The nineteenth century is a radical turn in music history. Not only because of purely musical elements (the Romantic style), but also because of important changes in the musical life. This evolution could be summed up as a change of scale compare to the Classical era. On the one hand the musicians were not considered anymore as a homogeneous social category: composers were becoming individuals, unique personalities with their own musical style, newly respected as real creators. The focus was moving from the group to the individual. On the other hand the geographic musical scale was also changing: the location of official music shifted from court to city. In fact it was linked to a more general social shift through the emaciation of bourgeoisie. In the second half of the century, the cultural patrons were more often rich merchants than aristocrats in contrast to the Classical and early Romantic eras.
[...] Bibliography Elliott Antokoletz, Twentieth-Century Music, Prentice Hall Steven Beller, Vienna and the Jews 1867-1938, Cambridge University Press Franz Endler, Vienna, a guide to its Music and Musicians, Amadeus Press, Portland Egon Gartenberg, Vienna: Its musical heritage, The Pennsylvania State University Press Eduard Hanslick, Vienna's golden years of music (1850-1900), Books for libraries Press, Freeport Jim Samson (editor), The Cambridge history of Nineteenth-Century Music, Cambridge University Press Jim Samson (editor), The late Romantic Era, Prentice Hall Robert S. Wistrich, The Jews of Vienna in the Age of Franz Joseph, Oxford University Press Jim Samson [...]
[...] His orchestral work Penthesila had thus been rejected by the Vienna Philharmonic and its director Hans Richter because of his attacks against Brahms (Richter had also rejected Bruckner for the same reasons). Wolf was particularly focused on Lieder, inherited from Schubert and Schumann. His Möricke Lieder, Spanisches and Italienisches Liederbuch were nevertheless not appreciated by the Viennese audience. These modern miniatures, the new sounds and musical expressions were too odd for large audience tastes. In 1894 he had his first “success” (it means he was not insulted) with his Feurreiter and Elfenlied. [...]
[...] Cosima Wagner tried to bar him from the Imperial Opera. Mahler converted maybe because he knew that a non-Catholic could not be at the head of this opera; anti-Semitism was still very present despite the new constitution. Mahler was more famous as a conductor than as a composer. He had clearly a huge influence on the musical field during the last ten years of the nineteenth century, the so-called in Vienna “Mahler era”. Another main figure of Viennese musical life at that time was Hugo Wolf. [...]
[...] The musical history and the creative climate of Vienna highlighted its tremendous prestige in the three last decades of the nineteenth century. Its opera, as well as its philharmonic orchestra, was one of the most famous in Europe; the traditional Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde which was associated with the names of Beethoven and Schubert, and finally the Vienna Conservatory attracted a large amount of artists and made of Vienna the “Holy city of musicians”. Politically, Vienna was the capital of the declining Habsburg Empire; the city was, thus, the place for “underground political radicalism” as well as showcase for imperial display”. [...]
[...] I will analyze the influences and the interactions of these different personalities to understand the musical life in Vienna during the end of the nineteenth century. It is when Vienna was becoming again the city of musicians that Brahms arrived, in 1862. The meeting between Brahms and Vienna is often compared to a love story: “There was an immediate rapport; Brahms and Vienna had discovered each other Vienna had regained its intuition and took Brahms to heart”. He was rapidly offered (1863) the post of conductor at the Singakademie, a mixed choir established in 1858. [...]
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