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

Maurice Ravel - Pavane pour une infante défunte


Maurice Ravel seems to have chosen this title - "Infante" means Spanish princess - only for the pleasant sonic tinge, since the princess is a completely fantastic person. The composer wrote the Pavana in 1899 while he was still a student at the Paris Conservatory. The immediate success of this work surprised Ravel, who considered the project morphologically impossible. However, when it was presented in 1902, the critics considered its form smooth and charming.

The solo violin, which plays in high tones accompanied by the pulsating sound of deep strings, produces the warm and rich tone of this form of Pavana. A short final section ends with the chords played by the soloist on the violin.

A second melody is repeated higher, again with chords of the violin, creating the impression of more than one instrument. Rich chords lead to a return to the original melody, now played on a higher scale of the violin.

A pizzicato appears as a third section begins. A rather sad, mournful passage leads to a final iteration of the original music. This time the melody is underlined by the use of violin harmonics - high sounds reminiscent of flute and produced by touching the string without pressure on the fret.


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