These include 'La donna e mobile' from Rigoletto and 'the brindisi (drinking song)' from La Traviata. He used his opera music to help fuel the Risorgimento, an Italian political movement that sought to unify Italy.
Verdi played an important role in Italian nationalism.
Brahms was more traditional than most romantics and was deeply inspired by the music of the two previous eras, especially that of Bach and Mozart.
He was his own harshest critic, destroying hundreds of works that he believed weren't good enough to be performed.
Franz Liszt was a piano virtuoso who showed off his skills on trans-European concert tours.
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A fabulous performer, Liszt really knew how to work a crowd, incorporating flashy hand movements to dazzle his audiences and often tossing handkerchiefs and gloves to the crowd for fans to fight over.
After that, Schumann focused on composition and started the New Journal of Music, a publication that critiqued new music, reviewed concerts, helped promote new composers, and revived interest in the music of older ones.
Schumann married his piano teacher's daughter, Clara Wieck, who was a talented pianist and composer herself.
Almost all of the music he wrote consists of short, one-movement works called character pieces that were created for home performance on the piano.
Born and raised in Poland, Chopin used his music to support nationalistic sentiments that were sweeping Europe by incorporating Polish folk tune idioms into his compositions, which can be heard in his mazurkas and polonaises. Several of his more catchy opera songs can be heard today outside the opera house in commercials, movies, and other pop culture reference media.