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

Ravel - Le Tombeau de Couperin

Ravel has been an expert in combination of new and old musical forms. In "Le Tombeau de Couperin" he perfects his technique for extremely personal reasons.

Maurice Ravel drew inspiration from the music of the past and from his childhood hearings. In Le Tombeau de Couperin (The Tomb of Couperin), he uses his talent to express his personal despair at the loss of many of his close friends during the Great War of 1914-18.

The composer had personally experienced the horrors of life in the trenches and realized that war had permanently changed the face of the world. In Le Tombeau de Couperin, which he composed between 1914-17, he returns to the happy moments of a permanently lost past.

The title refers honorably to the death of the French composer François Couperin (1668-1733), although Ravel clarified that the work was more of a general expression of respect for 18th-century French music. Some parts of the six-part work - each dedicated to a friend killed in the war - are written in the characteristic, polite style of the 18th century. In the orchestral variation, Ravel introduces a musette - a variation of the 18th-century ascaulus - into the project's Menuet, to enhance plausibility.

Cover of the first printed edition 
designed by Ravel himself
Looking to the future 

Le Tombeau de Couperin is not, however, a lament for the lost past. Several of the six parts of the project are vivid and looking to the future. In particular, Prelude and Menuet bring old dance forms to life, while the third, Forlane, is serene and bold.

The play, originally written for piano, was orchestrated by Ravel in 1919. The orchestral variation reinforces the emotions of the original work, with tender and moving dialogues between strings and wooden pnests.

Ravel himself described The Tomb of Couperin as a memorial for all the French lost in the Great War.