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

Gershwin - Introduction

George Gershwin's musical journey has been unique in every aspect: Tin Pan Alley - Broadway - Hollywood - concert halls - lyrical theatres. Everywhere with a great success. No composer has enjoyed such recognition, in so many different fields and in such a short period of time.

As a songwriter, Gershwin appeared in the history of American music at the right time. As a composer he was able to ensure direct acceptance into the folk music of his land, giving it an artistic form.

Gershwin had in his mind the rules and technique of Western European music, but at his heart, the harmonys and rhythms of the American South. His imagination was nourished by the idioms of an original folk music. He was one of the first to understand the universality of its character. He borrowed from, bold harmonics and a transparent melancholy, which only counterpart in Schubert's songs detected.

His music is full of wondrous mixed melodies and rhythms. Unexpected chords succeed each other with incredible tossing precision. And his most profound musical reflections are pulsating with the incomparable power of truth and unpretentious inspiration. It is no coincidence that with his opera Porgy and Bess he offered humanity the most artful of the folk and the most folk of the artful works of a great art.

(George Monemvasitis)