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

Beethoven - Fidelio Overture, Op. 72b

Beethoven's only opera "Fidelio" - the myth of a political prisoner, Florestan, saved by his wife Leonore - had a complicated history.

The premiere of the opera was given in Vienna in 1805 (the same time as the Heroic Symphony), entitled Leonore.

Beethoven then revised the play and presented the opera again the following year, but soon withdrew this new form.

For these first versions, as well as for another project that never materialized, he composed the overtures Leonore no. 1, 2 and 3. In 1814, Beethoven revised the opera again, changing its structure from three to two acts and including this new introduction.

The opera was presented in its final form under the title Fidelio and was particularly successful.

Compared to the earlier versions of Leonora No. 3, a work of symphonic dimensions and high drama, Fidelio's Overture is a more accurate and more "professional" work.

It begins with the full orchestra interpreting one of these powerful lyre little motifs that Beethoven often uses as a musical "building material" for the whole part. This impressive exhivition of the theme is highlighted with a slow Adagio introduction, where sluggish horns and wood instruments stand out.

The music becomes more rushed and proceeds effortlessly to the central Allegro part of the introduction, based on the same opening motif of three notes, which perfomrs the solo horn firts and then the clarinet. A second musical theme consists of a more vivid call to the horn and then to the wood instruments, followed by slightly leaping phrases in the strings. Some robust iterations of another laconic phrase lead the melody to the short central development section and then to the recap.

A brief return of the melody follows the slow introduction, which bestows its place in an accelerated coda (Presto), where the pattern of three notes is interpreted with intensity to the last almost measure.