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The symphonic poem

Within the large body of “programmatic” works composed in nineteenth-century Europe, the genre of the symphonic poem remained without doubt the most successful and durable. The impetus came from Franz Liszt in Weimar in the early 1850s, with a dozen or so works, the most famous of which — Les Préludes (premiered in 1854) — was inspired by Lamartine. As an orchestral piece intended for the concert hall, the symphonic poem followed in the tradition of the overture while claiming a life of its own: it was not an introduction to a work, but rather the tonal illustration of a subject generally drawn from the literary world (novel, poem or drama). Although César Franck composed Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne (based on Victor Hugo) as early as 1847, the genre did not come to the fore in France until the 1870s. The Société Nationale de Musique and, in its wake, the Concerts Colonne and then the Concerts Lamoureux encouraged the composition of new works by Franck, Saint-Saëns, Duparc and d’Indy, soon joined by Chausson, Dukas, Holmès and Rabaud. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the symphonic poem even became a genre accepted by academic circles, as witnessed by numerous envois from Rome, while the symbolist movement strove to go beyond the original model by freeing itself from literary sources.

    Works - 32
  • Adonis (Théodore Dubois)
  • Andromède (Augusta Holmès)
  • Bandar-log, Les op. 176 (Charles Koechlin)
  • Chasse fantastique (Ernest Guiraud)
  • Chasseur maudit, Le (César Franck)
  • Circenses (Jules Mazellier)
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    Persons - 12
  • BRUNEAU, Alfred (1857-1934)
  • CHAUSSON, Ernest (1855-1899)
  • DUKAS, Paul (1865-1935)
  • DUPARC, Henri (1848-1933)
  • FRANCK, César (1822-1890)
  • HOLMÈS, Augusta (1847-1903)
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    Themes - 2
  • Courant – L’École franckiste
  • Courant – Musique pure et musique descriptive au XIXe siècle
  • Study - 1
  • Dufetel, Nicolas – Images et citations littéraires dans la musique à programme de Liszt : pour un « renouvellement de la Musique par son alliance p...