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Post-romanticism or Postromanticism refers to a range of cultural endeavors and attitudes emerging in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, after the period of Romanticism.

Herman Melville and Thomas Carlyle are post-Romantic writers.[1] Flaubert's Madame Bovary is a post-Romantic novel.[2] The period of post-romanticism in poetry is defined as the late nineteenth century, and includes the poetry of Tennyson.[3]

Post-Romanticism in music

Post-romanticism in music referred to Romantic composers who would use forms that were found typically in the Classical and Baroque while still retaining aspects of the Romantic era. Among the most well known post-Romantic composers are Giacomo Puccini and Sergei Rachmaninov. Arthur Berger describes the mysticism of La Jeune France as post-Romanticism rather than neo-Romanticism.[4] Hans Pfitzner also wrote post-Romantic works such as his opera Palestrina.

Quite unlike Late Romantic composers such as Richard Strauss and Alexander Scriabin, the composers of the Post-Romantic created music that would use either or both traditional form and harmony. Béla Bartók, for example, "in such Strauss-influenced works as Duke Bluebeard's Castle," may be described as having still used "dissonance ['such intervals as fourths and sevenths'] for purposes of post-Romantic expression, not simply [always] as an appeal to the primal art of sound"—unlike Arnold Schoenberg and Strauss himself, who both believed in "a mythology of historical progress in Western music".[5]


  1. Robert Milder, Exiled Royalties: Melville and the Life We Imagine, New York: Oxford University Press US, 2006, p. 41. ISBN 0-19-514232-2
  2. Stephen Heath, Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 13. ISBN 0-521-31483-6.
  3. Richard Bradford, A Linguistic History of English Poetry, New York: Routledge, 1993, p. 134. ISBN 0-415-07057-0.
  4. Virgil Thomson,. Virgil Thomson: A Reader: Selected Writings, 1924-1984, edited by Richard Kostelanetz, New York: Routledge, 2002p. 268. ISBN 0-415-93795-7.
  5. Daniel Albright,. Modernism and Music: An Anthology of Sources, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004pp. 243-44. ISBN 0-226-01267-0.

Further reading

  • Burkholder, J. Peter, Donald Jay Grout, and Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music: Seventh Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006.
  • Pappas, Sara. Review of Claudia Moscovici, Romanticism and Postromanticism (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010). Nineteenth Century French Studies, Volume 36, Number 3 & 4, Spring-Summer 2008, pp. 335–37. University of Nebraska Press, 2008.
  • Tilby, Michael. Review of Claudia Moscovici, Romanticism and Postromanticism (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010). French Studies: A Quarterly Review, Volume 62, Number 4, October 2008, pp. 486–87.

External links