Romantic (1815-1910) Era Music – An Introduction

The paring down of the clunky music in the Classical period led to the emergence of expressive and personal music by Romantic composers. Melody played loud and clear as artistic freedom triumphed. The composers probed several subject matters including an array of emotions, higher powers, distant places, mystique, and nature in all its various glories. The Germans so dominated the music that composers felt the need to break away and promote nationalism which they did by way of folk tunes, local dances, and legends.

Industrial Revolution of Europe led to sophisticated instruments with better tuning and easier playing, which in turn paved way for the blossoming of the Orchestra. The growing middle class audience greatly inspired the ‘writing music to be heard’ trend. Composers reached deeper and brought forth enriched harmonies, passionate melodies, increased the use of dissonance, chromaticism, and expanded orchestra. Sonata, impromptu, romance, prelude, nocturne, ballade, intermezzo, and rhapsody became the rage.
Programme music (music with a story), concert overtures and symphonic poems (one-movement orchestra pieces), incidental music (to set the mood), suites, concertos, art song (vocal musical work), technical virtuosity, shaping of music (recurring themes) are noteworthy contributions of this era. Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, Wagner, Berlioz and Strauss are the more famous Romantic composers who took composing to a higher level with their exceptional pieces.



ComposerThumbnailISBNBest PriceDescription
Beethoven (1770-1827)Complete Beethoven Edition Box SetB004HGQXB8$118.0885 Audio CDs. Released May 31, 2011. Complete – Covers everything that Beethoven ever composed.
Schubert (1797-1828)Schubert: The Piano Sonatas Box SetB00004SA8A$34Performer: Wilhelm Kempff. Seven CD Set that includes all of Schubert’s piano sonatas, fragments, and completed masterworks.
Berlioz (1803-1869) Berlioz: Requiem; Symphonie funèbre et triomphale B000GYHZ6M $16.07Two CD Set. Performer: Ronald Dowd, Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra, Conductor: Colin Davis. Includes Requiem and Symphonie F – Grand Symphonie funebre et Triomphale.
Mendelssohn (1809-1847) Mendelssohn: Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 2, Opp. 49, 66B0030IIZ2O $12.80Performers: Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Az, Itzhak Perlman. To commemorate the Mendelssohn bicentennial in 2009, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax, and violinist Itzhak Perlman collaborated together for this project.
Schumann(1810-1856) Schumann Anniversary Box SetB003B30GSY $70.1725 CD Set by various artists released May 18, 2010.
Liszt (1811-1886) Liszt: Piano Sonata in B MinorB004NWHVD0$14.98Performer: Marc-Andre Hamelin. Includes Fantasie und Fuge uber das Thema B-A-C-H, Benediction de Dieu dans la solitude, Gondoliera, Canzone, Tarantella, Lento Assai, Andante Sostenuto, Allegro Energico, Allegro energico-Piu mosso, and Andante Sostenuto.
Wagner (1813-1883) Wagner: Die Walkure Box SetB004NCLKJG $16.85Three-disc set released May 3, 2011. Performers: Birgit Nilsson, Leonie Rysanek, Christa Ludwig, Jon Vickers, and Thomas Stewart. Orchestra: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Conductor: Berislav Klobucar.
Verdi (1813-1901) Verdi - La Traviata / Cotrubas • Domingo • Milnes • Bayerisches Staatsorchester • Carlos Kleiber B000001G5W$21.87Conductor: Carlos Kleiber, Ochestra: Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Performer: Ileana Cotrubas, Placido Domingo, and Sherrill Milnes.
Chopin (1810-1849) Ultimate Chopin Box SetB000ICMF5S$15.165-CD Set. Conductor: Charles Dutoit, Orchestra: Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Performer: Jorge Bolet, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Claudio Arrau, Zoltan Kocsis. CD 1 Jorge Bolet, piano & Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal Charles Dutoit, conductor CD 2/CD 3 Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano CD 4 Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano CD 5 Claudio Arrau, piano.
Smetana (1824-1884) Smetana: Complete Orchestral WorksB0012OVFIY$14.613-CD Set. Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Theodore Kuchar.
Brahms (1833-1897) Brahms: The Symphonies Box SetB0000041Z5$20.66Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Conductor: Georg Solti, Composer: Johannes Brahms.
Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Tchaikovsky: The Complete Symphonies Box SetB00008PW4A $23.29Five Disc Box Set. Orchestra: New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
Dvorak (1841-1904) Dvorak: Slavonic DancesB00005YD5H$7.93Orchestra: Cleveland Orchestra, Conductor: George Szell.
Grieg (1843-1907) Grieg: Complete Music with Orchestra Box SetB00005KK4O$26.886-CD Set. Performers: Carl-Gustaf Holmgren, Urban Malmberg, Hakan Hagegard. Orchestra: Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Conductor: Neeme Jarvi.
Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade; Stravinsky: Song of the NightingaleB0006PV5VC$7.99Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Fritz Reiner. Two works: Scheherazade, symphonic suite for orchestra, Op. 35 and Chant du rossingnol (The Song of the Nightingale), symphonic poem for orchestra.
Elgar (1857-1934) Elgar: Cello Concerto; “Enigma” VariationsB000BDGWF8$6.99Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra. Conductor: Daniel Barenboim.
Mahler (1860-1911) Mahler: The Complete Works – 150th Anniversary Box SetB003D0ZNWY$46.2516-CD Set. Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Simon Rattle, John Barirolli, Otto Klemperer, Klaus Tennstedt, George Szell.
Richard Strauss (1864-1949) Richard Strauss: 5 Great Tone PoemsB000004198$12.55Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor: Bernard Haitink, Eugen Jochum. Two-CD Set.





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