Near the close of the nineteenth century, a new movement had emerged in European classical music. Rooted most heavily in France and lasting till the mid twentieth century, Europe witnessed what we call 'Impressionism', an idea of music described wonderfully by Oscar Thompson in 1937 as he states that the aim of such art was to "suggest rather than to depict; to mirror not the object, but the emotional response to the object; to interpret a fugitive impression rather than to seize upon and fix the permanent reality." Impressionism thus, in its most basic definition, is the converse of realism.A rather prominent characteristic of Impressionist music was the striking predominance of modal and exotic scales, free rhythm, unresolved dissonances and the evidently smaller programmatic form. Apart from this, Impressionist music is more broadly characterized by a dramatic use of both the minor and major scale systems. Claude Debussy is known as one of the greatest Impressionist composers till date. Many musical critics believe that the Impressionist movement was a liberating intrusion in the otherwise fixated notions of Western classical music. However, Impressionism too came with a set of restrictions, incapacities and difficulties, those of which will be discussed further in the essay in relation to their influence on Debussy's composition. Born on August 27th, 1862, Claude Debussy came from an ancestral background comprising of shopkeepers, suburban employees and peasants, none of which had any musical talent or affiliation. Much unlike a majority of composers known during the Classical and Romantic eras such as Mozart or Rachmaninoff, not only did he possess no musical family background, he also had had no extensive musical training... ... middle of paper ... ...s and syncopation. Though a passepied is traditionally written in triple meter, Debussy employs an interesting choice of meter throughout his piece that deviates from the norm of such a form. Modal chords give it a rather moto perpetuo feel, meaning a fast tempo and a steady, continuous stream of notes. Present in almost every measure is a crisp staccato accompaniment under which the melody provides us with two themes: the acicular introductory theme and the more graceful second theme. Throughout the course of this final piece, the second theme is heavily varied, oscillating between duple and triple meter and containing multiple inversions. The piece ends beautifully with a cascade of eighth notes as Debussy plays with the modal conflict of F-sharp and B. We also encounter a flurry of pianississimo chords which finally end with an array of sporadic staccato chords.
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Impressionist paintings can be considered documents of Paris capital of modernity to a great extent. This can be seen in their subjects, style of painting, and juxtaposition of the transitive and the eternal.
Achille-Claude Debussy was one of the most renowned French composers who stimulated the music of the twentieth-century. Debussy’s life experiences have given an emotional and relatable truth in his work. Works such as Clair de Lune, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, and La Mer are great achievements of Debussy that are the most familiar today. Debussy is worth reviewing because he uniquely structured his compositions that served as a base for musicians in the past, and will easily continue to motivate musical masterpieces for years to come.
Felix Mendelssohn was one of the most famous composers during the 19th century. Although in his music he did show some features of romanticism, he was strongly influenced by traditional genres such as counterpoint etc. In this essay, the biography of the composer, background of the genre and analysis of the piece will be investigated
10 By “Icon” and “Iconize” I mean the process of associating a musical object with an external object, or a cultural image. Debussy creates musical textures which correspond to certain concrete things, such as the sea, the snow, etc. - a highly luxurious and sophisticated version of word-painting. That is the reason why his music can be conceived as programmatic, just like the expressionists, except he deals with nature rather than personal drama.
When looking at the earlier styles explored in this class, it was easy to categorize composers by their era or period. Bach played during the Baroque; Mozart is clearly a Classical composer, etc. As we moved deeper and deeper into the class, and closer and closer to modern day, the categorization became increasingly difficult. This began with Beethoven, who did not fit quite into the Classical style, but was not a pure Romantic either. He was somewhere in-between. Debussy fills a similar space between periods. Though Debussy composed a great deal of program music, he also created pieces in the Impressionist style. With Debussy’s Pierrot, from his Quatre Chansons de Jeunesse (Four Songs of Youth), he creates a Lied that could be interpreted as either; an Impressionist piece or a piece of program music, meant to look at the meaning of the words and the music that accompanies them, as opposed to purely the sound itself.
In this essay, I will contrast and compare the two art movements, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism. I will be concentrating on the works of the two leading artists of these styles Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.
In this essay, I shall try to examine how great a role colour played in the evolution of Impressionism. Impressionism in itself can be seen as a linkage in a long chain of procedures, which led the art to the point it is today. In order to do so, colour in Impressionism needs to be placed within an art-historical context for us to see more clearly the role it has played in the evolution of modern painting. In the late eighteenth century, for example, ancient Greek and Roman examples provided the classical sources in art. At the same time, there was a revolt against the formalism of Neo-Classicism. The accepted style was characterised by appeal to reason and intellect, with a demand for a well-disciplined order and restraint in the work. The decisive Romantic movement emphasized the individual’s right in self-expression, in which imagination and emotion were given free reign and stressed colour rather than line; colour can be seen as the expression for emotion, whereas line is the expression of rationality. Their style was painterly rather than linear; colour offered a freedom that line denied. Among the Romanticists who had a strong influence on Impressionism were Joseph Mallord William Turner and Eugéne Delacroix. In Turner’s works, colour took precedence over the realistic portrayal of form; Delacroix led the way for the Impressionists to use unmixed hues. The transition between Romanticism and Impressionism was provided by a small group of artists who lived and worked at the village of Barbizon. Their naturalistic style was based entirely on their observation and painting of nature in the open air. In their natural landscape subjects, they paid careful attention to the colourful expression of light and atmosphere. For them, colour was as important as composition, and this visual approach, with its appeal to emotion, gradually displaced the more studied and forma, with its appeal to reason.
My composer is known as an influential minimalist and has written a variety of works such as opera, musical theater, symphonies, chamber music, and film scores and much more. This composer’s identity is none other than Philip Glass. The major focus in this paper are to give a moderately brief background on Philip Glass, examining his style of music along with how others view it and describe one of Philip Glass’s musical pieces. The background or bio about Philip Glass has information primary associated with events surrounding his career. When we reach examining Philip Glass’s style of music, people’s opinions on his music and who he sounds similar too is discussed. The final part of paper basically discuss one of Philip Glass’s works and how it serves as an example to his other music.
Claude Monet is often accredited as the leading member of the Impressionist movement. His work in Impression, Sunrise is the painting that gave birth to the movement. Here we can perceive Monet’s use of a limited palette: muddy blues and gray establish a somewhat somber mood – contrasted by a bright orange, representing the sun at dusk. Seizing the viewer’s attention is a figure in a boat, an effect the artist has achieved by painting the background boats a lighter, blurrier gray. Not only is this technique executed in this painting, but on a vast majority of Monet’s work. However, Monet’s Water Lilies series could serve as a counterclaim to such statement, as they fail so focus on a single subject, instead blurring everything on the canvas. Edgar Degas exceeds beyond Bardo’s definition of Impressionism. Though his seamless use of perspective and focus on subjects appear a good fit to the Impressionist movement, Degas referred to himself as a Realist or Independent artist. Indeed, he did share a preference for depicting the middle class – emphasizing figures, lights, and shadows – rejecting the Impressionist color theory.
Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers of all time. Claude Debussy’s music has had the ability to alter how I perceive music and, has made me gain a greater appreciation for all types of music. Growing up playing piano my entire life it was always hard for me as a child to follow all of the “rules” of what traditional classic music was interpreted as. Sheet music seemed so dull and boring to me, because I would be playing the piece but certain parts just did not sound appealing to my ear. My instructor always frowned upon me for this because it was different from what every other person was doing at the time. I recognized that Debussy’s style of music was also criticized much in the same way as mine was one day while I was listening to my favorite piece Clair De Lune. The song in my mind is simply perfection, the harmonies all flow beautifully but, according to others it is not what they want to hear because it is considered to be vague and lacks image. My struggle at being restricted to these so called rules of piano made me like Debussy more and more.
Although from the same artist group, these Impressionists originated from backgrounds that seemed worlds apart. Claude Monet, known as the “Master Impressionist” varied the themes in his artwork more than any other artist did. Monet’s work “Impression Sunrise”, of which the term “Impressionist” originates also gives rise to the title “Master Impressionist”. Edgar Degas started his career as an artist with nothing in common with Monet but the era in which they lived. From themes to brushstrokes and choices of colours, Monet and Degas started their relationship as Impressionist artists on opposite ends of the earth. However, towards the climax of their lives as artists, Monet aided Degas in adopting Impressionist Aesthetic qualities.
Igor Stravinsky makes for a first-class example of differences and similarities between neoclassicism and modernism. Modernism is defined as “A term used in music to denote a multi-faceted but distinct and continuous tradition within 20th-century composition”1, while neoclassicism may be defined as “A movement of style in the works of certain 20th-century composers, who, particularly during the period between the two world wars, revived the balanced forms and clearly perceptible thematic processes of earlier styles to replace what were, to them, the increasingly exaggerated gestures and formlessness of late Romanticism”2 By not only comparing his works to others but within his own body of work the two movements can be better distinguished. Stravinsky composed in both styles throughout his musical career making his works not only a prime example but a map for the transition between periods/movements, thus giving distinctness to the movements. Stravinsky “cultivated a flexible and reciprocal association with his changing environment. While consistently producing work which transformed the sensibilities of those who heard it, he himself continuously allowed his own sensibilities to be fed, even transformed, by the music and music-making of others.”3 By comparing and contrasting the works of Stravinsky with not only his own works, but with his contemporary's of the early 20th century, the division and resemblances between neoclassicism and modernism can be thoroughly observed.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a famous Impressionist painter, once said that a “…work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself, and carry you away…”(Kleiner). It 's the late 19th century and all of France is stirring due to the chaotic transformations caused by the Industrial Revolution (Kleiner). France became the central place for radical thinking and innovation of not only machinery, but also of thought and creation. The atmosphere of art and the culture shifted away from religion during the revolution and focused on science and personal thought, almost a glance back at humanism. This shift in focus supported new ideologies, such as Marxism and Darwinism, and encouraged the new painting style called Impressionism.
In conclusion, the art of the 19th century was composed of a sequence of competing artistic movements that sought to establish its superiority, ideologies and style within the artistic community of Europe. These movements, being Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, ultimately spread far beyond the confines of Europe and made modern art an international entity which can still be felt in today’s artistic world.