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

Claude Debussy and the Piano

Claude Debussy playing the piano at Ernest Chausson 's home.

Claude Debussy was one of the greatest composers of piano music. The "Pianoforte" (soft-loud) as is its original Italian name, evolved from the harpsichord during the 18th century. Only in the next century, however, did it grow in size, wealth and tonal power. Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt and Brahms wrote their best compositions for it.

At the time of Debussy, that is, at the beginning of the 20th century, the piano had reached the peak of its development. Debussy took full advantage of this fact, writing music that made full use of the spectrum of the keyboard and the dynamics of the piano (the degree of softness and intensity). 

He also used the pedals in a special way, giving duration to certain notes or chords at the same time as others are played, thus mixing their sounds. In this way he utilized the piano as the composers before him had not even imagined.

Some of his pianistic compositions, with impressionistic titles such as "Goldfish", "Estampes", "Fireworks", were among the most revolutionary compositions of his time. For many listeners of that time, it was one of the strangest works they had ever heard.