Romanticism in Music

To supplement one of my university classes, I compiled interviews with professional musicians (performers and conductors) on the topic of Romantic Music. They total nearly 50 mins, and I suggest you give yourself a few different sessions to listen, take it all in, and make some comments. I’ll do my best to reply to any comments left on this site. Enjoy!

  • 25961d_6941cf070a1542ae927abe640afaa362-jpg_srz_325_257_85_22_0-50_1-20_0Our first musician is Katherine Schultz, a cellist from Portland, Oregon. She speaks to us about practising and approaching this music in the following 10 mins. of audio.

  • 2bii-j-plowright-photo-2-reduced-for-web-page1Next Jonathan Plowright, concert pianist and Head of Keyboard at the University of Chichester, speaks about understanding and context within this music. He himself is preparing to record the complete piano music of Brahms:

  • 0lb7vgkcFinally we hear from a vocalist. So much of the great Romantic music literature is for voice. Mezzo-soprano and Head of Voice at the University of Chichester, Susan Legg (@susanlegg) takes us through the first song in a song cycle Frauenliebe und-leben by Schumann, identifying key features and explaining how the voice and piano work together with the words. She finishes the interview by performing the song. Beautiful!

  • We begin by examining a conductor’s approach to Romantic music and the orchestra in an interview with conductor Christopher Slater (4 min 35)

  • And move to a compilation about the Romantic composers on conducting and approaching the music. You will see that I have used as many actual quotes as I could, and these are represented by other voices. 🙂 (8 min 47)

  • To an interview with composer and conductor Adam Swayne about his own approach to the score and conducting as a composer. (4 min 43)

I would like to thank the many volunteers who read the words of composers and their friends to help make the audio more engaging and easier to follow. References used to source quotes in the second audio file are listed below…

5528712669_0e0f77d1c5_zImage above, CC BY-NC by James Savage, Featured image CC BY-NC by Penn State

  • Bamberger, C. (Ed.). (1965). The conductor’s art. McGraw-Hill.
  • Biba, O. (1979). Schubert’s Position in Viennese Musical Life. 19th-century Music, 3(2), 106-113.
  • Komorn, M., & Strunk, W. O. (1933). Brahms, Choral Conductor. The Musical Quarterly, 19(2), 151-157.
  • Neue Zeitschrift für Musik 10:47 (1839)
  • Wagner, R. (1887). On conducting. W. Reeves.
  • Walker, A. (1987). Franz Liszt: The Weimar Years, 1848-1861. Cornell University Press.

I am hugely grateful to our musicians for allowing me to interview them, and for their willingness to share their expertise and knowledge with us.

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