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

Johannes Brahms - Introduction

Portrait of the composer Johannes Brahms in a mature age with a long beard.

At a time when every artist's concern was the proposal of the new, Johannes Brahms dared to turn his gaze to the old. He was more interested in the past than in the future. 

Romantic lyricism didn't miss from the music he signed. But each of his musical phrases was subject to the rules of classicism, in a way that symbolized the rewriting of romance and indicated the support of pure form.

Both in the aesthetics and in the form of his works, Brahms proclaims his opposition to the pompous lyrical dramas of his compatriot and contemporary Richard Wagner. His refusal to deal with opera, a musical genre extremely well-benefited and popular in the 19th century, can also be seen as a manifestation of his opposition. He possessed well, however, both the technique of symphonic writing and the methods of using the voice.

Johannes Brahms served with merit every form of music, except of course opera. His music stands out for its total tranquility, for its earthly and human fervor, for the understandable logic of its harmonious processing, for the clarity of its melodic line. It is dominated by a thoughtful mood balanced between subtle melancholy, restless sensitivity and endless contemplation.

With its poetic character, which reconciles power and serenity, Brahms's musical discourse takes the form of subtle chamber music.

(George Monemvasitis)