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

Niccolò Paganini - Introduction

A little the weak-mindedness of those who do not want to admit the exceptional, unusual abilities of others, a little his "mephistofelic" appearance, favored the development of the myth that the violinist and composer Niccolò Paganini "Faust" of music wanted. His virtuosity on the violin was truly transcendent, as no one listed collaboration with the devil.

Paganini's insurmountable technique had its morphological characteristics and exhibitionism at the time of public interpretation. Thus, the myth was well preserved. All the music centres in Europe enjoyed this theatrical artist, but he was unreal only on stage. In his daily life he was an ordinary man, a kind man, a man of virtues and weaknesses.

He not only developed the technique bequeathed to him by the virtuosos violonists of the 18th century, but he developed it unexpectedly by inventing tricks that gave him the right to be called a pioneer. The techniques of "staccato", "pizzicato", "harmonics" in the interpretation of stringed instruments with glory benefited from him, as much as from any earlier or later artist.

The awareness of the charm he exerted on his listeners and the need for the show, consumed his time in concerts and recitals. He had little time left to make use of his synthetic gifts.

There weren't many works he signed, and most of them were composed to serve his virtuosity. Thus, his compositions were probably underestimated by the musical analysts. The careful approach of his work, however, reveals a truly brilliant lyricist.

(George Monemvasitis)