One of my most favorite musical sub-genres, character pieces highlight a particular mood, idea, creature, and often inspired by literature, experiences, or geographical locations. During the Romantic Era, particularly in Germany, many composers sought a more individualized musical style that broke free from traditions and forms from the Classical Era. Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849), Franz Liszt (1811- 1886), and Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) were among the most recognized composers of character pieces. Their compositions have been considered a significant milestone in piano literature.
Some examples include Schumann's Kreisleriana, Kinderszenen, or Carnaval. Chopin tended to evoke national images through his polonaises, mazurkas, and Barcarolle. He also favored genres such as ballades and more melancholy nocturnes. Brahms's Rhapsodies, Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words, and many of Liszt's Etudes are also excellent examples.
Schumann, Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood)
Chopin, Polonaise in Ab
Liszt, Libestraum No. 3 in Ab (Love's Dream)
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