FOR THE CURIOUS CELLIST

Cellofun Repertoire Library: Post-Romantic Period (20th Century)

While the transformations between the principal musical periods were normally quite gradual evolutions (see Historical Periods), the transition from the Romantic to the Post-Romantic (or Modern) period in musical history was particularly radical. In the “Classical” music department, rather than a stylistic evolution this was a revolution, tipping the musical language upside-down and questioning the most basic concepts of what constitutes music. And here, the “classical music” world took a totally separate path from the “popular music” world. The flowering of “popular” music through the development of ragtime, jazz, pop, rock etc occurred at the same time as (and probably as a consequence of) the disintegration of the classical music world. But not all “classical” composers embraced Schonberg’s “emancipation of dissonance”. Composers such as Saint Saens (1835-1921), Elgar (1857-1934), Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) and Richard Strauss (1864-1949) continued writing music in a very Romantic style well into the 20th century, while others were already writing with the radically different “Modern” musical languages of impressionism, atonality, serialism and jazz.

Music of the 20th-century could therefore be considered as falling into three very different categories:

  • “Old Classical”(the still-strongly Romantic music of Saint Saens, Elgar, Rachmaninoff and Richard Strauss etc)
  • “New Classical” (the music tending towards atonality, dodecaphony and cacophony of Schönberg etc), and
  • “Popular” (jazz, pop etc).

In their purest pedigree manifestations, these three different types of 20th-century music are very different from each other, however there are many composers and pieces which, rather than fitting exclusively into one category, cross the borders between them, mixing up the different styles in every imaginable way.

Here, in this “Post-Romantic” section of the cellofun catalogue, you will find cellofun editions of music composed only by the “New Classical” composers. The “Old-Classical” composers are found in the “Romantic Period” catalogue, while the “Popular” music composers are found in the “Popular” catalogue (of which in fact all the music apart from the folk and traditional is from the 20th century). So composers such as Gershwin, Bernstein and Lloyd-Webber are found in the “Popular” section rather than in this “Post-Romantic” section.

Bartok      Debussy       Ravel         Stravinsky