Symphonic Poem

A symphonic poem or tone poem is a piece of orchestral music in a single continuous section (a movement) in which the content of a poem, a story or novel, a painting, a landscape or another (non-musical) source is illustrated or evoked. The term was first applied by Hungarian composer Franz Liszt to his 13 works in this vein. In its aesthetic objectives, the symphonic poem is in some ways related to opera; whilst it does not use a sung text, it seeks, like opera, a union of music and drama.

While many symphonic poems may compare in size and scale to symphonic movements (or even reach the length of an entire symphony), they are unlike traditional classical symphonic movements, in that their music is intended to inspire listeners to imagine or consider scenes, images, specific ideas or moods, and not to focus on following traditional patterns of musical form (e.g. sonata form). This intention to inspire listeners was a direct consequence of Romanticism, which encouraged literary, pictorial and dramatic associations in music. Musical works that attempt to inspire listeners in this way are often referred to as program music, while music that has no such associations may be called absolute music.

Some piano and chamber works, such as Arnold Schoenberg's string sextet Verklärte Nacht, have similarities with symphonic poems in their overall intent and effect. However, the term symphonic poem is generally accepted to refer to orchestral works. A symphonic poem may stand on its own, or it can be part of a series combined into a symphonic suite . For example, The Swan of Tuonela (1895) is a tone poem from Jean Sibelius's Lemminkäinen Suite. A symphonic poem can also be part of a group of interrelated works, such as Vltava (The Moldau) as part of the six-work cycle Má vlast by Bedřich Smetana. Also, while the terms "symphonic poem" and "tone poem" have often been used interchangeably, some composers such as Richard Strauss and Jean Sibelius have preferred the latter term for pieces that were less symphonic in design and in which there is no special emphasis on thematic or tonal contrast.

According to Macdonald, the symphonic poem met three 19th century aesthetic goals: it related music to outside sources; it often combined or compressed multiple movements into a single principal section; and it elevated instrumental program music to an aesthetic level that could be regarded as equivalent to, or higher than opera. The symphonic poem remained popular from the 1840s until the 1920s, when the genre suffered a severe decline in popularity.

Read more about Symphonic Poem:  Background, Liszt, Czech Composers, Russia, France, Germany, Other Countries and Decline

Other articles related to "symphonic poem, symphonic poems, symphonic":

List Of Compositions By Mily Balakirev - Works With Dates
1861–1884) Russia (Rus'), Second Overture on Russian Themes, for orchestra, Symphonic Poem (1863–1864, revised 1884) Jota aragonesa (after Glinka) (1864) "The Lark" ("Zhavoronok"), transcription from a song ... Overture on Czech Themes "In Bohemia" ("V Chechii"), symphonic poem, orchestra, (1867, revised 1905) Tamara, symphonic poem, orchestra (1867–1882 ...
Symphonies By Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Symphonic Poem: Alternative and Catalyst
... See also Symphonic poem and Symphonic poems (Liszt) While Tchaikovsky struggled with his first three symphonies, developments in Europe led to an alternative to this genre that, in a ... fruit of Liszt's labors was what he eventually termed symphonic poems ... Liszt's approach to musical form in his symphonic poems was also unorthodox ...
Symphonies By Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Program Music, Lyrical Form
... outlined two kinds of inspiration that would inspire a symphonic composer, a subjective and an objective one Writing to a program, then, was apparently a matter ... followed the lines of an implicit program, while a symphonic poem followed an explicit one ... either specific events or the general tone of a literary program in a symphonic poem could also be used to illustrate the "feelings, joys, sufferings" conveyed in a symphony the ...
Symphonic Poem - Other Countries and Decline
... Jean Sibelius showed a great affinity for the form, writing well over a dozen symphonic poems and numerous shorter works ... with Sibelius's natural aptitude for symphonic writing allowed him to write taut, organic structures for many of these works, especially Tapiola (1926) ... Pohjola's Daughter (1906), which Sibelius called a "symphonic fantasy", is the most closely dependent on its program while also showing a sureness of outline rare in other composers ...
Les Préludes
... is the third of Franz Liszt's thirteen symphonic poems ... Among Liszt's symphonic poems, Les préludes is the most popular ... According to Peter Raabe (1931), Liszt's symphonic poem had nothing at all to do with it ...

Famous quotes containing the word poem:

    It seems just possible that a poem might happen
    To a very young man: but a poem is not poetry—
    That is a life.
    —T.S. (Thomas Stearns)