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Neoromanticism

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Neoromanticism

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Neoromanticism in music was a trend in European classical music started in second half of 19th century in Germany. It is sometimes referred to as post-romanticism. The composers of that period underlined the strong links between music and literature. Among the most prominent composers of the neoromanticism are Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Anton Bruckner, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and Hugo Wolf.

In early 20th century the neo-romanticism gradually evolved into expressionism. However, its ideas were continued by several latter composers, among them Virgil Thomson, who describes: "Neo-Romanticism involves rounded melodic material (the neo-Classicists affected angular themes) and the frank expression of personal sentiments. The neo-Romantics position is an esthetic one purely, because technically we are eclectic. Our contribution to contemporary esthetics has been to pose the problems of sincerity in a new way. We are not out to impress, and we dislike inflated emotions. The feelings we really have are the only ones we think worthy of expression....Sentiment is our subject and sometimes landscape, but preferably a landscape with figures." (Hoover and Cage, 1959)

According to Daniel Albright (2004), "In the late twentieth century, the term Neoromanticism came to suggest a music that imitated the high emotional saturation of the music of (for example) Schumann [ Romanticism ], but in the 1920s it meant a subdued and modest sort of emotionalism, in which the excessive gestures of the Expressionists were boiled down into some solid residue of stable feeling." Thus, originally, neoromanticism in music was not a return to romanticism, but literally a new romanticism. See: Romantic music and Neoclassicism (music).

In pop music, neoromanticism strongly influenced gothic music and the goth subculture. (New Romantic)

Sources

  • Thomson, Virgil. Possibilities, 1:1. Cited in:
    • Hoover, Kathleen and Cage, John (1959). Virgil Thompson: His Life and Music, p.250. New York: Thomas Yoseloff.
  • Albright, Daniel (2004). Modernism and Music: An Anthology of Sources. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226012670.

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