics, Vol. 9 8.551149
11th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition (1985) C10217
11th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition (1985) CA15604
150 Years Wiener Staatsoper (The Anniversary Edition) C980120