What inspired Romantic composers of the 19th century to create the significant piano works that continue to speak profoundly to today’s audiences? Throughout the Romantic era the piano and the pianist-composers who wrote for it assumed an increasingly important role in European society. These pianist-composers and virtuosi fully explored the inner depths of their imaginations, and it is perhaps in the solo piano repertoire most of all that we as listeners become privy to their most passionate and idiosyncratic work. In this course we focus on the piano works of Felix Mendelssohn, Frederic Chopin, Robert and Clara Schumann, Franz Liszt, and Johannes Brahms – pianist-composers who embodied the Romantic spirit and pursued freedom from the constraints of their predecessors. We will read composers’ letters and first-hand accounts and current research, and of course, listen to performances.
Professor Gibson will be using CDs and an electronic piano to illustrate her lectures.