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.

Post-romanticism in literatureEdit

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, but includes the poetry of Letitia Elizabeth Landon[3] and Tennyson.[4]

Post-romanticism in musicEdit

Post-romanticism in music refers to late romantic composers who used forms that were found typically in the Classical and Baroque eras while still retaining aspects of the Romantic era. Among the best-known post-romantic composers are Giacomo Puccini and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Some other composers like Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler were transitional composers who wrote classical symphonies, operas, and songs in a post-romantic style that constituted a blend of late romantic and early modernist musical languages. Arthur Berger described the mysticism of La Jeune France as post-Romanticism rather than neo-Romanticism.[5] Hans Pfitzner also wrote post-Romantic works such as his opera Palestrina.

Post-romantic composers created music that used traditional forms combined with advanced 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'] in traditional forms of music for purposes of post-romantic expression, not simply always as an appeal to the primal art of sound".[6]


  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. ^ Sybille Baumback and others, "A History of British Poetry", Trier: WVT. ISBN 978-3-86821-578-6. Section 19: Poetic Genres in the Victorian Age I: Letitia Elizabeth Landon’s and Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Post-Romantic Verse Narratives by Anne-Julia Zwierlein.
  4. ^ Richard Bradford, A Linguistic History of English Poetry, New York: Routledge, 1993, p. 134. ISBN 0-415-07057-0.
  5. ^ Virgil Thomson,. Virgil Thomson: A Reader: Selected Writings, 1924-1984, edited by Richard Kostelanetz, New York: Routledge, 2002p. 268. ISBN 0-415-93795-7.
  6. ^ Daniel Albright,. Modernism and Music: An Anthology of Sources, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004pp. 243-44. ISBN 0-226-01267-0.

Further readingEdit

  • 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.

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