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StÃœrm und Drang

  Stürm und Drang (German, ‘storm and stress’) was the name given to some works of art made in Germany in the mid-18th century. The style was a kind of prototype Romanticism, inserting into works of otherwise limpid 18th-century decorum an element of violent contrast and passionate utterance. The chief difference between the two styles was that in Romantic works passion and violence were concerned with emotion, and were at the root of the work\'s meaning, whereas in Stürm und Drang works the tension often seems perhaps by hindsight external and contained, a colouristic effect rather than a depiction of truth.

In fine art, Stürm und Drang was chiefly concerned with the depiction of stormy seas and skies, rugged Nature (especially mountain scenery) and battle-scenes Goya\'s paintings are a late, non-German flowering of the style. In literature, it was chiefly shown in drama, in a breakaway from Greek-inspired orderliness to unruly plays based on real people and real historical incidents or dilemmas, and inspired by Shakespeare: for example the work of Schiller and the young Goethe. In music, its main manifestations are works (by such composers as C.P.E. Bach) depicting battles, domestic quarrels or storms at sea, and a series of passionate minor-key symphonies and string quartets by Haydn (those numbered 40-60, including such evocatively-nicknamed works as the ‘Mourning’, the ‘Passion’, the ‘Fire’ and the ‘Distracted’). KMcL



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