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

Bedřich Smetana - The Bartered Bride

 

Wedding is generally a happy event and the music of The Bartered Bride, despite its title, is full of cheer.

Composed between 1863 and 1866, based on a libretto by Karel Sabina, this undivided story with the romantic plot takes place in a village of Bohemia. It was the second of Smetana's eight operas and is part of his obsession to create the then non-existent national Czech opera. He composed no fewer than five variations between 1866 and 1870, developing the work from a simple operetta to the three-act work we know today.

- Overture

Bedřich Smetana was accused of imitating Richard Wagner's monumental operas. Critics deemed him incapable of writing more upbeat music. With The Bartered Bride he disproved his critics with his comic opera in three acts. From the first chord of the Overture, the strings run through the scales, accompanied by the lively theme played successively by the various parts of the orchestra, until they take off together in a fast, rhythmic melody.

- Polka

Polka, with her cheerful pace, comes back every now and then dancing. It culminates in the ecstatic dance of the villagers, who eventually fall exhausted but cheerfully to the ground.


- Furiant

Furiant - a rapid and fiery Bohemian dance -  is just as lively, but the music is abandoned in wide acrobatic moves.

- Dance of the Comedians

The Dance of the Comedians begins with the strings. The humor manifests itself in the high-altitude appearance of the piccolo and in the trumpet. Here's a rocking part that evolves into a faster string interpolation. The music is interrupted by drums and, after a brief hesitation, the comedians engage in new pranks.


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