Romantic Composer Comrades were Common. Musical composers are the avant-guard of civilization. Avant-guard defines a group of artists, musicians, or writers working with new and experimental ideas and methods. Without composer comrades, it is doubtful that we would ever know who Franz Schubert was. Composers are vital to a civilization. Yet, they are like babies. They need help. Such was the case with Franz Schubert. He only lived to age 31. Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras. Despite his short lifetime, Schubert left behind more than 600 secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of piano and chamber music.
Poetry Foreshadows Romanticism in a Major Way. By encouraging poetic expression, you enable Romanticism. What qualities are then enhanced with Romanticism?:
Romanticism in the fine arts is feeling oriented: That is, feelings on a grand scale. German painter and author Caspar David Friedrich expresses it this way: The artist’s feeling is his law”. Our featured picture was painted by the same C.P. Friedrich.
Poetry Foreshadows Romanticism for Me
The featured painting parallels an inspiration I was given about fog. A spirit on Oquaga Lake dictated her poetry to me. I was the piano player for many years at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House. This employment covered some 15 summer seasons. The poetry book is called The Oquaga Spirit Speaks. I have memorized every poem. At sometime in the future, I will do recitations. The Catskills Mountains in New York have inspired many writers. Among them we find Washington Irving. Below is an internal link.
Oquaga Lake was once inhabited by American Indians. The tribe was the Lennie Lenape. Women ran the tribe. I believe the spirit of the lake is an American Indian female. Fingers of Fog a sample of the poetry she related to me.
Washington Irving Archives – DSO Works
Fingers of Fog
Fingers of fog moving quickly
Gliding across the lake.
Almost at jogging speed
Leaving no apparent wake.
Why are they scampering about
At this early morning time?
Thousand of fingers in motions
Moving gracefully with rhyme.
Perhaps each one is a spirit
Released from the depths of the spring:
Enjoying an hour of freedom
Almost ready to take wing.
This spring fed lake is enchanted,
As such water bodies are.
I actually saw its essence-
While viewing the Morning Star.
Unsung Romantic Music Hero is Bella Salomon. The 1st question you are probably asking is: Who was Bella Salomon? Answer: Felix Mendelssohn’s maternal grandmother. The second question is, what did she do for her grandson? In 1823 (or possibly 1824), she presented her grandson with a gift. It was to alter the course of his life. Also, it was to alter the course of musical history. The gift was a copyist’s manuscript score of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. She recognized the Passion was one of the most deeply spiritual works ever written. It was almost unknown during the time of Mendelssohn. She had it copied by Eduard Rietz for her grandson. Felix struggled with this special project for 4 or 5 years. Finally, his dream was realized: He rehearsed and conducted the Passion at the Singakademie on March 11, 1829.
In the above youtube, has me playing Mendelssohn’s Wedding March. I have been called Sarasota’s Wedding Pianist. On Dec. 20, 2017 will begin playing the piano at the Gasparilla Inn. It is pictured below: Christmas through Easter, six nights weekly. The 1924 Steinway Grand as just been refurbished.
HOW I DISCOVERED JOACHIM RAFF’S MUSIC
It’s time to appreciate composer Joachim Raff. Critics of his day compared the quality of his compositions to his contemporaries, Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner. I agree. Apparently so did Bernard Herrmann, conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra who featured his Lenore Symphony #5 on May 27-29 1970 in concert. But where is his music now? Why has his music been ignored? I just happened to be sight reading an etude from Schirmer’s Concert Etudes for the Piano edited by Balough. Raff’s Etude Melodique Opus 130 No.2 was so well written that I think it’s on a par with the Etude, Un Sospiro, by Franz Liszt. He orchestrated for Liszt for a number of years in the 1850’s.
SO WHY HAS HE BEEN PRACTICALLY RELEGATED TO OBLIVION?
I feel that, quite bluntly, he went against the male bastion of composers that kept women out of their field. This segregation had been there’s for hundreds of years. In Frankfort Germany Raff was the first director of the Hoch Conservatory of Music. He actually established a class for female composers at a time when women were not taken seriously. Worse yet, Raff hired a woman, Clara Schumann, to instruct composition. Heavens! Does this make him any less of a composer? It just proves that he was secure in his own musical composition.
FELIX MENDELSSOHN BELIEVED IN RAPP’S MUSIC
Felix Mendelssohn was a wonderful supporter of great musicians and composers. He resurrected the music of J.S. Bach in 1829, almost 80 years after Bach passed away, by conducting Bach’s Passion According to St. Matthew. Mendelssohn also championed the compositions of Raff. In writing this blog, I hope Im doing the same. I feel that music of a romantic nature is about to make a come back. I also think that Rapp has taken a bad wrap for too long a time. Please listen to some of his music and let me know what you think.