Romantic Era Essay

The Romantic Era brought about this great change in everything from literature, ideals, and even music. The previous era was strict in laws and restraint, you could say old fashioned. Composers were coming up with new techniques such as symphonic poem and art song. During this period, composers expressed artistic freedom through experimentation and creativity, through the use of adding new instruments to orchestras, new tones, and harmonies. Two composers of this era are Frederic Chopin and Felix Mendelssohn.

Frederic Chopin lived between 1810-1849 and was born in Warsaw to French parents. Chopin was considered to be a child prodigy at the piano and composing music. When referring to Romantic Music, he is said to be one of the great masters. He pretty much wrote exclusively for the piano. By the age of 21 he had already composed several mature works such as Nocturne in E flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2 and Etude in C Minor, Op. 10, No. 12. He developed a very technically and personal demanding style, to which most thought, no other composer could match on the piano.

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Felix Mendelssohn lived between 1809 -1847 and was born in Germany to a prominent Jewish family. Mendelssohn was also considered to be a musical prodigy at the piano and composing music. He wrote several works including symphonies, concertos, and sonatas. He performed with an organ or a piano, and as a conductor. His talent in composing was limitless as he continued to write music in all the forms of his timeframe except Operas. Many of his famous works include the Violin Concerto, Oratorio Elijah, and the Midsummer Night’s Dream overture.

Mendelssohn is considered one of the most popular composers of the Romantic period. Chopin and Mendelssohn were two great composers during the Romantic Era and they have several works that continue to amaze music lovers today. It would come as no surprise to learn that perhaps they shared some similarities. Both musicians were considered child prodigies. Chopin composed two Polonaises which were said to rival Warsaw’s leading composers by age 7 and by age 11, was performing for Alexander 1 Tsar of Russia. Mendelssohn also composed works in his early years.

Between 12 and 14 he wrote 12 string symphonies and had a piano quartet published at 13. Another similarity is both men died at early ages. Chopin possibly died from tuberculosis at the age of 39, but due to lack of modern medical support it isn’t clear. Mendelssohn also died early at the age of 39 due to possible exhaustion and poor health. Moving on to differences in both composers, we can go to their musical styles. Chopin had the traditionalist styles of Beethoven, Mozart and Clementi. He performed his music in the Rubato tempo.

Mendelssohn works show influence by the Baroque period mostly like J. S. Bach with the tone clarity and use of counterpoint. They also had differences in their works. Chopin works were mostly for piano solo music with a few for piano concertos or chamber music. Mendelssohn’s works were in the variety of symphonies, opera, concerto’s, chamber music, and that of a conductor and editor. In their personal lives, Chopin never married, even though he was engaged once to Maria Wodzinska. Mendelssohn married Cecile Jeanrenaud and had 5 kids.

As you can see the Romantic Period brought musical differences that composers were able to use to create new types of techniques and creativity. It also gave us more composers to contribute new music. Two such composers were Frederic Chopin and Felix Mendelssohn who were considered Romantic Period greats. These two men had several similarities and differences but provided the musical world with works that continue to influence composers today.

Sources: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Fr%c3%a9d%c3%a9ric_Chopin#Music http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Felix_Mendelssohn#Mendelssohn_as_musician