Write a 100-150 word essay about one Classical artist or musician and one Romantic artist or musician. Include the following criteria in your essay: Full name of the artist or musician...

  1. Write a 100-150 word essay about one Classical artist or musician and one Romantic artist or musician. Include the following criteria in your essay:
  1. Full name of the artist or musician
  2. Birthplace and date
  3. Education and training
  4. Influences
  5. Overall style characteristics
  6. Genres used by the artist or musician
  7. Original Ideas (Styles, Forms, Techniques)
  8. Major Contributions
  9. Definitive Works (Most famous contributions)
  10. Important Students (If any)
  11. Employment
  12. Death date and place
  13. Try to place the artist or musician in the context of history.

My classical Artist pick is: Charpentier

My romantic musician is: Schumann

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't think that you are going to get the essay written from this site. However, there are some basic points in which you can find a starting point in how to construct an essay on both composers and be able to find some convergent aspects in the analysis of both.  

For the most part, the full name, birthplace, and educational training can be obtained though basic research.  Along with, date and place of death, these are factual elements that will require some level of research.  The Internet can be a great source of information for this material.

I think that in examining some of the other items, research will still be needed, but also simply listening some of the respective composer's music will help generate sufficient responses. Obtaining that feel for each will be critical in writing about them.  For example, Carpentier was strongly associated with Baroque music.  His music featured a very ornate and decorated style to it. The artistic movement was his primary inspiration.  This can be seen in the tendencies of his music. There is extensive ornamentation in Carpentier's music.  For example, in Te Deum, the presence of a polyphonic melody as a style characteristic is dominant.  At the same time, the use of five soloists confirms the work's complex nature.  This tendency can also be seen in how he composed work that was difficult to categorize because of its ornate and intricate nature. Such musical style is reflective of his contribution to the time period:  " [Carpentier was responsible for the] evolution of musical language, where the modality of the ancients and the emerging tonal harmony coexisted and mutually enriched one another.”  Carpentier's collection of work is so detailed and intense that it is difficult to pull out any definitive works.  He is more known for the style within his body of work.  Yet, his Sacred music is distinct, as it seeks to originally and uniquely combine French and Italian traditions.  This context becomes critical in understanding Carpentier's function in the history of Baroque music.  At the same time, his Operas function in the same manner, bridging both modes of expression into an elaborate new form. An example of this is Carpentier's Les plaisirs de Versailles.  It can be seen as definitive in how it was written for Louis XIV in Carpentier's employment as composer for Louis, le Grand Dauphin.

Schumann is a bit different in his focus as a Romantic composer.  He appears in the context of musical history after Carpentier and is different in his approach to music.  Whereas Carpentier was rather direct in his ascension towards musical stature, Schumann reflected a divergence intrinsic to Romanticism and rejecting external categorization.  Schumann was driven by a philosophical need to represent literature and music through his art:  "My whole life has been a struggle between Poetry and Prose, or call it Music and Law."   It was something that drove at him intellectually and aesthetically, and is a dominant idea in his art.  Such philosophical agony is not as present in the Carpentier's constructions.  Schumann's influences were not solely musical.  The works of Goethe, Byron, and the Greek tragedians played vital roles in the development of his work.  This can be seen in Papillions, in which literature played a vital role in his musical construction:  "...read the last scene in Jean Paul's Flegeljahre as soon as possible, because the Papillons are intended as a musical representation of that masquerade."  Schumann ensured that we can see this in the music, as piano chords obtain a level of activity that parallels the flight of the butterflies.   Schumann's Romantic traits can also be seen in Carnaval.  Schubert felt that "deciphering my masked ball will be a real game for you," something reflected in how each movement has its own story to it where the music seeks to illuminate that which is shrouded in darkness. Reflective of Schumann's Romantic tendencies, Carnaval features "chordal passages" within "its use of rhythmic displacement."  The desire to break previous conventions is a significant part of Schumann's style of music.  Schumann himself acknowledged this in the musical crytopgram that opens each section of the music in Carnaval.  Schumann's style was reflective of a desire to reconfigure music into something never seen before.  Envisioning his role as artist and visionary becomes one of Schumann's major contributions to music.  Brahms was one of his most important students or proteges, and Schumann established himself as a transformative Romantic figure in how he established new contours in both music and composing it.

In writing this essay, it might be good to keep the primary focus on the music that the respective composers established as their name.  The informational items can be easily obtained, but the real focus of this paper is going to be the work of the composers.  Listening to the music of each itself will help establish in your own mind how their theoretical perspectives to music should come across in the report about them.