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Romanticism and Classical Era of Music

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Publish date: 18-10-2018

The historical development of art culture always has a multidimensional character. Changing of the style involves a radical innovation, revision of existing values ?? and the preservation of traditions, often associated with a retrospective glance at the past. The evolution of the art of thinking is non-linear, being addressed as "forward" into the future and the past.

Changing of styles is related to many factors acting simultaneously in different dimensions of culture.

Speaking about Romanticism and Classicism, one can notice that these two ages are quite different.

In the XVII century, when France established the absolute power of the monarch, the artistic direction, covering all kinds of art, was formed. It was later referred to as Classicism.

The main features of Classicism:

· At the heart of classicism was extreme rationalism. Classicists exaggerated the role of rational principles (Latin word “racio” means mind) and limited human senses. They put duties above their personal life. Antique art was proclaimed as a classic. Representatives of Classicism were supposed to imitate classical antique designs. Rene Descartes believed that the mind is the only source and criterion of knowledge. "I think, therefore I am", Descartes said. He considered that only mind brings us closer to the truth.

· Classicists established a hierarchy of genres, divided them into "high" and "low."

· Classicism is based on the principles of commitment, restraint and strict compliance of the contents of the work to its form.

· This direction sought to express lofty, heroic and ethical ideals to create clear, organic images.

· At the same time, classicism carried the features of utopianism, idealization, abstraction, and academicism, which grew during its crisis.

· Center for the formation of classical music was Viennese classical school. The most characteristic features in music of this period are the transparency and clarity, a clear articulation of the musical fabric on a relatively short construction, the development of Classical harmony, sonata form and genres of the classical symphony, quartet, quintet and other genres, as well as formation of a classical orchestra composition.

· The brightest representatives of this era are Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven.

Romanticism was a kind of reaction to the French Revolution (late XVIII - early XIX centuries).

Romanticism emerged as opposition to rationalism and spirituality of society, classical aesthetics and philosophy of education. At the heart of the romantic ideal, there were the freedom of creative personality, cult of strong passions, interest in the national culture and folklore, thrust into the past and distant countries. A characteristic feature of the romantic worldview is a sharp rift between the ideal and depressing reality. Romantics were looking for interpenetration and synthesis of arts, merger of types and genres of art.

The music of this period developed out of the forms, genres and musical ideas that were established in earlier periods, such as the Classical Era. Although Romanticism was not always based on a romantic relationship, however, this topic was the major in many works of literature, painting and music.

The ideas and the structure of the works that were established or just outlined in earlier periods were developed in the Romantic period. As a result, the works related to Romanticism were perceived by listeners as more passionate and emotionally expressive. Romantic composers tried to express the depth and richness of the inner world of man with the help of musical instruments. The music became more visible and individual. Song genres, including the ballad, were being developed.

The brightest representatives of this era are Franz Schubert, Richard Wagner, Nikola Paganini, Giuseppe Verdi and others.

Thus, the main difference between Classicism and Romanticism consists in the fact that the core objective of Romanticism was a picture of inner peace, spiritual life. Classicists appealed to the images and forms of ancient literature and art as an ideal aesthetic standard. Classicism divided all things into a straight line: the bad and the good, black and white. Romanticism did not divide anything into a straight line. The basis of the Romantic Movement was the gap between dream and reality. At the heart of classicism are the ideas of rationalism.

Despite all these differences, the Romantic era developed out of the ideas that were established in the Classical period. The representatives of these movements worked in different styles. That is why it is so difficult to draw a line between these two periods.

A lot of researches still do not know in what category Beethoven and Schubert should be placed. Theoretically, Beethoven belongs to classicists and Shubert belongs to romantics, but it is a sham truth.

Beethoven, one of the most respected and performed composers in the world, is a key figure in Western classical music, whose works reflect ideas between classicism and romanticism. He wrote in all existed genres at that time, including opera, music for dramatic productions, and choral works. Thus, he cannot be placed in such narrow bounds. His works were written in style of Romanticism, Classicism, Baroque, and Renaissance. Incontrovertible fact is that he wrote in his unique style.

The same revolves around the works of Schubert. A vast heritage of Schubert comprises nearly 1500 works in different music genres. Many works belong to Viennese classical school. However, in early years, Schubert also wrote in his own style. At first, he created vocal lyrics and then he worked with the other genres of Romanticism.

Thus, according to these arguments, Beethoven and Shubert worked in different styles and did not belong to any of the exact categories.

The transition from Classicism to Romanticism was very difficult. It is not occasional that the development of the genre system during the change of Classical Era for Romanticism knew two opposite and complementary paths. On the one hand, it was the salvation of classical versions of genres with their clear and definite organization. On the other hand, it was a search for an experimental reform.

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