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

Richard Wagner - Introduction

Rebel, pioneer, demagogue, revisionist, heretic. Anyone who, honorably or disparagingly, is offended by the German composer Richard Wagner cannot deny his genius. He proposed a different expression of opera, an expression that dominated the second half of the 19th century creating supporters and opponents, who apparently still have not solved their differences.

He called for the mix of music and drama to be in one, considering the ancient Greek reality, envisioned the whole of the musical drama going beyond the theoretical data, since it offered shaped the values for its realization. The art of opera transformed by Wagner yielded new fruits sufficiently differentiated from those folk music of bel canto. The dynamics of Wagner's opera evoke reflection rather than emotion, without, of course, aiming to detox from it.

The music of Richard Wagner, the main but not his only component of his lyrical dramas, rich in expressive power, with a strong descriptive capacity, has been completely consistent with the ideology of its creator. Its magnificence and volume are in the same way as the theme of the myths he himself elaborated. He didn't allow anyone to share the glory of his works. But he also took full responsibility for his work, even when he could not be sure of the happy ending of his musical experiments. The experiments succeeded and the music took a step forward.

(George Monemvasitis)