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

Vivaldi - "Spring" (La primavera) from the "Four Seasons", Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269

Nicolas Poussin’s painting depicts a green scenery with a couple sitting on the grass
Nicolas Poussin’s painting depicts spring, perfectly rendering the atmosphere of the season just like
Vivaldi’s Four-Seasons music.


I. Allegro

"Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven.
Then they die away to silence,
and the birds take up their charming songs once more."

“Spring has arrived and the birds welcome it by singing”, Vivaldi writes. The inaugural Allegro features a cool and cheerful melody. Soloists and violins mimic the singing of birds with trills. Some phrases bring to mind a stream and a gentle breeze, while a vigorous tremor, fast scales and a small rushing solo indicate a storm.

II. Largo e pianissimo sempre

"On the flower strewn meadow, with leafy branches rustling overhead,
the goat-heard sleeps, his faithful dog beside him."

The second part, Largo, which is a long, tender melody for solo accompanied by strings, paints the peaceful scene of a shepherd with his dog, half asleep under a few trees.


III. Allegro

"Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes, nymphs and shepherds
lightly dance beneath the brilliant canopy of spring."

In contrast, the final Allegro, is a calm “Country dance” in which the soloist plays with the orchestra, while at the same time is leading it.





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