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 - “Summer” (from Four Seasons), Violin concerto in G minor, Op.8, No. 2

Poussin's painting of workers harvesting drips
Vivaldi's "Summer" is a time of drowning, tyrannical heat, with storm breaks.

I. Allegro non molto

"Under a hard season, fired up by the sun
Languishes man, languishes the flock and burns the pine
We hear the cuckoo’s voice;
then sweet songs of the turtle dove and finch are heard.
Soft breezes stir the air but threatening
the North Wind sweeps them suddenly aside.
The shepherd trembles,
fearing violent storms and his fate."

The first part, Allegro non moltosubmits a lazy mood under the scorching sun, with small phrases in the most thoughtful rolled key. This is followed by a more passionate intercalary, with birdsong stresses and more restless spots as the air rises.

II. Adagio 

"The fear of lightning and fierce thunder
Robs his tired limbs of rest
As gnats and flies buzz furiously around."

In central Adagio, the sleep of a young shepherd is upsetsed by lightning but also by swarms of wasp and flies!

III. Presto

"Alas, his fears were justified
The Heavens thunder and roar and with hail
Cut the head off the sheet and damages the grain."

The storm breaks out in the final Presto, torrential rain and hail lash the fields and bend the corn.