A history of western music

A history of western music

Part A: Recapitulation from last week

  1. Read the subchapter “Choral Music” from A History of Western Music, 9th ed. (New York, London: Norton, 2014), pp. 643-650, and listen to Fanny Hensel’s partsong “Lockung” from her op. 3 Gartenlieder, and to Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s partsong “Der Jäger Abschied” op. 50 no. 2 (both available on Naxos).
  • Why might Fanny Hensel’s set of six songs be called Gartenlieder (garden songs)? What does this tell you about the musicians she wanted to sing her music?
  • Can you spot any “romantic” ideas in the text and the setting of both part songs (“romantic” in the early-19th-century sense, not in the sentimental contemporary sense)?
  • What makes the text of Mendelssohn’s partsong particularly suitable for an all-male ensemble?
  • Describe the form of both partsongs. Do you remember the technical term? Why would the composers have chosen this particular form
  1. Read the following entries on Grove Online (www.oxfordmusiconline.com) (Chris has shown you how to do this; if in doubt consult the slides from the library induction):
  • Simon Maguire and Elizabeth Forbes. “Norma.” The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Ed. Stanley Sadie. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 30 Sep. 2014. <http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/O903486>.
  • William Ashbrook. “Lucia di Lammermoor.” The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Ed. Stanley Sadie. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 30 Sep. 2014. <http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/O004252>.

Question: Italian opera often isn’t considered to be part of the ‘Romantic’ movement. However, can you spot ‘romantic’ elements in the setting and plots of these two operas?

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