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 - Events in brief

Maurice Ravel conducting the orchester, probably at London's Queen's hall on April 14th, 1923.

1875  Maurice Ravel was born on March 7 in Cibourne, near the French-Spanish border.
1889  Became a student at the Conservatory of Paris.
1895  He writes the first major works, Habanera and Menuet antique (first published work).
1905  Fails for the fourth time to win the Grand Prize of Rome.
1909  Completes his first opera, "The Spanish Hour".
1912  Completes his first ballet, "Daphnis et Chloe".
1915  Enlisted as a guide in the French army.
1917  His mother dies.
1925  Completes the opera "The Child and the Spells".
1928  First tour of the United States, composes "Bolero".
1932  Car accident interrupts his synthetic activity.
1937  Dies on December 28 in Paris after brain surgery.

  • Because of Ravel's almost ideological attachment to the detail of the composition, Russian composer Igor Stravinsky called him "the most perfect of Swiss Watchmakers"
  • Ravel was at the center of a pioneering group of musicians and writers called Les Apaches. The name is due to a newspaperman who met the group on a Paris street and was surprised by their eccentric appearance.