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

Handel - Concerto for Organ and Orchestra No.13 in F Major, HWV 295, "The Cuckoo and The Nahtingale"

In this Organ concerto, Handel reproduces the song of the birds that gives his work its famous subtitle. It was one of the few occasions where he used music as a means of imitation.

Like Handel's other Organ concertos, this concerto No.13 was written as music played during the breaks of the acts of the oratories. It was first presented two days after its completion, at the Royal Theatre in London, on April 4, 1739, along with the oratorio Israel in Egypt.

Many of these concertos, including the 13th, had large "ad libitum" sections. In them, the organist spontaneously improvised and the melody simply played the role of guide. Hendel himself was an excellent organist and surprised his listeners with his virtuosity improvisations.

Movements:

- Larghetto

In the first part, Larghetto, the orchestra presents in a brief introduction the expressive theme. The Organt then interprets the same theme with high notes. The orchestra echoes the Organ's interpretation until the first part is completed peacefully.

- Allegro

In the second part, Allegro, the orchestra presents a new, lively melody. The Organ and the orchestra echo each other. The Organ then presents and develops the two descendant notes that mimic the chirping of a cuckoo, interwoven with the cellared trills of a nightingale. The Organ itself interprets the song of the birds, while the orchestra repeats the original theme inserted between the sections of the "cuckoo and the nightingale".

- Organo ad libitum

Improvisation

- Largetto

In the mournful third part, Larghetto, the orchestra first presents the mournful theme, followed by the Organ. Once again the Organ and the orchestra share the same melody, until the Organ completes the third part with a minor chord.

- Allegro

Some slow, simple chords performed by the orchestra introduce the final fourth part, Allegro. The strings interpret a lively, highly toned theme, repeating the Organ and then being re-formulated sequentially by the  Organ and orchestra. Among the interpretations emerge musical phrases that lead to new harmonies. In the end, the melodies return to the main tonality of the concerto in F Major and share the final chord.




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