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

Joseph Haydn - Introduction

The evolution of the art of sounds would certainly have been different if the Austrian land had not welcomed Franz Joseph Haydn in the 18th century. This modest, pure, benevolent and unsyming music worker, was at the same time innovative as well as the legislator of a great chapter of art which he was ordered to serve. No one else, perhaps in the history of music, has benefited orchestral music as much as Haydn.

Although he was not the inventor of the form of the symphony, as many like to profess, he was the one who recognized its definitive form, drew up the rules governing its development and perfected it morphologically and substantially, to the supreme extent that the means at his disposal allowed him.

His deposits were received by all the next composers, first Mozart and Beethoven, who used them as capital and enjoyed their profits at the rate of their own imagination.

If the symphony owes him his precious interventions, the string quartet, the ultimate form of pure music, owes him its genesis. He breathed life into it, he shaped it, he gave it the right to eternity first.

Inexhaustible, resourceful, prolific - more than a hundred symphonies he composed, more than eighty of his string quartets - Haydn was subject to a fate that the time of change was barely peeking at the end of his life. He offered his sacrifices to music through those masters who had the ability to cultivate art through their submissives. Yet his music is all-light, self-illuminating, full of freshness, kindness and balance.

(George Monemvasitis)