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

Handel - Water Music, Suite I in F major (HWV 348)

 

A page from the score of Handel's Water Music written in 1717. This work is the most popular and most beloved of all his numerous compositions.

Handel's Water Music, one of the composer's most popular and beloved works, was first presented on the evening of Wednesday, July 17, 1717. An orchestra of fifty musicians sailed next to King George I and several aristocrats, as the royal yacht led a huge fleet of boats on a tour of the Thames toward Chelsea.

As the royal procession passed majestically between Lambeth in the east and Chelsea in the west to return, the King was so fascinated by Handel's music that he ordered the orchestra to replay the play three times. The exhausted musicians got permission to stop at two o'clock in the morning!

Suite I in F major (HWV 348)

1. Overture (Largo – Allegro) 
2. Adagio e staccato 
3. Allegro – Andante – Allegro da capo 
4. Passepied 
5. Air 
6. Minuet 
7. Bourrée 
8. Hornpipe 
9. Andante 
10. Allegro 
11. Hornpipe

Handel's proud use of the French horn in this suite suggests the magnificence of the royal procession on the Thames in July 1717. Imagine King George I and his retinue on the royal yacht, with the musicians sailing next to their own boats, as the music begins with an imposing introduction, Ouverture (Largo & Allegro).

The serene mood lasts a while and the violins break out in a new vivid melody, soon followed by the entire orchestra. An Adagio e staccato follows antithetically, where a solo oboe plays its highly decorated melody on the substrate of a slow chord of strings and harpsichord.

Allegro gives the first taste of outdoor music and French horns appear. Capturing the mood of the occasion to perfection, the horns transform a traditional nautical dance into a joyful celebration, while the entire orchestra participates in the celebration. Handel's use of the French horn was innovative, but also ideally suited to the grandeur of this floating fanfare. Andante, where two oboe are projected with intensity, holds an intermediate part of the part. Then the inaugural Allegro is repeated.

Passepied - A tempo di menuetto includes music for solo horn, while the mood settles into a more imposing mood. The strings echo the trumpets of the horns, then continue while the horns recede.

Air, one of the composer's most famous melodies, continues the polite mood and with the sneering of the horns creates a serene atmosphere. Oboe share the melody and the first violins with the harpsichord support with their own melodic phrases, creating a combination of instruments typical for the time.

Two horns start Minuet, while the opening measures of the solo remind us of the older use of the instrument by hunters. And just as the galloping hunter's trumpet is lost away, so the horn is lost from the suite.

The mood is attuned to the lively Bourrée, a French dance, played three times: strings, oboe and bassoon and finally by the entire orchestra.

Hornpipe (nautical dance) is also performed three times.

An Andante trio of woodwinds, two oboe and bassoon and

The Allegro moderato begins - later the strings are combined with the soloists. 

Hornpipe and after a short pause, the suite ends with two imposing meters.



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