Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 August 2021
This chapter moves beyond the primarily German, elite context in which E. T. A. Hoffmann’s 1810 review of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 was initially received, to consider musical Romanticism in its broader European (and in particular, French) context. In so doing it highlights three expressive modes in which music was understood as operating in partnership with real and imagined visual stimuli: the melodramatic tableau, the unsung voice, and symphonic scenography. These modes pervaded European culture and offer a perspective on musical Romanticism that acknowledges its breadth and the social diversity of its audiences, as well as the variety of listening experiences. Theatre and concert works by Benda, Cherubini, Beethoven, Weber, Meyerbeer, Auber, Donizetti, Berlioz, and Mendelssohn are considered.