Introduction to late-Romantic Chromaticism
In Schoenberg’s words:
“The rapid development of harmony since the beginning of the 19th
century has been the great obstacle to the acceptance of every new
composer from Schubert on. Frequent deviation from the tonic region into
more or less foreign regions seemed to obstruct unity and intelligibility.
However, the most advanced mind is still subject to human limitations. Thus
composers of this style, instinctively feeling the danger of incoherence,
counteracted the tension in one plane (the complex harmony) by simplification in another plane (the motival and rhythmic construction). This perhaps also
explains the unvaried repetitions and frequent sequences of Wagner,
Bruckner, Debussy, Cesar Franck, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and many others.