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

Camille Saint-Saëns - The Carnival of the Animals (Le Carnaval des animaux) - Part 1

Camille Saint-Saëns wrote this satirical and entertaining suite in 1886 for himself and his friends exclusively. It was played only once in a close private circle, and Saint-Saëns did not allow it to be performed in public while he was alive. Either he believed that the work was not of particular value or perhaps he considered it unworthy of a composer at the top of his career. 

Whatever the reason, the score remained untouched for 30 years and was only published in 1922.

I. Introduction and Royal March of the Lion

The fibrillation of piano chords and the emerging string phrases of this "magnificent zoological imagination" define the Introduction and Royal March of the Lion. As the music grows, the excitement intensifies until everything stops abruptly with a final bow of the orchestra. The pianos play a rhythmic fanfare and a slow string melody finally announces the arrival of the Lion. Even his terrible roar is heard - low on the piano and later on strings.


II. Hens and Roosters

The hens cheerfully sing, noisy and carving in Hens and Roosters in high tone and complement the rooster's resonant laity on the piano and high on the clarinet.


III. Hémiones (Wild Donkeys Swift Animals)

The fast, impetuous scales of the piano in Hémiones mimic the brutal toil of the amateur pianist.


IV. Tortoises

In Tortoises, the double bass plays a slow version of Offenbach's Can Can.



V. The Elephant

Bass also appears on The Elephant, while the poor creature struggles to dance in the swirls of a waltz.



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