Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On Romantic Music

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From Walzel, German Romanticism (1932):
Romantic music -- again one takes one's lead from Beethoven -- concerns itself with the heroic, the larger-than-life, the uncontrolled, the unrestricted -- even the potentially destructive. These values are then presented to the world as self-justifying entities, expressions of uncompromising personal vision. Once the composer's "message" has been made public, it is for the world at large to rise to it: the artist is not the servant of society but its leader.

-trans. A.E. Lussky.

(Illustration is Thomas Cole's The Destruction of Empire, 1836.)

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