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The Romantic Period
movement of the 19th Century was all about the emphasis on the individual and
Where a Classical
Symphony was, for the most part, abstract, many pieces in the Romantic era were
musical evocations of particular scenes or moods.
Berlioz 'Symphonie Fantastique' is one of the first
examples of this. In it, the composer imagines himself and his idealised woman
in various dramatic situations.
The music depicts
many of these situations quite literally - most famously the sharp 'chop' of the
guillotine at the end of the 'March to the Scaffold'.
Composers such as
Franz Liszt (1911-1886) and later, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) developed
this technique into what became known as an orchestral 'tone-poem'.
The other great
trend in the Romantic era was for bigger and better. By the end of the period in
1900, the orchestra of around 40 players in Mozart's time had ballooned to 100
or more - Gustav Mahler's(1860-1911) 8th Symphony of
1906 became known as the Symphony of a Thousand because of the enourmous number
of people on stage.
The instruments of
the orchestra themselves also developed considerably and new instruments like
the trombone and the tuba became much more commonplace.
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