IMPRESSIONISM o nee of the earlier but concrete forms declaring the entry of 20th century music was known as impressionism. It is a French movement in the late 19th and early 20th century. The sentimental melodies and dramatic emotionalism of the preceding Romantic Period (their themes and melody are easy to recognize and enjoy) were being replaced in favor of moods and impressions. There is an extensive use of colors and effects, vague melodies, and innovative chords and progressions leading to mild dissonances.
Sublime moods and melodic suggestions replaced highly expressive and program music, or music that contained visual imagery. With this trend came new combinations of extended chords, harmonies, whole tone, chromatic scales, and pentatonic scales. Impressionism was an attempt not to depict reality, but merely to suggest it. It was meant to create an emotional mood rather than a specific picture. In terms of imagery, impressionistic forms were translucent and hazy, as if trying to see through a rain-drenched window.
In impressionism, the sounds of different chords overlapped lightly with each there to produce new subtle musical colors. Chords did not have a definite order and a sense of clear resolution. Other features include the lack of a tonic-dominant relationship which normally gives the feeling of finality to a piece, moods and textures, harmonic vagueness about the structure of certain chords, and use of the whole-tone scale. Most of the impressionist works centered on nature and its beauty, lightness, and brilliance. A number Of outstanding impressionists created works on this subject. The impressionistic movement in music had its foremost proponents in the French composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Both had developed a particular style of composing adopted by many 20th century composers. Among the most famous luminaries in other countries were Tutoring Respires (Italy), Manuel De Fall and Isaac Albania (Spain), and Ralph Vaughan Williams (England). CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918) One of the most important and influential of the 20th century composers was Claude Debussy. He was the primary exponent of the impressionist movement and the focal point for other impressionist composers.
He changed the course of musical voltmeter by dissolving traditional rules and conventions into a new language of possibilities in harmony, rhythm, form, texture, and color. Debussy was born in SST. German-en-Lay in France on August 22, 1862. His early musical talents were channeled into piano lessons. He entered the Paris Conservatory in 1873. He gained a reputation as an erratic pianist and a rebel in theory and harmony. He added other systems of musical composition because of his musical training. In 1 884, he won the top prize at the PRI De Rome competition with his composition L’ Enfant Prorogue The Prodigal Son).
This enabled him to study for two years in Rome, where he got exposed to the music of Richard Wagner, specifically his opera Tristan undo Soled, although he did not share the latter’s grandiose style. Debussy mature creative period was represented by the following works: 0 Artistes Bullies prelude to the Afternoon Of a Faun String Quartet Pellets et Melanesian famous operatic work that drew mixed extreme reactions for its innovative harmonies and textural treatments. D La Mere (1905)?a highly imaginative and atmospheric symphonic work for orchestra about the sea
Images, Suite Burgomaster, and Stamped?his most popular piano compositions; a set of lightly textured pieces containing his signature work Claire De Lune (Moonlight) His musical compositions total more or less 227 which include orchestral music, chamber music, piano music, operas, ballets, songs, and other vocal music. 4 The creative style of Debussy was characterized by his unique approach to the various musical elements. Debussy compositions deviated from the Romantic Period and is clearly seen by the way he avoided metric pulses and preferred free form and developed his themes.
Debussy s western influences came from composers Franz List and Giuseppe Verdi. From the East, he was fascinated by the Javanese gametal that he had heard at the 1 889 Paris Exposition. The gametal is an ensemble with bells, gongs, xylophone, and occasional vocal parts which he later used in his works to achieve a new sound. From the visual arts, Debussy was influenced by Monet, Pissarro, Meant, Degas, and Renoir; and from the literary arts, by Mallard, Overlain, and Rumbaed. Most of his close friends were painters and poets who significantly influenced his compositions. His role as the “Father of the
Modern School of Composition” made its mark in the styles of the later 20th century composers like Igor Stravinsky, Edgar Varies, and Olivier Messiahs. Debussy spent the remaining years of his life as a critic, composer, and performer. He died in Paris on March 25, 1918 of cancer at the height of the First World War. CLAIRE DE LUNE (MOONLIGHT) Us tie Burgomaster (Excerpt) Claude Debussy Copyright by everyone. Com 5 MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937) Joseph Maurice Ravel was born in Ciborium, France to a Basque mother and a Swiss father. He entered the Paris Conservatory at the age of 14 where he studied with the eminent French imposer Gabriel Fare.
During his stint with the school where he stayed until his early ass’s, he had composed a number of masterpieces. The compositional style of Ravel is mainly characterized by its uniquely innovative but not atonal style of harmonic treatment. It is defined with intricate and sometimes modal melodies and extended choral components. It demands considerable technical virtuosity from the performer which is the character, ability, or skill of a virtuoso?a person who excels in musical technique or execution. The harmonic progressions and modulations are not only musically satisfying UT also pleasantly dissonant and elegantly sophisticated.
His refined delicacy and color, contrasts and effects add to the difficulty in the proper execution of the musical passages. These are extensively used in his works of a programmatic nature, wherein visual imagery is either suggested or portrayed. Many of his works deal with water in its flowing or stormy moods as well as with human characterizations. Ravel’s works include the following: 6 Paean for a Dead Princess (1899), a slow but lyrical requiem Juju dead or Water Fountains (1901) string Quartet (1903) Sensation for Piano (c. 1904)
Mirrors (Mirrors), 1 905, a work for piano known for its harmonic evolution and imagination, Gaspers De la Unit (1908), a set of demonic-inspired pieces based on the poems of Allusions Bertrand which is arguably the most difficult piece in the piano repertoire. These were followed by a number of his other significant works, including Valves Nobles et Sentimental (191 1) Lee Automate De Coopering (c. 191 7), a commemoration of the musical advocates of the early 18th century French composer François Coopering, Rhapsodies Espanola Bolero Daphnia et Chloe (191 2), a ballet commissioned by master choreographer
Sergei Dishevel that contained rhythmic diversity, evocation Of nature, and choral ensemble La Valves (1 920), a waltz with a frightening undertone that had been composed for ballet and arranged as well as for solo and duo piano. The two piano concerti composed in 1929 as well as the violin virtuosic piece Tagging (1922) total the relatively meager compositional output of Ravel, approximating 60 pieces for piano, chamber music, song cycles, ballet, and opera. Ravel was a perfectionist and every bit a musical craftsman. He strongly adhered to the classical form, specifically its ternary structure.
A strong advocate of Russian music, he also admired the music of Chopin, List, Schubert, and Mendelssohn. He died in Paris in 1937. BOLERO Transcriptions for Two Pianos (Excerpt) Maurice Ravel 7 Comparative Styles of Debussy and Ravel As the two major exponents of French Impressionism in music, Debussy and Ravel had crossed paths during their lifetime although Debussy was thirteen years older than Ravel. While their musical works sound quite similar in terms of their harmonic and textural characteristics, the two differed greatly in their personalities and approach to music.
Whereas Debussy was more pantones and liberal in form, Ravel was very attentive to the classical norms of musical structure and the compositional craftsmanship. Whereas Debussy was more casual in his portrayal of visual imagery, Ravel was more formal and exacting in the development of his motive ideas. ARNOLD SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Arnold Schoenberg was born in a working-class suburb Of Vienna, Austria on September 13, 1874. He taught himself music theory, but took lessons in counterpoint.
German composer Richard Wagner influenced his work as evidenced by his symphonic poem Pellets et Melanesian, Pop 5 (1 903), a interruption of Debussy opera of the same title. Schoenberg style was constantly undergoing development. From the early influences of Wagner, his tonal preference gradually turned to the dissonant and atonal, as he explored the use of chromatic harmonies. Although full of melodic and lyrical interest, his music is also extremely complex, creating heavy demands on the listener. His works were met with extreme reactions, either strong hostility from the general public or enthusiastic acclaim from his supporters.