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

Joseph Haydn - String Quartet No. 62 in C major, Op. 76, No. 3 "Emperor"

The lyrics in "Gott, erhalte den Kaiser!" ("God save the Emperor") were written by Lorenz Leopold Haschka. 

The winter of 1797-8 Joseph Haydn composed six String Quartets and dedicated them to the Hungarian count Joseph Georg von Erdődy.
 
The Quartet No. 62 in C major, Op. 76, No. 3, boasts the nickname Emperor (or Kaiser), because in the second movement is a set of variations on "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" ("God save Emperor Francis"), an anthem he wrote for Emperor Francis II, which later, is the national anthem of Austria-Hungary. This same melody is known to modern listeners for its later use in the German national anthem, the Deutschlandlied, which is used since Austria-Hungary and the Nazi era, known today as "Deutschland uber alles".

Μovements:

Ι. Allegro

The first part, Allegro, although it begins with a pattern of just five notes, the rest of the part is developed from this simple phrase. As in the case of the "Surprise" Symphony, the opening part is repeated and then the development of the music begins. The development contains a very characteristic section, where two violins interpret some nily, almost dance groups accompanied by viola and cello, a reminder of Haydn's love for folk songs and dances. A coda leads to a few slower, more thoughtful musical measures to follow a vivid finish.


ΙΙ. Poco adagio, cantabile

The second part, Poco adagio, is a series of four variations of the melody composed by Haydn on the lyrics of the "Imperial Hymn", written for the Austrian Emperor in 1797. This is the part where the quartet's name is due. 

Variation I is a duet for the two violins, where the one plays the melody, while the other adds decorative shapes. 

In Variation II the cello plays the melody. 

In Variation III the melody is interpreted by the viola with some accompanying harmonies towards the end. 

Variation IV adds more harmonies to the melody, slightly changing its musical character.


ΙΙΙ. Menuetto: Allegro

The third part, Menuetto, includes a small hurried band that share the first violin and cello. The melody of the central "trio" section, played by the first violin, moves very effectively between the minor and major scale.

IV. Presto

The fourth part, Presto, begins with three strong chords in a minor scale, which are succeeded by a concise theme. Once again Haydn masterfully builds on this original material. The part remains mainly in the minor scale until just before the end, when the music returns to its starting point in tonality of C Major, thus sealing the work with a brilliant and categorical note.




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