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 - Egmont overture

The music in the Egmont overture is full of dynamism and melancholy, foremoing the story that will follow. This scene of the storm on Karl Anton Paul Lotz's painting "Horses in a Rainstorm" (1862) reflects the feelings depicted in the work.

Beethoven responded enthusiastically to the invitation of Vienna’s Burg Theatre to write the music of Egmont, a tragedy of the great German poet Goethe. He was pleased with this assignment for two reasons. First, because he deeply respected Goethe, and then the subject of the drama was very suited to the composer. In Goethe's story, Count Egmont - a 16th century nobleman -  of the Low Countries leads a revolution against Spanish rule to be defeated by the Duke of Alba, suppressor of the revolution. Beethoven's stage music, written in 1810, consists of an introduction, entr' actes (music that connects the acts of drama) and songs.

Beethoven's musical interpretation of Goethe's tragedy begins with a series of riveting chords that pre-release the mood of the drama. The music is ominous, echoing the tyranny of the Spanish dynasties in the 16th century and the tragic revolution of Count Egmont. Excerpts from the lyrical melody of wood wind and strings appear, but relief is minimal before the explosion of return to the original chords.

A softer part with repetitive chords of strings, leads to a more agitated music. Underlying anxiety is maintained where themes are reintroduced with various transformations. The music calms down before an orchestral sound leads to a rushing finale, sweeping the previous melancholy into a clear statement that goodwill ultimately dominates evil.



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