Posts about Romantic era music
Underrated romantic era music: A heartfelt thank you to the creator of the CellectionCB series on YouTube
I recently came across this YouTube channel: collectionCB. It's a channel that dedicates itself to digitizing and making public an insane amount of underrated/lesser known/forgotten Romantic/Modern era composers and their compositions. Perhaps a lot of you already know it, but I'll mention it here anyways.
A lot of people come to this subreddit with questions like: "What are some lesser known Rachmaninov-like composers?" or "Can you recommend any non-mainstream concertos/symphonies/operas of this or that style?" (myself included), and this series of channels I have come across is like an Alexandrian Library of forgotten 19th, 20th and 21st century compositions.
The curator has created 5 channels now: collectionCB, collectionCB2, ... collectionCB5, and it's filled with rare recordings of composers like Bortkiewicz, Bacri, Pierné, Coulthard, Stoyanov, Skulte, Ostijn, Knipper, Trudic... I mean: a whole paradise of music to explore and enjoy. Each channel consists of some 500+ videos, containing piano, violin, cello, flute, trumpet... concertos, symphonies, ballades, sonatas, miscellaneous solo works for all kinds of instruments... just an endless stream of greatness!
I'm just really excited I get to share this, and maybe I will have guided some of you to a new vault of stupendous musical genius!
Here are some links:
I am a big fan of Fredric Chopin, particularly his style of composition. And while there are a lot of notable figures from this time period, I noticed there is a small school of pianists from this period that utilize very similar composition techniques. The style seemed to emerge sometime in the late 1770s, and gradually faded into obscurity soon after the later romantic era. A lot of the similarity 1840's onward could be attributed to Chopin's influence, for that reason I am more interested in the music that preceded Chopin.
John Field - Creator of the Nocturne
Charles Mayer - Studied with Field (With the music below falsely attributed to Chopin)
Friedrich Kalkbrenner (Chopin really admired him and this piano concerto served as inspiration for his own)
Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński - A Classmate of Chopin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26swXy5CkJo (Note that the theme at 8:26 seem to be where Chopin got the theme for his Scherzo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_MwPdr7WXQ at 0:36)
All of the above seem to have a very similar style and seem to follow similar compositional rules. The classmate in particular interests me because the fact his music resembles Chopin's suggests that his teachers had a big impact in his style of music. Is there a book of some sorts that may dive into these compositional techniques in particular? I am having trouble finding good material to study from since all books I find are dated and mystify composition, or are technical but mainly center around jazz and modern music theory. And again I am not really interested in Romantic era music in general, since a lot of the music from that time period doesnt exactly fall within this style, just the techniques used in this style in particular.
Some other Musicians that follow this style include (Did not mention these above since they were likely influenced by Chopin)
Carl Filtsch (A pupil of Chopin)
One of the things that fascinates me about Filtsch is that he is one of the few pupils to gain the privilege of learning Composition from Chopin and I think it shows. And the fact that Chopin could pass down his style to his pupils sort of suggests there is more to it than just "Cantabile Operatic Melodies" and "Chromatic harmonies" like people seem to imply.
How would Romantic Era music be perceived by composers from the Classical era, if they had the chance to hear it?
My apologies if a hypothetical question like this was asked already.
What do you think Beethoven's, Mozart's, Haydn's, etc. reactions would be if by some miracle we could revive them and show them the works of Liszt, Chopin, Debussy, etc.?
I've been listening to a lot of composers from the Romantic Era recently, and their style is so similar to Classical, but in a very free-flowing, unstructured, almost "break-the-rules" avant-garde way. Some of Beethoven's later works sound mildly Romantic, so I'm assuming he was aware of the natural evolution of music. Mozart and Haydn also used a lot of accidentals in their music, but they were "perfectly" placed and structured, unlike Liszt's and Chopin's accidentals.
I'm assuming Classical era composers would be amazed by the works of the Romantic era composers, but humans can also be very resistant to change, and theres a chance they might have viewed Romantic era music as blasphemous. What do you think?
TL;DR There's a ton of Romatic Era music, so far it I can't get into it as much as Classical Era (and early Romantic) music. Any tips or key pieces that might help?
A quick summary on my musical tastes: for the last 20 years or so (basically my adult life), I've been mostly a rock guy. Classic rock, blues, blues-rock, some metal, shredder guitar instrumental rock, and also some electronic music. Off and on I've dipped a toe or two into classical music (in the general sense, not necessarily Classic Era specifically), but never really invested more than a few CDs and some light/casual listening.
The first classical CD I purchased was Vivaldi's Four Seasons. That was back in college, when a professor was playing it in the auditorium before the lecture started. I emailed her to find out what it was. I still love it to this day. Over the years I picked up some more random classical CDs; the ones I enjoyed the most were Beethoven's symphonies (the Third remains my favorite, followed by the Sixth).
A couple months ago, I was in my local library and said, "I'm going to get serious about classical music". I checked out the first book I found on the topic: Classical Music 101 by Fred Plotkin. This book was great for me. In fact, I ended up buying it, because I couldn't finish it before needing to return it, and was spending too much money buying every CD suggestion in the book.
What I've found: so far, I'm having trouble getting into stuff that is typically considered "High Romantic" or later. What I like the best is the Classical Era stuff, particularly Mozart's and Haydn's late symphonies. I like a lot of the early Romantic stuff or Classical-Romantic "bridge" music, e.g. Beethoven.
Right now, if I had to pick a single piece I like best, it's the first movement of Mendelssohn's Octet. I love love love love this piece! I "ration" my listening of it, so I don't get tired of it! Same goes for Mozart's Symphony 41 (Jupiter), particularly the last movement. Maybe it's because I have so much "emotional capital" invested in rock music, as these pieces to me have a "rock" feel to them: easy-to-hum (and memorable) melodies (like "hooks" in pop music), a more "predictable" (?) structure, and counterpoint that (to me) is less Bach and more like the live version of "Free Bird".
I see so much love for (for example) Tchaikovsky's Symphonies, Berlioz (Symphonie Fantastique), and Mahler... I don't dislike these guys or their works by any means, and I can certainly appreciate their technical aspects. But I haven't been able to "connect" with them the same as I have the stuff I mentioned above.
So, all that said, any thoughts? My current plan is to continue listening to the stuff I know I like, while periodically re-visiting the stuff with which I haven't yet clicked. I figure eventually I'll click or give up. But I'm open to other suggestions as well.
Edit Wow, so many suggestions, way more than I expected! It will take me a while to work my way through all these suggestions---but that is the point! Thank you all!