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

Claude Debussy - Introduction

Claude Debussy's portrait by Raphael Schwartz.

Claude Debussy is a special case of musical innovator. With his lyrical drama "Pelléas and Mélisande" he was freed from the laws of tonality and created the conditions of a new musical language. First he changed the painting status of impressionism into music.

As a good "music painter" he was mainly interested in the color expression and extent of the sounds and projected through them, moods and mental impressions, which are caused by images and natural phenomena.

He listened to the rhythms, the "music" of nature and tried - and succeeded - to re-form it by proposing "music for the ear and not for the paper". He dared and of course won.

Without being dogmatic, he experimented by reordering the prevailing principles of aesthetics and art until his time and formed a new way of expressing discreetly sensual and discharged from the emotional tensions and successive explosions of mature and tired romance that ran through the end of the 19th century. He denied the established forms, repetitive sound patterns and conventional developments, screaming at every measure of his poetry, the right to difference.

The music composed by Claude Debussy has the hallmarks of a perpetual sluggish daydream. Benefited by an unparalleled orchestral technique, an exemplary balance and a harmonious boldness completely free from the shackles of academicism, she erased her own luminous path and despite all the initial doubts that emerged in a musical matrix for many of the later homotechnotic expressions of the 20th century.


(George Monemvasitis)


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