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 - Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Opus 73, “Emperor”

- Allegro
- Adagio un poco mosso
- Rondo: Allegro

The "Emperor Concerto", written in 1809, is Beethoven’s last work of this genre - and arguably the most popular. It is dedicated to Archduke Rudolf of Austria, Beethoven’s pupil and patron.

The first presentation of the work took place in Leipzig on 28 November 1811. In the first Viennese performance of the concerto, the composer, pianist and former student of Beethoven, Carl Caernarfon, was the soloist. The epithet “Emperor” was given to the work by Johann Baptist Cramer, the English publisher of the concerto and reflects the magnificence of music.

Allegro

The first part, Allegro, includes a musical dialogue between the orchestra and the piano. The orchestra plays loud resonant chords, while the piano processes grandiose responses. The orchestra continues the long introduction alone, introducing the two main themes. The first melody played by the violins is strong and unequivocal. The second theme consisting of a short series of unconnected notes, is also introduced by the violins. The horns follow with a gentle variation of this melody. Then the soloist shows up and brings the themes together. All material comes back with great results:


Adagio un poco mosso

The second part, Adagio un poco mosso, is built around a hymnal melody, originally announced by violins. Beethoven soothes the sound of violins with "surdina." The piano soothes the theme in a free, polite and moving way. Later the soloist repeats the melody accompanied by a chord of string pizzicato. Towards the end of the part, the orchestra regains control of the melody, while the piano decorates and enriches it.


Rondo: Allegro

In the third part, Rondo: Allegro, the piano that plays only with a chord of horns, introduces the energetic finale. Later, maintaining the part's lightly playful mood, Beethoven introduces a few metres of a popular folk song. The piano is firmly in the spotlight throughout the part, delivered in a multitude of craftsmanships that lead the work to a dynamic conclusion.



Comments