Performance | Instrumentation | Early Romantic | Classical
The increasingly dramatic and descriptive nature of orchestral music for the concert hall embraced instrumental techniques used in the theatres. For example, particular theatrical effects were recreated by using specific registers and combinations of instruments. In his last two symphonies, Schubert’s imaginative use of orchestral colour in building thematic and harmonic structure, and his strengthening of the brass section by adding three trombones, owe much to Weber’s instrumentation, exemplified in his opera Der Freischütz.
Berlioz was a famously imaginative orchestrator, and he criticized his colleagues for using the same old effects; he was particularly vociferous about Rossini’s laziness in resorting to loud brass and bass drums at moments of high drama. In his Symphonie fantastique Berlioz introduced such novelties as the E flat clarinet and English horn, and added extra percussion and important parts for harps. His develoment of the idée fixe also came to embrace instrumental qualities, such as in his use of the viola as a character in Harold en Italie.
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