An artistic movement that composers seek to express emotional feelings

The "Expressionism" is an artistic and cultural movement that emerged during the early 20th century in response to the shifting social, political, and psychological landscapes of the time. Expressionist artists aimed to convey profound emotions, subjective experiences, and inner feelings by utilizing distorted and exaggerated forms. This movement spanned various artistic domains, including visual arts, literature, music, and theater.

Originating in Germany around the turn of the 20th century, Expressionism marked a departure from traditional artistic conventions. Artists sought to articulate their personal emotional responses to the modern world, often delving into the darker facets of human existence, such as anxiety, alienation, and inner turmoil.

In visual arts, Expressionist works are hallmarked by their distorted and magnified forms, vibrant colors, and an emphasis on communicating emotions rather than realism. Visionaries like Edvard Munch and Egon Schiele crafted evocative images that captured raw and occasionally disconcerting emotions.

Expressionism also wielded significant influence over literature, with writers endeavoring to capture the inner thoughts and emotions of characters. The literary works of Franz Kafka, for instance, are renowned for their exploration of psychological and existential themes.

Within the realm of music, Expressionism is associated with composers who employed dissonance, atonality, and unconventional scales to fashion emotionally charged and intense compositions. Figures like Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg played pivotal roles in this movement, probing novel tonal and harmonic terrains.

Expressionism extended its reach to the spheres of theater and film, where plays and movies frequently delved into themes of estrangement, societal critique, and the human psyche. The movement's impact was particularly potent in the early 20th century, as numerous artists embraced Expressionism as a vehicle to respond to the disruptions of their era, including World War I and its aftermath.

Example of Expressionism

Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, Op.4 - Boulez.