Great Romantic Nationalist Music

As a holiday change of pace, Winter Watch offers the greatest music of 19th century Romantic Nationalism two by Czechs and one Russian. The first is a short clip from “Symphony from the New World” by Antonin Dvorak. The second is Bedřich Smetana’s “Vltava” (Má vlast- My Country). Third is Tchaikovsky’s fabulous “1812 Overture, Part II.”

Then, we finish with the best of a growing body of contemporary Romantic Nationalism, “Protectors of the Earth” and “Light From Darkness.”

And a final word on Thanksgiving gatherings with pajama people.

8 Comments on Great Romantic Nationalist Music

  1. Re the great Western classical musical arts tradition, a good question is why it petered out after 400 years of development … Most of the music played in classical concerts is no later than the earliest 20th century late Romantic period, from the last ‘great’ composers such as Sibelius or Richard Strass, the final popular ones often being Russians such as Rachmaninoff & Shostakovich. Opera too, faded around the same time, after Puccini in the early 20th century.

    ‘Classical’ music has continued to be written & occasionally performed, but it tends to be either ‘weird’ academic-modern stuff people don’t like, or else rather un-original if pleasant. Music for Hollywood movies can be seen as essentially derivative of late Romantic classics as well, Richard Strauss especially seems to have framed cinema musical score idioms.

    What happened to music? Did we just run into the limits of musical idiom, & what can be developed that people still find enjoyable? It’s been noted recently that a huge amount of pop music hits, use the same 4 chords over & over (!) – they ‘work’ in winning the human ear … it has perhaps become, like so much else, a manipulation

    Curiously enough, the critical mass of classical musical study & performance today, is East Asia & notably China in a big way … the hard work involved doesn’t much suit today’s Western youth

    Here’s an Australian group doing a mash-up of hit songs using those 4 ‘pop-hit-making’ musical chords … over 40 million views, 5min31:

    • I’ve always wondered the same thing. There is some interesting neo-classical from people like Max Richter that is pleasant and interesting which experiments more with soundscapes, and he has an interesting philosophy that designing of the sound itself by shaping it with a computer is the new modern instrument as was the advent of the piano, which if I heard without listening to his music I would think it was some awful strange electro stuff which it is not. It is not the main focus as he uses traditional classical instruments mostly and puts ambient sounds in the background. It is pretty nice but also sometimes simple (as many are scores for movies) and kind of ambient. Here’s an example that I like:

  2. Hubby wondering the same thing all his life. Five years’ draft-dodging under the guise of a University of Minnesota music major found Chopin unmentionable among academia. For them the Romantic era never happened. Go atonal, they told the young pianist whose significantly romantic repertoire of 250 was already his career. Broaden the focus to examine the rest of the arts and it is clear: the Frankfurt School has infected all arts with a mission to destroy form in every art form (witness painting, writing…).

  3. My favorite song. From Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin. Performed by Gustavo Dudamel in 2012 @ sommer nachts konzert
    Pan the crowd when it shows them, notice anything?

  4. i used to be a music teacher.
    The explanation from my teachers were, that having gone the through the 12 tone tempered scale in melodic fashion, new ways had to be tested and charted “The Tonal Breakdown”.
    But it still remains within the confines of the 12 tone tempered scale, as brought out at Bachs time (and he ued it to the limits already then)
    id like to post a few faves too.

    Max Richter, this made me weep and gave me comfort after the recent suicide of an aquaintance:

    This should probably be called neoclassic, from the Brothers Von Lichten:

    Microtonality goes beyond 12 tone tempered, and shows a truly new way, here a few examples:

    The last one could be interpreted as a harbinger of thins to come. “Oblivion”
    I think the utter increase in madness and satanic evil is reflected in modern art, conscously and unconsciously.
    I could go on, better not.

    Id like to say that im so happy for this site, great material, a lot of condensed insight, i love the irreverent no bullshit tone.
    The “Shrunken Head” article had me laughing uncontrollably for 20 minutes, the pic and text combo was so effing spot on.
    Thank you so much!

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