The beginning of musical Romanticism is usually determined by the late compositions of Ludwig van Beethoven, such as his fifth piano concerto, or the works of Franz Schubert - piano songs and miniatures dating back to the second decade of the 19th century. It is much more difficult to determine the dusk of romanticism in the history of music, because for some artists romantic ideals began to be exhausted by the mid-nineteenth century, to others by the mid-twentieth century when some still composed in that style.
The works of Richard Wagner are the quintessence of musical German Romanticism. The reformer of opera theater and the creator of musical drama in his stage works eagerly reached for Germanic mythology and medieval legends of such fascinating romantics. While the subject matter with Wagner remained in the style of the epoch, far-reaching harmonics exceeded the frames of 19th century music, to be was a preview of the approaching atonality. The opera "Nuremberg Singers", completed in 1868, however, remains quite traditional in terms of sound, in contrast to the breakthrough harmony of the earlier "Tristan and Isolde".
The last Polish Romantic - both if we look at his work and life - was Mieczysław Karłowicz. Tragically dying in an avalanche in the Tatras, the 32-year-old composer left a relatively small output. In 1900, while still studying, he wrote "Bianca da Molena" Op. 6 - music for the drama "White dove" by Józef Nowiński. A special place in this work by Karłowicz is occupied by six symphonic poems. The first piece in this genre, "Returning Waves" Op. 9, Karłowicz wrote during a period of the family tragedies - the deaths of his father and sister. To escape the depressing atmosphere of Warsaw, he went to the spa of Ika, where the waves of the Adriatic became the inspiration to create the poem. The detailed program of the work, in accordance with the will of the composer, remains hidden, however, according to Karłowicz's guidelines, the composition is to reflect the changing moods of a man depressed by the burden of fate, and his recurring joyful memories of his youth.
Season finale concert Karłowicz | Strauss | Wagner
Symphony HallFilharmonia im. Mieczysława Karłowicza w Szczecinie
ul. Małopolska 48