|dc.description.abstract||The early 19th century was a transitional period of Western European music
history between the Classical and Romantic styles: new ideas and styles of music writing
and performances were infused with a spirit of independence and personal freedom that
arose all across Europe. Emphasis shifted from the restraint and formal discipline of the
Classical point of view to the emotionalism and individualism of the Romantic. Many
composers in that period had various styles and differing philosophies of their own music
writings. I chose two representative Romantic composers, Felix Mendelssohn (1 809-1 847)
and Robert Schumann (1 8 10-1 856), to compare the characteristics of their music and also
to show how differently they approached their music in the environment of post-Classical
and Romantic style.
Mendelssohn was significant among many other contemporaries during the early
19Ih century because his music was somewhat distinct from the high Romantic style. He
had a certain conservatism, an emotional inhibition. His music is certainly Romantic in
its treatment of the orchestra and the quality of its imagination, but they were always
skillful and controlled with polite gestures and never allow extra musical inspiration to
disturb the musical balance.
In contrast, Schumann, the leading exponent of musical Romanticism, was the
first of the completely anti-Classic composers and forms as they previously existed.
Mood, color, suggestion, allusion - these were important to Schumann, much more than
writing correct fugues, rondos, or sonatas.
I gave two recitals of each composer: Mendelssohn and Schumann. The first
recital comprised of two works by Mendelssohn: Sonata No. 2 in D Major, opus 58 and
Piano Trio No. 2 in c minor. opus 66. Both of these pieces are good examples of typical
classical form such as sonata form and rondo. The second recital, I performed the highly
romantic late works of Schumann: Five Pieces in Folk Style, opus 102, Adagio and
Allegro, opus 70 and Concerto in a minor, opus 129.||en