The Romantic Age When we speak of Romanticism, we speak of living, thinking, perceiving, and communicating with a focus on subjectivity rather than with objectivity. What does that mean? Subjective and objective are opposites. Objective refers to facts and logic. Subjective refers to gut feelings, intuition, and emotions. The Romantic Age In practice, Romanticism comprised a rebellion against neo-classicism. Romanticism emphasized individualism, imagination, free expression of feeling, communion with nature and the idea of the creative artist as a visionary genius. Romanticism saw the artist as processing ultimate insight into fundamental reality and revealing it, through impassioned self-expression, in a work of art that embodies, however imperfectly, a sublime ideal that transcends the ordinary world. Nature, wild and unspoiled, often served as a metaphor for that idealism and some saw art as the highest form of human endeavor. Individualism is one of the basic beliefs of Romanticism, and the theory of individualism places the value, self-government and benefit of the individual over that of the group, society or nation. It makes the individual the prime unit in the social system. Individualism views all social activity comprised of individual acts and forms the core of Romanticism‘s belief in the uniqueness of each human being. This idea finds its core in the Renaissance idea of humanism and in the Protestant Reformation, which stressed the idea of each humans ability to intercede without mediator (priest) to God and each individuals personal responsibility for individual salvation. Technology of the Time Gas was used as both a fuel and for lighting in early part of 19th century but before the century ended, electricity had replaced gas as a source of light. The harnessing of electricity allowed for a continuous flow of current and this allowed it to be used for heating, lighting and mechanical energy. Incandescent light bulbs, electric powered streetcars made horse cars obsolete. Long transmission lines and transformers carried electricity throughout the Western world. By the mid 19th century the world‘s entire transportation system had undergone a complete revolution. New technology also revolutionized industrial processes. Steam engines ran sawmills, printing presses, pumping stations, and hundreds of other kinds of machinery. Technology of the Time The discovery of electricity made the telegraph possible in 1832. Telegraph lines spanned the continents and by 1866 were joined through a transatlantic cable. Mining production increased when new explosives, based on nitroglycerin, and more powerful hoisting and pumping equipment evolved. In America, a new process for producing what became known as ―Bessemer steel‖ soon made wrought iron obsolete and provided high quality steel for rails, ships and later for building beams and girders. Further refinement made even higher quality, more economical steel and the development of the rolling mill made even more applications available including cable for suspension bridges. The most famous use of suspension cable is with the Brooklyn Bridge which arose in 1883. Technology of the Time A major problem in food distribution had been the shipment and storage of perishables. Natural ice served worldwide worked for large scale refrigeration during the early part of the century. However, just after the middle of the century, the development of ice cabinets the size of railroad cars and improved tools for harvesting ice meant that perishable goods could be refrigerated and frozen goods could be shipped across the continent. Also, during the middle part of the century, the discovery of pasteurization eliminated several milk borne diseases. The canning process, allowing food preservation, was developed Social Changes The Industrial Revolution began in Britain and by the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815, spread to France and the rest of Europe. It gained momentum as it spread and by 1871 major industrial centers had been established all over Europe. Coal and Iron production gave Britain, Germany, France and Belgium the lead in European industry. However, vast resources of coal, iron and other raw materials, more than all Europe had, soon caused the United States to be in a position of economic dominance. Throughout the Western world, centers of heavy industry grew up around sources of the raw materials and transportation routes. Social Changes Colonial expansion provided world markets for new goods. Wealth increased enormously, and although the effects of investment affected every level of society, the main effect of industrialization proved to fall into the hands of a relatively small class of capitalists. Populations grew as the mortality rate Went down. A new class of machine workers, ―blue-collar workers‖ emerged. The new machine worker class came from pre-industrial homes and farms and now lived and worked in deplorable conditions. They were no longer their own boss, but a virtual slave. Unable to help themselves, they were limited by organization restrictions, lack of education, and threatened constantly by threats of unemployment. Slums, tenements, horrifying living conditions were all they had to look forward to. Social Changes Meanwhile, the middle class turned toward Liberalism. Liberalism built its political Program on movements that would enhance middle class power. It gained widespread support. The middle class program reflected a laissez-faire, or ―Let the people do as they please,‖ economic policy. A new morality code stressed individual freedom. The ―free man‖ emerged as the model of what one could achieve only by standing on ones own feet and creating one‘s own destiny. Individual freedom came by struggle and eventual triumph. The unfit---degraded masses---perished while the fit---a few rugged individuals--- survived. The masses, however, wanted to count too. In order for them to do so, two conditions had to be met. They needed a basic education and a basic confidence in themselves. Social Changes Only Prussia had a public school system that provided mass education. Britain and France did nothing about this until the 1870‘s and 1880‘s. In the United States, support for public education began as early as 1820, but did not take root until mid-century and mandatory attendance for elementary school wasn‘t to begin until the end of the 19th century. Many different solutions for the working class emerged, most importantly the socialism of Karl Marx. Gradually, and with much bloodshed, workers gained the right to form unions. But it wasn‘t until the 2nd half of the century that they actually begin to unionize and promote their own interests. Concepts of the Romantic Period Marxism—Karl Marx, a German economist, philosopher, and revolutionist, developed the body of ideas known as Marxism and, together with Friedrich Engles, formed the basic principles of modern socialism and communism. According the Marx, private property caused humans to work only for themselves, not for the good of their species. He also argued that alienation had an economic base and he called for a communist society to overcome the dehumanizing effect of private property. Under capitalism, the conflict between the middle and business classes would end in a new communist society. In The Communist Manifesto written by Marx, he argues that all history was determined by humanity‘s relationship to material wealth and that governments served only the interests of the ruling class. Under capitalism, the conflict between the middle and business classes would end in a new communist society. Concepts of the Romantic Period Evolutionism—Charles Darwin‘s “The Origin of Species” was published in 1859. The concept of evolution clashed with Christianity. Protestant denominations came to grip with evolution because they recognized the right of private individuals to make private judgments, Pope Pius IX rejected evolution in his ―Syllabus of Errors” in 1864. Idealism---from Immanuel Kant. As far as Kant was concerned, the real world, so far as humans could rationalize it, comprised a mental reconstruction, an ideal world of understanding; thus, the nature of reality is of the nature of the mind---ideal. Concepts of the Romantic Period Positivism—came from a Frenchman Auguste Comte, who regarded philosophy‘s task as the sorting out of factual details of worldly existence rather than the solution of riddles of an unknown universe. Positivism later formed the basis for the science of sociology. Materialism---In Britain, Herbert Spencer explained that Darwin‘s theory of evolution provided the framework for the study of society as much as nature. He believed that a struggle for existence and ―survival of the fittest‖ formed fundamental social processes and that the human mind, ethics, social organization and economics were ―exactly what they ought to be.‖ Concepts of the Romantic Period Internationalism---mechanization, especially in transportation and communication, made the 19th century an international age, while at the same time, nations strove for individual power. While communications networks bridged distances, international agreements emerged. This set fierce and imperialistic competition for raw materials and marketplaces. Late 19th century saw various no-nonsense alliances and treaties forged under the disguise of cooperation, but in reality they laid the way for war. The times were filled with turbulence and frustration. In France, an entire generation of young men were raised in an era of patriotic and military fervor under Napoleon. When Napoleon was defeated, these young men vegetated in a country ruined by war and controlled by a weak conservative government. Feelings of isolation and alienation increased. The suffering, isolated, sensitive youth, personified by Goethe‘s Werther became the Romantic hero. Curiosity about the supernatural ran rampant with escape to Utopia, a common goal. Those who saw salvation in a ‗return to nature‖ saw nature, on one hand, as the ultimate source of reason, and, on the other hand, as a boundless, completely free environment in which all emotions could be freely expressed. This latter idea forged a core for Romanticism. The Romantic Age Many painters willingly championed the cause of Romanticism; it had an emotional appeal and its subjects tended toward the picturesque, including nature, Gothic images and often, the macabre. In seeking to break the geometric principles of classical composition. Romantic compositions moved toward fragmentation of images, with the intention of dramatizing, personalizing and escaping into imagination. Patronage The role of the artist changed significantly in the 19th century. For the first time, art could exist without the support of significant aristocratic and religious commissions and patronage. In fact, some artists deliberately resisted patronages because they imposed unwelcome limits on individual expression. However, the aristocracy was still the most likely group to sponsor expensive works of art due to their privilege in life. Artists enjoyed a new place in the social order. Much art turned individualistic and increasingly critical of society and its institutions. A huge gap between personal expression and established values prompted some artists to try out increasingly personal and experimental techniques. In many cases, artists (especially visual artists) were barred from the world with which they needed to communicate. The traditional academies that controlled formal exhibitions would not hang their work and commercial galleries, where the public would see, would not buy them. As a result, many artists became social outcasts, the starving Romantic heroes, of public legend. We can find these ―starving artists‖--- a poet, painter, philosopher and musician---explored in Puccini‘s opera La Boheme (The Bohemians), and the ―bohemian lifestyle‖ remains a phrase that refers to such a way of living. Francisco Goya 1746-1828 A Spanish artist whose style changed dramatically because of the warfare in Spain. His work changed from neat and precise to bold and emotional. He used his paintings to attack the abuses caused by governments, both the Spanish and the French. His work is highly imaginative and often nightmarish which captures the emotional character of humanity and nature, and frequently their maliciousness. ―Giant‖ This picture tells a true story. On that day, the citizens of Madrid rebelled against the Francisco Goya invading army of Napoleon which, in response, arbitrarily arrested and executed them. Goya makes a powerful social and emotional statement. Napoleon‘s soldiers form a rigid strike line, faces hidden. Goya has no sympathy for the French soldiers as human beings here. His subjectivity takes over the painting as emotional as the irrational behavior he wished to condemn. ―3rd of May‖ was inspired by a massacre Goya witnessed in Madrid, Spain. ―The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters‖ ―Saturn Devouring his Children‖ John Constable 1776-1837 English painter Known primarily as a landscape artist (one of Britain‘s greatest) Took many walks with his sketchbook and painted later, referring to his sketches Due to the introduction of manufacturing, the real landscape changed quickly Constable‘s landscapes often looked quite different from reality upon completion. John Constable 1776-1837 Constable was more taken with the humble everyday aspects of nature than with the sublime or mystical ones. He was attracted to his native countryside and painted his pleasure in simple things. He studied clouds, rain, light and weather. Constable painted only those things that he knew and loved. He never traveled far from home because he found all the beauty and inspiration he ever needed at home. ―Shepherd‖ “Wivenhoe Park, Essex” by Constable “Tree Trunks” Eugene Delacroix 1798-1863 Eugene Delacroix is numbered among the greatest and most influential of French painters. He is most often classified as a typical Romantic artist. His remarkable use of color was later to influence Impressionist ―The Lion Hunt‖ painters and even modern artists such as Pablo Picasso. Eugene Delacroix 1798-1863 His trademarks are glowing colors, blurred edges and swirling action. Delacroix used diagonal design, strong emotion and dramatic Lighting which is also typical of the Romantic Period. Colors are not blended smoothly together. His work usually has an action theme. ―Liberty Leading the People‖ ―Arabian Horses Fighting in a Stable‖ Romanticism and the Theatre Romanticism as a philosophy proved to be it‘s own worst enemy in the theatre. Artists sought new forms to express great truths, and they strove to free themselves from neo-classical rules and restraints. They admired Shakespeare as an example of new ideals and as a symbol of freedom from structural confinement. Romantic writers had no use for any guide but their own imagination. Unfortunately the theatre operates with some rather specific time limits and many playwrights of the time wrote un-stageable or unplayable scripts and great writers could not or would not abide by constraints of the stage while the hacks, yielding to the popular taste, could not resist over-indulgence in phony emotionalism, melodrama and stage gimmickry. As a result, the best Romantic theatre productions came from William Shakespeare whose work saw a revival in a great rush in the 19th century Romanticism and the Theatre Royal patronage evaporated and ticket sales paid the bills. A rising middle class caused a great increase in the 18th century audience then, in the 19th century, lower classes started to attend the theatre as well. The Industrial Revolution had created large urban populations and expanded public education to a degree. As feelings of social equality spread throughout Europe and America, theatre audiences grew and the theatre building flourished. Romanticism and the Theatre 19th century theatre developed a romantically exaggerated Form called ―melodrama.‖ This kind of theatre generally uses sentimentality and sensationalism. Characters remained stereotypical and everything and everyone else tends to be either all good or all evil. Plots are sentimental and the action exaggerated. Regardless of circumstances, good must be rewarded and evil punished. Often some form of comic relief appeared, although it was usually a minor character. The villain of the melodrama progresses at the whim of the villain and the hero must endure episode after episode of trial and suffering. Romanticism and the Theatre Melodrama implies music and drama. And, in the 19th century, these plays were accompanied by a musical score tailored to the emotional or dynamic character of the scene, this is similar to music usage in films and television today, with the added attractions of incidental songs and dances used as curtain raisers and entr‘acte entertainment. Melodrama saw great popularity throughout Europe and the United states and a classical example, Uncle Tom’s Cabin based on Harriet Beecher Stowe‘s novel (1852), took the stage by storm. Romanticism and Melodrama A true form of melodrama exists only in 19th century classics such as ―The Streets of London‖. Melodrama presents a clear cut view of morality, leaving no room to question the motivation of the characters. Melodrama, like a sentimental comedy, presents a trite storyline. Melodrama is based on the structure of tragedy and it focuses more on the actions of the characters rather than on their motivations. Melodrama originated in England and is marked by its use of stock. Every act of melodrama ends with a climax. Romanticism and Music In an era of romantic subjectivity, music provided the medium in which many found an unrivaled opportunity to express emotion. In trying to express emotion, Romantic music made stylistic changes to classical music and, although Romanticism amounted to rebellion in many of the arts, in music it involved a more gradual and natural extension of classical principles. Romanticism and Music Spontaneity replaced control, but music put its primary emphasis on beautiful, lyrical and expressive melody. Phrases grew longer, more irregular and more complex than in classical music. Experiments produced new meters and patterns. Composers emphasized colorful harmonies and instrumentation, seeing harmony as a means of expression and ―laws‖ regarding key relationships as breakable in Order to achieve striking emotional effects. Composers sought to disrupt the listener‘s expectations and this led to more and more dissonance. Interest in tonal color, or timbre, led to a great diversity of vocal and instrumental performance and the music of this period abounds with solo works and shows a tremendous increase in the size and diversity of the orchestra. Romanticism and Music Improvements on piano design allowed for a warmer, richer tone and improvements in pedal technique made sustained notes possible. This made the piano have more flexibility and an excellent solo instrument. New works were produced just for the piano, ranging from short intimate pieces to larger works to allow for great virtuoso performance. One of the new ways that Romantic composers structured their longer works was to build them around a non- musical story, a picture, or some other ideas. It is called ―descriptive.‖ When the idea is specific and closely followed throughout the pieces the music is called, Program Music. Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Russian Momma‘s boy- sensitive and fearful Age 5, started piano Parents wanted him to be a lawyer, he went to law school and worked for the government, but HATED it Started composing and worked so hard that he had a nervous breakdown Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Woman named von Meck became his patroness for 13 years Age 37, married one of his students to cover up his homosexuality, but it didn‘t last (tried suicide –didn‘t work either) Became famous for composing and was commissioned to write many works for Russian Nationalism Toured America in 1891 and fell into a depression, went back to Russia and drank unboiled water during a cholera outbreak – got the disease and died within a week. Tchaikovsky’s Music 8 operas 7 Symphonies – No. 6 ―Pathetique‖ inspired by a woman and ends in him killing her, being marched to a scaffold and a witch‘s dance 3 piano concertos 1 violin concerto ―1812 Overture‖ ―Romeo and Juliet‖ ―Swan Lake‖ ―Sleeping Beauty‖ “Nutcracker”– his most famous piece Some say his music is too sentimental and emotional, but his beautiful melodies had a huge impact on BALLET Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Born in Germany to a family where the father was alcoholic Beethoven showed great talent in music at a young age and his father wanted him to be like Mozart. So, often, his father would come home drunk and force Beethoven to practice for hours in the middle of the night demanding perfection or he would beat the young boy. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) At age 11, he wrote a three page sonata. At age 14, he was being paid to play. He did at one point play for Mozart (whom he idealized) and Mozart really liked what he heard. In fact, he actually said the following about Beethoven: ―This young man will leave his mark on the world.‖ (You didn‘t know Mozart was a fortune teller, did you?) Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Franz Josef Haydn was a teacher to Beethoven, but they didn‘t get along. Haydn pushed the Classical forms and Beethoven didn‘t like that. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Over the years from 1801-1819, Beethoven slowly went deaf. If he were alive today, a simple surgery could have corrected the problem. This had a negative effect on his personality – he became moody and temperamental. Most people couldn‘t stand to be around him. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) He never married, but raised a nephew (against his will) when his sister died. He quit appearing in public after the 9th Symphony ―fiasco‖. Modern reports say that he didn‘t die of syphilis as the popular theory states, but rather that he died of lead poisoning. Scientists have done X-ray experiments on pieces of his skull and 6 hairs which prove conclusively that he had high concentrations of lead in his system when he died. Apparently, it causes a slow and painful death. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) He was very famous in his lifetime and very successful. When he died in Vienna, 10,000 people lined the streets to watch his funeral procession. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Beethoven bridges the gap between Classical music and Romantic music. His early music is really more ―classical‖ sounding – following forms and basic composition. His later works are much more emotional, dramatic and longer. He felt that music was poetry and tone painting He wrote thousands of pieces of music, but only 9 symphonies. His symphony No. 9 included the choral, ―Ode to Joy.‖ He wrote mostly piano music. Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Born in Vienna Could play violin and piano and he sang Studied composition with Antonio Salieri Tried to be a teacher like his father, but hated it Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Made friends easily and had a small ―groupie‖ following Was poor and unhealthy, well-liked, but shy Died at age 31 and was never famous or successful He loved Beethoven though they never met, but he wanted to be buried near Beethoven and to this day, they are forever beside each other. Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Like Mozart, he simply wrote down what was in his head – So, he wrote A LOT: 9 symphonies, 600 LIEDER (German art song), piano sonatas, dance pieces and string quartets. ―The Erlking‖ ―Unfinished Symphony‖ – No. 8 had only 2 movements instead of 4 Richard Wagner (1813-1883) German Played piano and violin Step father was an actor – Wagner got jobs playing and conducting in small theatres and opera houses 1839- he and his wife skipped town to avoid paying debts Richard Wagner (1813-1883) Eventually returned to Germany to compose BUT – then he joined an anti monarchy group and had to leave the country again While exiled in Switzerland, he had many affairs, got divorced and married his mistress (Franz Lizst‘s daughter) and had kids Richard Wagner (1813-1883) King Ludwig of Bavaria became his patron (to this day, Bavaria has an annual Wagnerian festival) Anti Jew, Hitler loved him Died in Venice while on vacation of a heart attack Buried in Bavaria Richard Wagner (1813-1883) Mostly ―stage music‖ (he didn‘t call it opera) He changed opera – no longer about people, but ideas He was a control freak No more arias, but he demanded so much of his singers that the professionals had to be retrained in order to sing his music The orchestra was the most important part His unusual harmonies made innovations of 20th Century music possible ―Flying Dutchman” ―Lohengrin‖ – Bridal Chorus “Tristan and Isolde‖ – No tonic ―Ring Cycle‖ – long with several parts ―Rite of Valkyries‖ – Listerine commercial Richard Wagner (1813-1883) Richard Wagner, a master of Romantic opera, drew heavily on German mythology. His philosophy centered on Gesamtkunstwerk, a comprehensive work in which music, poetry and scenery play subservient roles to the central generating idea. For Wagner, the total unity of all elements remained supremely important. In line with the German Romantic philosophy which gives music supremacy over the other arts, music has the predominant role in Wagner‘s operas. Dramatic meaning unfolds through the Leitmotif, for which Wagner is famous for, although he did not invent it. Leitmotif is a music theme tied to an idea, a person, or object appears on stages or comes to mind in the action, we hear that theme. Juxtaposing Leitmotifs gives the audience an idea of relationships between their subjects as well as give the composer building blocks to use for development recapitulation and unification. Romanticism and Dance This period is considered to be the Golden Age of Ballet Two sources help us to understand Romantic ballet. The writings of Theophile Gautier and Carlo Blasis. Gautier, a poet and critic, held first that all beauty was truth, a central Romantic conception. He also believed that dance acts as visual stimulation to show ―Beautiful forms in graceful attitudes.‖ For him, dancing was a living painting or sculpture ---‖physical pleasure and feminine beauty.‖ Gauntier had influence and it accounted for the central influence of the ballerina in Romantic ballet. Male dancers were put in the background, with strength being the only grace permissible to them. Romanticism and Dance The second general premise for Romantic ballet came from Code of Terpsichore by Blasis. Blasis was a former dancer and more systematic and specific than Gautier, held principles covering training, structure and positioning. Everything in the ballet required a beginning, middle and an end. The basic attitude in dance comprised of standing on one leg with the other brought up behind at a 90 degree angle with the knee bent. The dancer needed to display the human figure with taste and elegance. From Blasis comes the turned out position, still fundamental to ballet today. These broad principles provided the framework, and, to a great extent, a summary of objectives for Romantic ballet: delicate ballerinas, lightly poised. Costumed in soft tulle and moving en pointe, with elegant grace. Romanticism and Dance Choreographers of Romantic ballet sought magic and escape in fantasies and legends. Ballets about elves and nymphs, madness, sleepwalking and opium dreams enjoyed great popularity. Giselle marks the height of Romantic achievement in ballet with its many fine dancing roles for both female and male dancers. La Bayadere is another classical ballet. Romanticism and Ballet A classical ballet is a dramatic production that tells a story using the movement vocabulary of ballet The ballon, (or lift and lightness of the ballerina) was enhanced by the innovation of the pointe shoe during the Romantic period. The vocabulary of ballet is French Plie is a ballet term that means ―to bend.‖ A Demi-Plie is a ―half‖ plie, a ―grand‖ is a large majestic Plie. Romanticism Many people believe that the Romantic age has never ended and point to the self centered, nonrationalistic emotionalism of today‘s attitudes and arts. Let‘s test that assertion and check its validity on things we contact daily. For example---daily soap operas, a favorite song, or even a talk show. Take the situation apart and describe its parts, moods and attitudes and see what we come up with. Do we come up with something restrained, idealized, simple, carefully structured? Or de we end up with unrestrained emotions, complexity, lifelikeness and fragmentation?