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

Mozart - Horn concerto No. 2 in E-flat Major, K417

At the time when Mozart was working as an independent musician in Vienna in the early 1780s, he composed his first horn concerto. It gave this instrument an advantageous position, placing it at the heart of a complete orchestra and thereby paved the way for the projection of the horn in other concertos of various composers.

The horn has a fairly limited range, but Mozart explores its possibilities, contrasting them against the background of a full orchestra. It is well known that he had a unique way of making one melody gush through the other, with an inexhaustible imagination.

Each melody is skillfully harmonized with the character of its instrument. This is particularly evident in the two contrasting melodies in the opening part of this concerto. The melody that expresses the specific character of the horn, is placed opposite that of the strings. The opening theme of the strings is unequivocal, direct and robust. When the horn introduces its own melody, it is distinctly cuter and more thoughtful, as it entices the rest of the orchestra to follow it into darker spheres.

Movements:

I. Allegro maestoso

Strings begin Allegro maestoso with a wide melody leading to a second theme. The woodwinds can be heard clearly. The horn appears with a new melody which is decorated by the strings in the background. Here's another horn melody - this time the violins and the horn play it together. The result is the production of a rather unusual tone. The reassuring entrance of the entire orchestra leads to three long notes of the horn, which bring the music back to the opening themes.


II. Andante

A slow orchestral introduction starts Andante leading to the inaugural solo. Here the horn is in its most lyrical mood. The music is expressive, without ever exceeding the gentle tone, while the simple alternation of the two themes gives beauty to the piece.


III. Rondo

Rondo highlights a returning theme that is inters with other themes and interludies. The rhythm is bright and rocking. The orchestra repeats the melody of the opening horn, followed immediately by a second melody. The idea expands, the music stops and the first theme is played again. Repeated notes of the horn lead the orchestra to a darker place, but not for long. The music returns to the opening tune, while another interlude leads to a rather strange variation of the same melody. The melody hesitates and stops twice, but eventually the music accelerates and the inaugural melody is heard one last time.



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