The Classical Series, vol. 1: Romanticism

By: Claudia Siregar |

Classical music has its own range of periods, the Romantic Period being one of them. Related to the artistic movement of Romanticism in the 18th century, the period has given birth to big names such as Chopin, Strauss, Liszt, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven. The Romantic Period was indeed a crucial era in the development of classical music, changing the game for orchestras and composers all around the world forever after the Classical Period.

To understand the implications of Romantic music, first we’ll have to take you back to the Romantic era, where the people of Europe embarked on the movement of Romanticism, expressing their stance against the political norms at that time through many forms of art, including music. The early Romantic Period saw an expansion in orchestra, with the addition of new musical instruments and the improvement of existing musical instruments being used to create musical works. This is due to the Industrial Revolution’s effect on the improvement of musical instruments and the musicians’ dissatisfaction with the current music scene, wanting something more diverse and complex due to their expanding knowledge of music. This dissatisfaction led to complex and long musical pieces such as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in the early Romantic Period (whether Beethoven is a Romantic musician is still up for debate, though).

While some artists made their works longer and more complex with the addition of new instruments in the orchestra, some looked for new ways to experiment and bring a touch of anti-mainstream into their music. Chopin and Liszt, for example, used mainly piano in their musical works while playing around with unconventional musical structures (Chopin with his nocturnes for example), while some artists play around with dynamics, melodies, and tonal ranges. Musicians of this era didn’t only make music to oppose the political norms of that time – they also didn’t like being “too mainstream”, it seems. They were punk and indie before punk and indie were cool – no, they were punk and indie before punk and indie even existed. The catch here, however, is that they were aiming to eliminate the line between various music tastes.

Strange as it seems, musicians of the Romantic Era all had one common goal: to make quality experimental yet melodic music that everyone can enjoy. To make music that is meant to be loved by many even if it doesn’t sound “mainstream.” After all, that’s what music is all about. Union of mankind and artistic exploration. To introduce you to the “Anti Mainstream Mainstream club” of classical music, the team has prepared a Romantic Period playlist for you to enjoy:

Salut D’Amour, Op.12 by Edward Elgar

Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22 by Antonín Dvorák

Liebestraume, S541/R211: No 3 by Franz Liszt

Piano Trio No.2 in E Flat, Op.100 D.929: 2. Andante con moto by Franz Schubert

Berceuse in D-Flat Major, Op.57 by Frederic Chopin

Pathetique, Op.13, 2nd Movement by Ludwig Van Beethoven

Lieder ohne Worte (Song Without Words), Book 2 by Felix Mendelssohn

Consolations, S172/R12: No.2 Un poco miu mosso by Franz Liszt

Nocturne in E-flat major, Op.9, No.2 by Frederic Chopin

Swan Lake (Suite), Op.20a, TH 219: 1. Scene – Swan Theme by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

21 Hungarian Dances by Johannes Brahms

And many more

Listen here

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