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

Johann Strauss II -"Tales from the Vienna Woods", Op. 325

Johann Strauss II's love for Viennese life is evident in this waltz he wrote in 1868. He had just returned from his triumphant visit to Paris and this waltz is an anthem of life in his city. The people of the city used to escape to the "heuringen" or country taverns, to drink and taste the fresh air. The atmosphere of these merry excursions is expressed in the lively melody in the "Tales from the Vienna Woods".

It is one of Strauss's most figurative waltzes and one of his most popular. The themes are performed in such a way as to submit the sounds of the Viennese countryside and the fun of the villagers.

After a long introduction with melancholy hunting horns, vigorous melodies are interwoven with bird chirping, folk dances and a little memorable melody on the zither, which presents an old Austrian dance called "Ländler". The zither was the most common musical instrument of peasants and folk musicians in Strauss's time. Strauss, in this waltz invokes an instantly recognizable sound that was heard for several generations in the country taverns outside the city. After announcing the rhythm of the waltz, the strings glide sweetly and gently to the main melody.

Soon the music takes its pace. Various melodies are introduced and repeated. Often some part of the orchestra takes over emphatically, creating a wonderful combination.The coda returns to the theme of the waltz, which is once again played by the zither and as the music dives to its final scale, one last roll of drums ends in a fioritura.



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