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

Mendelssohn - Violin concerto in E minor, Op. 64

An image of Leipzig, the city that Mendelssohn promoted to the cultural capital of Europe and where his Violin Concerto in E minor was first presented.


Mendelssohn
spent the summer of 1844 touring for a series of concerts for the eighth time in England. His holiday followed at the end of July in the small town of Bad Soden, near Frankfurt. During his stay there, he composed this Violin Concerto in E minor, Opus 64.

It premiered in Leipzig seven months later, on March 13, 1845. The concerto was performed by his friend, the eminent violinist Ferdinand David, who had assisted Mendelssohn in various technical details relating to the violin part. Mendelssohn was too ill to direct the concerto and ceded the director's job to Nils Wilhelm Gade's assistant.


Movements:

I. Allegro molto appassionato

The first movement begins with a lively but simple melody where the violin hovers over the orchestra singing cheerfully -  unusual for a minor tone. The theme develops and passes to the orchestra, while the violin plays strong sequences of chords (two strings at the same time) and arpeggio that go up and down the scale. A melody prepares the way for the introduction of the second theme. The solo violin lowers to a restrained G and the woodwinds introduce a quieter theme. This theme develops, repeats and alternates related to the first melody before a dazzling cadenza follows. Unaccompanied solo violin makes a spectacular show followed by the lively return of the two previous themes. The music rises in an impressive escalation.


II. Andante

Then follows the second movement, the slow Andante, dominated by a lyrical, dreamy and subtle melody. As at the end of the first part, the transition to the final part is achieved with great skill.


III. Allegreto non troppo - Allegro molto vivace

In the third movenemt, Allegretto non troppo - Allegro molto vivace, the music ceases but wakes up again and unfolds politely to prevent a double fanfare and some vivid decorations, with the violin lively in a particularly vigorous place.





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