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 - Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467

 

"The Concert" by the French painter Nicolas Lancret reflects the popularity of concerts in the 18th century.

Mozart wrote his pianistic compositions for himself and his students. He composed three piano concertos in 1785, including this one, which he presented in Vienna in March of that year.

Piano concertos were apparently Mozart's greatest contribution to instrumental music. It was the style and form of the concertos that the composers - like Beethoven - imitated and emulated in their work. The popularity of the concerto in the 19th century owes much to Mozart's latest works.

Μovements:

IAllegro maestoso

Allegro maestoso's inaugural string-playing music resembles a march, while the entrance of the two woodwinds adds a sense of military band. The piano appears discreetly, at first it does not take on a soloist role but merely contributes to the sound of the orchestra. The first melody of the piano appears soon and acquires a guiding character.

The piano announces a new theme - oddly reminiscent of the original part of the Symphony No. 40. This is contrasted with a brighter music - an extremely attractive piano melody - before the theme of the march is heard again. At this point a final new theme is expanding and developing. Throughout the first movement, the piano is constantly busy, with the soloist's music almost always prominent. An elaborate cadenza leads to the final orchestral section.

II. Andante

The slow Andante is obviously one of the composer's best known - it is also one of his most beautiful. Strings announce the serene original theme. Accompanying deep strings provide the harmonious substrate with kindly repetitive notes. High strings play with surdina, ensuring the softest orchestral "color". The piano repeats the music, accompanied by the string pizzicatto. A second and later a third theme is introduced, before the music returns to the original melody.

III. Allegro assai

With a brief, imposing introduction begins the Allegro assai. The piano suggests its own comment on the theme before the orchestra introduces new material. Throughout the orchestra and piano part they share with each other the important part of the music, while the soloist decorates with scales and grabbings when the orchestra plays the melody. The theme of the introduction is often heard and with it the work ends.



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