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

Anton Bruckner - Introduction

Josef Anton Bruckner

A "poor man of god" was Anton Bruckner, who worshipped just as much as the divine and the human, whether it is found in music, in nature, or in the view of the supreme being. Meek, thoughtful, modest and incomparably sincere, he expressed his introversion and insecurity by leaning more and more into his musical writings and constantly revising his already masterful inspirations. 

If he had been bolder, more determined, perhaps he would have occupied Wagner's place in the history of music - he has been his idol since he met him - since Bruckner composed music of "Wagnerian" quality before... Wagner himself.

An amazing virtuoso in the performance of the organ, he crushed the faithful audiences both in Leeds and Vienna, as well as in Paris - in 1869 he performed at Notre Dame - and in London. If he had recorded his astonishing - according to written testimonies - improvisations on the organ, he would have submitted work for this instrument perhaps comparable to that of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Bruckner preferred, however, to serve the symphonic music wisely and devotionly, developing what Beethoven and Schubert had destroyed with their "wills". Despite their often extensive developments, his Symphonies feature marvelous combinations of intelligence, melodic ingenuity and orchestral magnificence.

(George Monemvasitis)