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

Mendelssohn - Song Without Words

from Book 5, Op. 62

The term "Song Without Words" was introduced by Mendelssohn to describe a solo piano that employs a singing melody accompanied by bass (left hand). He published eight books with such "Songs" over a period of thirteen years. What we present here comes from the Fifth Book published in 1843.

Mendelssohn wrote a total of 48 compositions of this kind. These are familiar miniatures that were written to be played in the evenings at friendly gatherings.

Mendelssohn deliberately wrote these songmelodies without words, because he thought words would limit the emotional wealth he wanted to express. This short work, written in 1842-4, is a dark and imposing mourning march. Perfectly crafted and measured, it conveys a sense of gentle melancholy and like almost all of these pieces, it is unpretentious and sincere.