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

Chopin - Introduction

Painting of Chopin's portait

In Aleksander Ford's film "Youth of Chopin" the protagonist embodied a young man with an elaborate appearance, whose eyes looked on and yet were absent from the meeting scene... This young man never smiled, too bad, because it would look like he'd have a nice smile... Ford's film helped me more than my listenings helped me out 20 years ago, sketching composer Chopin.

Shortly afterwards I read another subversive "biographical" novel that troubled me again: he chronicled his contradictory life, presenting him as an unwitting, atrophiedly sensitive guy with eccentrically expresed melancholy. I was at the beginning of my pianist career and all this meant a lot...

Twenty years later, studying through the sources of his works and his life, I believe Chopin was a witty man, low-voiced but dynamic, a lover of beauty, a dreamy Apostle of Poland. No, Chopin was neither an enemy of life nor a victim of it. He allowed himself to become independent from the measure of others, avoided their own regularity.

He lived with his own rubato, what List described so nicely: "Look at the trees, the wind plays with the leaves, makes them flutter, but the tree stays still".

Chopin was a tree that ideally protected a delicate romantic soul and perfectly projected a maximum classic spirit.

(Efi Agrafioti)


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