Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was an Italian opera composer, called "the greatest composer of Italian opera after Verdi". Puccini's early work was rooted in traditional late-19th-century romantic Italian opera, he developed his work in the realistic verismo style, of which he became one of the leading exponents. Puccini's most renowned works are La bohème, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, all of which are among the important operas played as standards. Puccini was born Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini in Lucca, Italy in 1858, he was one of nine children of Michele Albina Magi. The Puccini family was established in Lucca as a local musical dynasty by Puccini's great-great-grandfather – named Giacomo; this first Giacomo Puccini was maestro di cappella of the Cattedrale di San Martino in Lucca. He was succeeded in this position by his son, Antonio Puccini, by Antonio's son Domenico, Domenico's son Michele; each of these men studied music at Bologna, some took additional musical studies elsewhere.
Domenico Puccini studied for a time under Giovanni Paisiello. Each composed music for the church. In addition, Domenico composed several operas, Michele composed one opera. Puccini's father Michele enjoyed a reputation throughout northern Italy, his funeral was an occasion of public mourning, at which the then-famed composer Giovanni Pacini conducted a Requiem. With the Puccini family having occupied the position of maestro di cappella for 124 years by the time of Michele's death, it was anticipated that Michele's son Giacomo would occupy that position as well when he was old enough. However, when Michele Puccini died in 1864, his son Giacomo was only six years old, thus not capable of taking over his father's job; as a child, he participated in the musical life of the Cattedrale di San Martino, as a member of the boys' choir and as a substitute organist. Puccini was given a general education at the seminary of San Michele in Lucca, at the seminary of the cathedral. One of Puccini's uncles, Fortunato Magi, supervised his musical education.
Puccini got a diploma from the Pacini School of Music in Lucca in 1880, having studied there with his uncle Fortunato, with Carlo Angeloni, who had instructed Alfredo Catalani. A grant from Queen Margherita, assistance from another uncle, Nicholas Cerù, provided the funds necessary for Puccini to continue his studies at the Milan Conservatory, where he studied composition with Stefano Ronchetti-Monteviti, Amilcare Ponchielli, Antonio Bazzini. Puccini studied at the conservatory for three years. In 1880, at the age of 21, Puccini composed his Mass, which marks the culmination of his family's long association with church music in his native Lucca. Puccini wrote an orchestral piece called the Capriccio sinfonico as a thesis composition for the Milan Conservatory. Puccini's teachers Ponchielli and Bazzini were impressed by the work, it was performed at a student concert at the conservatory on 14 July 1883, conducted by Franco Faccio. Puccini's work was favorably reviewed in the Milanese publication Perseveranza, thus Puccini began to build a reputation as a young composer of promise in Milanese music circles.
After the premiere of the Capriccio sinfonico and Puccini discussed the possibility that Puccini's next work might be an opera. Ponchielli invited Puccini to stay at his villa, where Puccini was introduced to another young man named Ferdinando Fontana. Puccini and Fontana agreed to collaborate on an opera; the work, Le Villi, was entered into a competition sponsored by the Sozogno music publishing company in 1883. Although it did not win, Le Villi was staged at the Teatro Dal Verme, premiering on 31 May 1884. G. Ricordi & Co. music publishers assisted with the premier by printing the libretto without charge. Fellow students from the Milan Conservatory formed a large part of the orchestra; the performance was enough of a success. Revised into a two-act version with an intermezzo between the acts, Le Villi was performed at La Scala in Milan, on 24 January 1885. However, Ricordi did not publish the score until 1887. Giulio Ricordi, head of G. Ricordi & Co. music publishers, was sufficiently impressed with Le Villi and its young composer that he commissioned a second opera, which would result in Edgar.
Work was begun in 1884. Puccini finished primary composition in 1887 and orchestration in 1888. Edgar premiered at La Scala on 21 April 1889 to a lukewarm response; the work was withdrawn for revisions after its third performance. In a Milanese newspaper, Giulio Ricordi published a defense of Puccini's skill as a composer, while criticizing Fontana's libretto. A revised version met with success at the Teatro del Giglio in Puccini's native Lucca on 5 September 1891. In 1892, further revisions reduced the length of the opera from four acts to three, in a version, well received in Ferrara and was performed in Turin and in Spain. Puccini made further revisions in 1901 and 1905. Without the personal support of Ricordi, Edgar might have cost Puccini his career. Puccini had eloped with his former piano student, the married Elvira Gemignani, Ricordi's associates were willing to turn a blind eye to his life style as long as he was successful; when Edg
Claudia Moscovici is a Romanian-American novelist and art/literary critic. Moscovici was born in Romania. At the age of 12, she immigrated with her family to the United States where she has gone on to obtain a B. A. from Princeton University and a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature from Brown University. Moscovici taught philosophy and arts and ideas at Boston University and at the University of Michigan. Born in Bucharest, she writes from her experience of life in a totalitarian regime, which marked her deeply. Claudia Moscovici is the author of Velvet Totalitarianism a novel about a Romanian family's survival in an oppressive communist regime due to the strength of their love; this novel was republished in translation in her native country, under the title Intre Doua Lumi. In 2002, she co-founded with Mexican sculptor Leonardo Pereznieto the international aesthetic movement called “Postromanticism”, devoted to celebrating beauty and sensuality in contemporary art, she wrote a book on Romanticism and its postromantic survival called Romanticism and Postromanticism, taught philosophy and arts and ideas at Boston University and at the University of Michigan.
Most she published a nonfiction book on psychopathic seduction, called Dangerous Liaisons and a psychological thriller called The Seducer, which tells the story of a woman lured by a dangerous psychopathic predator. This Claudia Moscovici bibliography is a partial list of books written by Romanian-American writer Claudia Moscovici. Http://www.curteaveche.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/intre-doua-lumi/Noualiteratura.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/nl-29.pdf http://Geopolitikon.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/scrisulromanesc_3_2010.pdf http://www.postromanticism.com/philosophy/main_philo.html De la "Efectul Coandă" la "Efectul Glenn", 6 iunie 2012, Tudor Cires, Jurnalul Național http://www.catchy.ro/aventurile-unei-postromantice-intr-o-epoca-postcomunista-interviu/17711 http://www.forbes.ro/Cum-sa-promovezi-cu-metode-americane-o-carte-despre-comunism_0_2301.html http://www.revistavip.net/Stiri_de_ultima_ora/Dezvaluirile_scriitoarei_romance_Claudia_Moscovici_/6155/Claudia http://www.curteaveche.ro/Intre_doua_lumi-3-1298 http://m.rfi.ro/articol/asculta-rfi-ro/doua-lumi Între două lumi, 16 septembrie 2011, Claudia Moscovici, Ziarul de Duminică Andy Platon a realizat primul music-video făcut pentru o carte, 25 septembrie 2011, Libertatea Author's page at Amazon at Official Site of Postromanticism Pages at Amazon Observations and Research at Literary Kicks alleged feedback from pupils GENERAȚIA X | Claudia Moscovici, scriitoare de succes în Statele Unite, 21 aprilie 2015, Digi24.ro
In music, Form refers to the structure of a musical composition or performance. In "Worlds of Music", Jeff Todd Titon suggests that a number of organizational elements may determine the formal structure of a piece of music, such as "the arrangement of musical units of rhythm, or/ harmony that show repetition or variation, the arrangement of the instruments, or the way a symphonic piece is orchestrated", among other factors; these organizational elements may be broken into smaller units called phrases, which express a musical idea but lack sufficient weight to stand alone. Musical form unfolds over time through the development of these ideas. To aid in the process of describing form, musicians have developed a simple system of labeling musical units with letters. In his textbook "Listening to Music," professor Craig Wright writes, The first statement of a musical idea is designated A. Subsequent contrasting sections are labeled B, C, D, so on. If the first or any other musical unit returns in varied form that variation is indicated by a superscript number-- A1 and B2, for example.
Subdivisions of each large musical unit are shown by lowercase letters. Some writers use a prime label to denote sections that are related, but vary slightly; the founding level of musical form can be divided into two parts: The arrangement of the pulse into unaccented and accented beats, the cells of a measure that, when harmonized, may give rise to a motif or figure. The further organization of such a measure, by repetition and variation, into a true musical phrase having a definite rhythm and duration that may be implied in melody and harmony, for example, by a long final note and a breathing space; this "phrase" may be regarded as the fundamental unit of musical form: it may be broken down into measures of two or three beats, but its distinctive nature will be lost. At this level, the importance of the principles of repetition and contrast and strong, climax and repose, can be seen. Thus, form may be understood on three levels of organization. For the purpose of this exposition, these levels can be designated as passage and cycle.
The smallest level of construction concerns the way musical phrases are organized into musical sentences and "paragraphs" such as the verse of a song. This may be compared to, is decided by, the verse form or meter of the words or the steps of a dance. For example, the twelve bar blues is a specific verse form, while common meter is found in many hymns and ballads and, the Elizabethan galliard, like many dances, requires a certain rhythm and length of melody to fit its repeating pattern of steps. Simpler styles of music may be more or less wholly defined at this level of form, which therefore does not differ from the loose sense first mentioned and which may carry with it rhythmic, timbral and melodic conventions; the next level concerns the entire structure of any single self-contained musical piece. If the hymn, blues or dance alluded to above repeats the same musical material indefinitely the piece is said to be in strophic form overall. If it repeats with distinct, sustained changes each time, for instance in setting, ornamentation or instrumentation the piece is a theme and variations.
If two distinctly different themes are alternated indefinitely, as in a song alternating verse and chorus or in the alternating slow and fast sections of the Hungarian czardas this gives rise to a simple binary form. If the theme is played a new theme is introduced, the piece closing with a return to the first theme, we have a simple ternary form. Great arguments and misunderstanding can be generated by such terms as'ternary' and'binary', as a complex piece may have elements of both at different organizational levels. A minuet, like any Baroque dance had simple binary structure, this was extended by the introduction of another minuet arranged for solo instruments, after which the first was repeated again and the piece ended—this is a ternary form—ABA: the piece is binary on the lower compositional level but ternary on the higher. Organisational levels are not and universally defined in western musicology, while words like "section" and "passage" are used at different levels by different scholars whose definitions, as Schlanker points out, cannot keep pace with the myriad innovations and variations devised by musicians.
The grandest level of organization may be referred to as "cyclical form". It concerns the arrangement of several self-contained pieces into a large-scale composition. For example, a set of songs with a related theme may be presented as a song-cycle, whereas a set of Baroque dances were presented as a suite; the opera and ballet may organize song and dance into larger forms. This level of musical form, though it again applies and gives rise to different genres, takes more account of the methods of musical organisation used. For example: a symphony, a concerto and a sonata differ in scale and aim, yet resemble one another in the manner of their organization; the individual pieces which make up the larger form may be called movements. Scholes suggested that European classical music had only six stand-alone forms: simple binary, simple ternary, compound binary, air with variations, fugue. Charles Keil classified forms and formal detail as "sectional, developmental, o
In music, harmony considers the process by which the composition of individual sounds, or superpositions of sounds, is analysed by hearing. This means occurring frequencies, pitches, or chords; the study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic line, or the "horizontal" aspect. Counterpoint, which refers to the relationship between melodic lines, polyphony, which refers to the simultaneous sounding of separate independent voices, are thus sometimes distinguished from harmony. In popular and jazz harmony, chords are named by their root plus various terms and characters indicating their qualities. In many types of music, notably baroque, romantic and jazz, chords are augmented with "tensions". A tension is an additional chord member that creates a dissonant interval in relation to the bass. In the classical common practice period a dissonant chord "resolves" to a consonant chord.
Harmonization sounds pleasant to the ear when there is a balance between the consonant and dissonant sounds. In simple words, that occurs; the term harmony derives from the Greek ἁρμονία harmonia, meaning "joint, concord", from the verb ἁρμόζω harmozō, " fit together, join". In the past, harmony referred to the whole field of music, while music referred to the arts in general. In Ancient Greece, the term defined the combination of contrasted elements: a lower note, it is unclear whether the simultaneous sounding of notes was part of ancient Greek musical practice. In the Middle Ages the term was used to describe two pitches sounding in combination, in the Renaissance the concept was expanded to denote three pitches sounding together. Aristoxenus wrote a work entitled Harmonika Stoicheia, thought the first work in European history written on the subject of harmony, it was not until the publication of Rameau's Traité de l'harmonie in 1722 that any text discussing musical practice made use of the term in the title, although that work is not the earliest record of theoretical discussion of the topic.
The underlying principle behind these texts is that harmony sanctions harmoniousness by conforming to certain pre-established compositional principles. Current dictionary definitions, while attempting to give concise descriptions highlight the ambiguity of the term in modern use. Ambiguities tend to arise from either aesthetic considerations or from the point of view of musical texture (distinguishing between harmonic and "contrapuntal". In the words of Arnold Whittall: While the entire history of music theory appears to depend on just such a distinction between harmony and counterpoint, it is no less evident that developments in the nature of musical composition down the centuries have presumed the interdependence—at times amounting to integration, at other times a source of sustained tension—between the vertical and horizontal dimensions of musical space; the view that modern tonal harmony in Western music began in about 1600 is commonplace in music theory. This is accounted for by the replacement of horizontal composition, common in the music of the Renaissance, with a new emphasis on the vertical element of composed music.
Modern theorists, tend to see this as an unsatisfactory generalisation. According to Carl Dahlhaus: It was not that counterpoint was supplanted by harmony but that an older type both of counterpoint and of vertical technique was succeeded by a newer type, and harmony comprises not only the structure of chords but their movement. Like music as a whole, harmony is a process. Descriptions and definitions of harmony and harmonic practice may show bias towards European musical traditions. For example, South Asian art music is cited as placing little emphasis on what is perceived in western practice as conventional harmony. Pitch simultaneity in particular is a major consideration. Many other considerations of pitch are relevant to the music, its theory and its structure, such as the complex system of Rāgas, which combines both melodic and modal considerations and codifications within it. So, intricate pitch combinations that sound do occur in Indian classical music—but they are studied as teleological harmonic or contrapuntal progressions—as with notated Western music.
This contrasting emphasis manifests itself in the different methods of performance adopted: in Indian Music improvisation takes a major role in the structural framework of a piece, whereas in Western Music improvisation has been uncommon since the end of the 19th century. Where it does occur in Western music, the improvisation either embellishes pre-notated music or draws from musical models established in notated compositions, therefore uses familiar harmonic schemes. Emphasis on the precomposed in European art music and th
Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, virtuoso pianist and conductor of the late Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular in the Romantic repertoire. Born into a musical family, Rachmaninoff took up the piano at age four, he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1892 having composed several piano and orchestral pieces. In 1897, following the negative critical reaction to his Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninoff entered a four-year depression and composed little until successful therapy allowed him to complete his enthusiastically received Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1901. For the next sixteen years, Rachmaninoff conducted at the Bolshoi Theatre, relocated to Dresden and toured the United States for the first time. Following the Russian Revolution and his family left Russia. With his main source of income coming from piano and conducting performances, demanding tour schedules led to a reduction in his time for composition. 3, Symphonic Dances. By 1942, his failing health led to his relocation to California.
One month before his death from advanced melanoma, Rachmaninoff was granted American citizenship. In Rachmaninoff's work, early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev and other Russian composers gave way to a personal style notable for its song-like melodicism and rich orchestral colors. Rachmaninoff featured the piano in his compositions, he explored the expressive possibilities of the instrument through his own skills as a pianist, he was born into a family of the Russian aristocracy in the Russian Empire. In their first known genealogy, compiled in the 1680s by Perfiliy Rakhmaninov, the family derives its own origin from the Moldovan rulers Dragoshi, who ruled Moldavia and Wallachia from 1350 to 1552 descending from Vasile, nicknamed Rachmaninov, a son of the Moldavian prince Stephen the Great. Rachmaninoff's family had strong military leanings, his paternal grandfather, Arkady Alexandrovich, was a musician who had taken lessons from Irish composer John Field. His father, Vasily Arkadyevich Rachmaninoff, was an army officer and amateur pianist who married Lyubov Petrovna Butakova, the daughter of a wealthy army general who gave her five estates as part of her dowry.
The couple had three daughters, Rachmaninoff being their fourth child. Rachmaninoff was born in the Semyonovo estate, Zhglovskoy parish, Starorussky County, Novgorod Governorate, it is unclear which of two family estates he was born on: Oneg near Veliky Novgorod, or Semyonovo near Staraya Russa. His birth was registered in a church in the latter, but he was raised in Oneg until age nine and cited it as his birthplace in his adult life, he began music lessons organised by his mother at age four. She noticed his ability to reproduce passages from memory without a wrong note. Upon hearing news of the boy's gift, Arkady suggested she hire Anna Ornatskaya, a teacher and recent graduate of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, to live with the family and begin formal teaching. Rachmaninoff dedicated his piano composition "Spring Waters" from Op. 14 to Ornatskaya. Rachmaninoff's father had to auction off the Oneg estate in 1882 due to his financial incompetence. Rachmaninoff remained critical of his father in life, describing him as "a wastrel, a compulsive gambler, a pathological liar, a skirt chaser".
The family moved to a small flat in Saint Petersburg. In 1883, Ornatskaya arranged for Rachmaninoff, now 10, to study music at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory; that year his sister Sofia died of diphtheria and his father left the family for Moscow. His maternal grandmother stepped in to help raise the children with particular focus on their spiritual life taking Rachmaninoff to Russian Orthodox Church services where he first experienced liturgical chants and church bells, two features he would incorporate in his future compositions. In 1885, Rachmaninoff suffered further loss when his sister Yelena died at age eighteen of pernicious anemia, she was an important musical influence to Rachmaninoff who had introduced him to the works of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. As a respite, his grandmother took him to a farm retreat by the Volkhov River where Rachmaninoff developed a love for rowing. At the Conservatory, however, he had adopted a relaxed attitude and failed his general education classes, purposely altered his report cards in what composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov called a period of "purely Russian self-delusion and laziness".
Rachmaninoff performed at events held at the Moscow Conservatory during this time, including those attended by the Grand Duke Konstantin and other notable figures, but upon failing his spring exams Ornatskaya notified his mother that his admission to further education might be revoked. His mother consulted with Alexander Siloti, her nephew and an accomplished pianist and student of Franz Liszt, who recommended he be transferred to the Moscow Conservatory and receive lessons from his former teacher, the more strict Nikolai Zverev, which lasted until 1888. In the autumn of 1885, Rachmaninoff moved in with Zverev and stayed for four years, during which he befriended fellow pupil Alexander Scriabin. After two years of tuition, the fifteen year old Rachmaninoff was awarded a Rubinstein scholarship, graduated from the lower division of the Conservatory to become a pupil of Siloti in advanced piano, Sergei Taneyev in counterpoint, Anton Arensky in fre
Baroque music is a period or style of Western art music composed from 1600 to 1750. This era followed the Renaissance music era, was followed in turn by the Classical era. Baroque music forms a major portion of the "classical music" canon, is now studied and listened to. Key composers of the Baroque era include Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Claudio Monteverdi, Domenico Scarlatti, Alessandro Scarlatti, Henry Purcell, Georg Philipp Telemann, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Arcangelo Corelli, Tomaso Albinoni, François Couperin, Giuseppe Tartini, Heinrich Schütz, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Dieterich Buxtehude, Johann Pachelbel; the Baroque period saw the creation of common-practice tonality, an approach to writing music in which a song or piece is written in a particular key. During the Baroque era, professional musicians were expected to be accomplished improvisers of both solo melodic lines and accompaniment parts. Baroque concerts were accompanied by a basso continuo group while a group of bass instruments—viol, double bass—played the bassline.
A characteristic Baroque form was the dance suite. While the pieces in a dance suite were inspired by actual dance music, dance suites were designed purely for listening, not for accompanying dancers. During the period and performers used more elaborate musical ornamentation, made changes in musical notation, developed new instrumental playing techniques. Baroque music expanded the size and complexity of instrumental performance, established the mixed vocal/instrumental forms of opera and oratorio and the instrumental forms of the solo concerto and sonata as musical genres. Many musical terms and concepts from this era, such as toccata and concerto grosso are still in use in the 2010s. Dense, complex polyphonic music, in which multiple independent melody lines were performed was an important part of many Baroque choral and instrumental works; the term "baroque" comes from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning "misshapen pearl". Negative connotations of the term first occurred in 1734, in a criticism of an opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau, in a description by Charles de Brosses of the ornate and ornamented architecture of the Pamphili Palace in Rome.
Although the term continued to be applied to architecture and art criticism through the 19th century, it was not until the 20th century that the term "baroque" was adopted from Heinrich Wölfflin's art-history vocabulary to designate a historical period in music. The term "baroque" is used by music historians to describe a broad range of styles from a wide geographic region in Europe, composed over a period of 150 years. Although it was long thought that the word as a critical term was first applied to architecture, in fact it appears earlier in reference to music, in an anonymous, satirical review of the première in October 1733 of Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, printed in the Mercure de France in May 1734; the critic implied that the novelty in this opera was "du barocque", complaining that the music lacked coherent melody, was filled with unremitting dissonances changed key and meter, speedily ran through every compositional device. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a musician and composer as well as philosopher, wrote in 1768 in the Encyclopédie: "Baroque music is that in which the harmony is confused, loaded with modulations and dissonances.
The singing is harsh and unnatural, the intonation difficult, the movement limited. It appears that term comes from the word'baroco' used by logicians." Rousseau was referring to the philosophical term baroco, in use since the 13th century to describe a type of elaborate and, for some, unnecessarily complicated academic argument. The systematic application by historians of the term "baroque" to music of this period is a recent development. In 1919, Curt Sachs became the first to apply the five characteristics of Heinrich Wölfflin's theory of the Baroque systematically to music. Critics were quick to question the attempt to transpose Wölfflin's categories to music, in the second quarter of the 20th century independent attempts were made by Manfred Bukofzer and by Suzanne Clercx-Lejeune to use autonomous, technical analysis rather than comparative abstractions, in order to avoid the adaptation of theories based on the plastic arts and literature to music. All of these efforts resulted in appreciable disagreement about time boundaries of the period concerning when it began.
In English the term acquired currency only in the 1940s, in the writings of Bukofzer and Paul Henry Lang. As late as 1960, there was still considerable dispute in academic circles in France and Britain, whether it was meaningful to lump together music as diverse as that of Jacopo Peri, Domenico Scarlatti, Johann Sebastian Bach under a single rubric; the term has become used and accepted for this broad range of music. It may be helpful to distinguish the Baroque from both the preceding and following periods of musical history; the Baroque perio
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical, it was a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, the scientific rationalization of nature—all components of modernity. It was embodied most in the visual arts and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, the social sciences, the natural sciences, it had a significant and complex effect on politics, with romantic thinkers influencing liberalism, radicalism and nationalism. The movement emphasized intense emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as apprehension and terror, awe—especially that experienced in confronting the new aesthetic categories of the sublimity and beauty of nature.
It elevated folk art and ancient custom to something noble, but spontaneity as a desirable characteristic. In contrast to the Rationalism and Classicism of the Enlightenment, Romanticism revived medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived as authentically medieval in an attempt to escape population growth, early urban sprawl, industrialism. Although the movement was rooted in the German Sturm und Drang movement, which preferred intuition and emotion to the rationalism of the Enlightenment, the events and ideologies of the French Revolution were proximate factors. Romanticism assigned a high value to the achievements of "heroic" individualists and artists, whose examples, it maintained, would raise the quality of society, it promoted the individual imagination as a critical authority allowed of freedom from classical notions of form in art. There was a strong recourse to historical and natural inevitability, a Zeitgeist, in the representation of its ideas. In the second half of the 19th century, Realism was offered as a polar opposite to Romanticism.
The decline of Romanticism during this time was associated with multiple processes, including social and political changes and the spread of nationalism. The nature of Romanticism may be approached from the primary importance of the free expression of the feelings of the artist; the importance the Romantics placed on emotion is summed up in the remark of the German painter Caspar David Friedrich, "the artist's feeling is his law". To William Wordsworth, poetry should begin as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings", which the poet "recollect in tranquility", evoking a new but corresponding emotion the poet can mold into art. To express these feelings, it was considered the content of art had to come from the imagination of the artist, with as little interference as possible from "artificial" rules dictating what a work should consist of. Samuel Taylor Coleridge and others believed there were natural laws the imagination—at least of a good creative artist—would unconsciously follow through artistic inspiration if left alone.
As well as rules, the influence of models from other works was considered to impede the creator's own imagination, so that originality was essential. The concept of the genius, or artist, able to produce his own original work through this process of creation from nothingness, is key to Romanticism, to be derivative was the worst sin; this idea is called "romantic originality". Translator and prominent Romantic August Wilhelm Schlegel argued in his Lectures on Dramatic Arts and Letters that the most phenomenal power of human nature is its capacity to divide and diverge into opposite directions. Not essential to Romanticism, but so widespread as to be normative, was a strong belief and interest in the importance of nature; this in the effect of nature upon the artist when he is surrounded by it, preferably alone. In contrast to the very social art of the Enlightenment, Romantics were distrustful of the human world, tended to believe a close connection with nature was mentally and morally healthy.
Romantic art addressed its audiences with what was intended to be felt as the personal voice of the artist. So, in literature, "much of romantic poetry invited the reader to identify the protagonists with the poets themselves". According to Isaiah Berlin, Romanticism embodied "a new and restless spirit, seeking violently to burst through old and cramping forms, a nervous preoccupation with perpetually changing inner states of consciousness, a longing for the unbounded and the indefinable, for perpetual movement and change, an effort to return to the forgotten sources of life, a passionate effort at self-assertion both individual and collective, a search after means of expressing an unappeasable yearning for unattainable goals"; the group of words with the root "Roman" in the various European languages, such as "romance" and "Romanesque", has a complicated history, but by the middle of the 18th century "romantic" in English and romantique in French were both in common use as adjectives of praise for natural phenomena such as views and sunsets, in a sense close to modern English usage but without the amorous connotation.
The application of the term to literature first became common in Germany, where the circle around the Schlegel brothers, critics August and Friedrich, began to speak of romantische Poesie in the 1790s, contrasting it with "classic" but in terms of spirit rather than dating. Friedrich Schlegel wrote in his Dialogue on Poetry, "I seek and find the romantic among th