Carl Maria von Weber - Euryanthe: Overture

Carl Maria von Weber composed the opera Euryanthe  during the period 1822-23 and first presented it in Vienna on October 25, 1823. The work was based on a French medieval history of 13th century.  The year Euryanthe was presented was marked by Vienna's interest in Italian operas, particularly those of Rossini . Although the initail reception was enthusiastic, the opera lasted only twenty performances, with complaints about the libretto and the length of the opera. For the failure of the play, the somewhat wordy libretto of the poet and writer Helmina von Chézy was blamed. Franz Schubert also commented that "This is not music". Nevertheless, the introduction is an excellent example of orchestral writing and remains one of the best. The Overture begins with an extremely lively and cheerful phrase. Oboe and clarinet, supported by horn and trombones, then present a theme of three emphatic notes, followed by a shorter ascending group of notes (with a stressed rhythm). Soon t

Bedřich Smetana - Introduction

One only has to watch carefully the route of the Vltava River (Moldau), as it is described thoughtfully and spontaneously with the sounds of the homonymous symphonic poem by Bedřich Smetana, in order to understand the musical philosophy of the Bohemian composer, which was also a philosophy of life.

Smetana proposes with his work a seductive model of programmatic music, a fair model of nationalist opinion and a bright model of coupling words and traditional music at the same time.

Smetana's symphonic poem Vltava is certainly the most intimate example of the composer's musical writing, but it has condensed and concentrated all the structural characteristics that are detected in his works.

The rhythmic energy that emerges from every breath of his works is assisted by music gentle, emotional, witty. Rhythm and melody, having deep roots in the tradition of bohemian land, creatively stimulate the imagination and provoke the immediate emotion of the listener.

At a time when every inch of European land is looking for its national identity, the humble servant of music Bedřich Smetana is transformed into a sound-benefactor of his homeland, and establishes one of the most important national school.

Methodical, modest but also inventive at the same time, he will rid his country's music of the shackles of of Austro-German domination and cry out the right to free national musical meditation.

(George Monemvasitis)