For fifty years, Giuseppe Verdi was the epitome of Italian music. The
vast majority of his music was written for the stage, and he wrote
twenty-six operas. Verdi's operas tended to concentrate more on human
drama, than on romanticized nature or mythological symbolism as many of
his predecessors had done.
Perhaps the largest name
in Romantic opera is that of Richard Wagner. Wagner believed in opera
as Gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork). One aspect of Wagner's
music was that he often used a leitmotif to musically describe a
character or theme in his music.
Ride of the Valkyries, Wagner
Siegfried Idyll, Wagner