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

Grieg - Introduction

A pioneer and a master of the national music school of his native Norway, Edvard Grieg, a composer with no forerunners and no continuators, invents charming and original ways to bring about the folk music tradition and the myths of the land that saw him born, with the formed classical European harmony.

His works are full of lyricism and romantic mood. The velvety melodies born of his fertile imagination are often intertwined with the masculine, rough rhythms of the dances of the Norwegian land, causing with contrast the emergence of highly seductive sonic grids.

Although he did not test his powers in the larger, massive forms of symphony and opera, he convinced with his musical testimony that he is a great craftsman, both symphonic and vocal writing. The poetry of his musical discourse is imbued with the drips of his love for Norwegian nature and Norwegian tradition. Throughout his life he has been a loyal and devoted lover of a land - no matter how many times he abandoned it soon turned to it - and a woman whom he never abandoned.

For this woman, the soprano Nina Hagerup, the companion of his life, he also composed his wonderful songs, exuberant in their tenderness, heartbreaking in their erotic dialectic. Unknown to many, these songs by Grieg benefited with memorable performances during 1993, the year of the 150th anniversary of his birth. These songs reveal spontaneity of inspiration and immense sensitivity, characteristics that are found in all the works of the composer.

(George Monemvasitis)