Symphonic poetry

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A symphonic poem (also symphonic poem , symphonic poem or tone poem ) is a longer musical piece for orchestra that tries to describe extra-musical content with musical means, for example people, legendary figures or landscapes, later z. B. also paintings. Sometimes the symphonic poem also directly follows a literary model (e.g. in Franz Liszt or Richard Strauss ). It is a form of program music and plays in particular in the romantic music of the 19th centurya major role. The genre is particularly important for the emergence of the national schools of the century, as here, for example, national or folk song-like echoes can be worked particularly directly into the music. The formal layout is freely chosen according to the subject described.

Arising from the conviction that the form of the symphony, which stems from the Viennese classic, was incapable of further development, these two genres competed with each other for a long time. Two “schools” or lines of tradition emerged, the origin of which goes back to the controversy between the supporters of Schumann and Brahms , as well as those of the so-called New German School around Wagner and Liszt , which coined the term “Symphonic Poetry”. The latter were in favor of programmatic compositions, while the former stuck to the traditional symphony scheme and composing works without a program. Nevertheless, there are numerous composers who have cultivated both genres equally (e.g. Camille Saint-Saëns , Antonín Dvořák , Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek , Jean Sibelius , Sergei Rachmaninow , Arnold Bax ).

The term “tone poetry” (purely conceptual: poetry in tones), unlike the term “symphonic poetry”, does not always designate a symphonic work. For example, tone poems for chamber music ensembles can also be found predominantly from the early twentieth century. The best known work of this genre is Arnold Schönberg's string sextet Verklierter Nacht . Other important chamber music tone poems created u. a. Leoš Janáček ( Pohádka for violoncello and piano, string quartet Die Kreutzersonata ), Paul Graener (piano trio Der Hungerpastor op.20 ) and Paul Juon (piano trio Litaniae op.70 ). Important forerunners of this genre can already be found by Joachim Raff (String Quartet No. 7, Op. 192, No. 2, Die Schöne Müllerin , cyclical tone poem Volker, Op. 203 for violin and piano).

Well-known symphonic poems