A symphonic poem is a piece of orchestral music that is based on a non-musical source, for example the content of a poem, novel, perhaps a painting or even a landscape. It is believed that Franz Liszt, an Hungarian virtuoso and composer, invented the form and the term. In a lot of his compositions, Liszt uses theatrics to parallel the non-musical emotions of his sources, “...the poetic idea is simultaneously the formative element.” Liszt also said that “when ‘the music does not develop intrinsically from within, it becomes ‘literature music’.” A symphonic poem does not merely copy its source of inspiration, for example taking the literal meaning of it, but the music creates its own “self” from the inspiration.
One of the best things about this genre, is that every composer who has worked within it has approached it a different way. Remarkably, when the same composer is using the inspiration of a novel for one score and then the inspiration of a painting for another, you see that even the same composer will differentiate in their musical design depending on their source of insp...
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... Quixote” astounded people when it was first played, and it still astounds people today.
"Richard Strauss." Richard Strauss Online. Dr. Richard Strauss, Bösendorferstrasse 4, A-1010 Vienna / Austria / Europe, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
"STRAUSS, R.: Don Quixote / Romance for Cello and Orchestra." STRAUSS, R.: Don Quixote / Romance for Cello and Orchestra. Naxos, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Symphonic Poem (music)."Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Posner, Howard. "La Mer." LA Phil. Los Angeles Philharmonic, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Kopplin, Dave. "An American in Paris." LA Phil. Los Angeles Philharmonic, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
"Strauss, Richard." PBS. ©Macmillan Publishers Ltd., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
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