The concept of “classicism” is applicable to almost all forms of art. It is found in architecture, in music, in literature, in painting. Therefore, the question of what is classicism, we will respond depending on what kind of art is meant. If to speak in general, what is classicism – the definition in this case will be the following: it is an artistic style or system that dominated Europe for two centuries – from the XVII to the XIX century. In fact – this is a whole era. And now let’s talk classicism through the prism of certain types of art.
Literary classicism originates from the ideas of the Enlightenment, which prevailed in Europe in the XVI-XVII centuries. In works written in the spirit of classicism, the reader will find the praise of freedom, calls for liberation from religious tyranny and oppression of absolute monarchy. Writers of the era of classicism in their writings expressed a hope for the formation of a new society that will
live by other laws – the laws of equality and justice, and members of this society will be kinder and lenient towards each other.
As for the structure of the classical work, first of all, it must observe the so-called principle of three oneness: the unity of action, the unity of place and the unity of time. This means that there should be one storyline in action, one must occur in a certain place, and the work must necessarily unfold in time strictly sequentially. With regard to specific time frames, then ideally the action of a play or novel, written in the spirit of classicism, should unfold in one day. Of the Western authors, whose works are attributed to this style, we will single out Corneille, Racine, Lafontaine, Moliere, Boileau, Voltaire, Samuel Johnson, Boswell and Gibbon. In Russia, the most outstanding representatives of classicism were such outstanding writers as AP Sumarokov, DI Fonvizin, MV Lomonosov, G. R.
First of all, let’s distinguish such concepts as “classical music” and “music of classicism.” Under classical music, art critics and all educated people
understand such musical works that have passed the test of time. In this sense, a fairly large number of composers can be classified among the classics – from the Middle Ages to the 20th century (in Russia, for example, D. D. Shostakovich, S. S. Prokofiev, S. V. Rachmaninov, abroad – Sh. M. Vidor, M. Dupre, J. Gershwin, D. Ellington). As for the music of classicism, it can be attributed to the music of European composers of the mid-18th – mid-19th centuries. – these terms are, of course, very conditional. But more than real people who created in the spirit of musical classicism. It is, above all, such outstanding composers as Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, which in music circles are often called “Viennese classics.” It was they who determined the further development of music for many years to come. It was their ideas that were subsequently used by many famous composers who wrote music in a more modern romantic style.