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

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov - Introduction

He renounced the glory, confidence and adventure guaranteed by the career of the naval officer, Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, and was thrown into the adventure of music without hesitation. As an amateur and self-taught musician, the aristocrat started from Tikhvin to settle down as a conscientious professional. He enjoyed every honor that any of his peers would dream of, becoming the most popular, after Tchaikovsky, composer of 19th century Russia.

A member of the famous group of "Five", Rimsky-Korsakov, after his first transcendence and the change of his professional course, had to fight with the academicism and lack of self-confidence that were alive nourished by the sense of non-existent musical education. When he overcame any inhibitions - his love for music helped him a lot - and gained the confidence of musical discourse, he was easily able to exploit his innate gifts.

A master of orchestration and an imaginative creator, he produced a rich musical work in which all the requested components of the place and the era were included.

Although he was a worthy and devoted servant of the Russian National Music School, he did not imprison his imagination in the narrow confines of the fatherland, but he complemented the color scale of the sonic traces with melodic sighs of the East ("Scheherazade") and with rhythmic rituals of the West ("Spanish Capricio").

However, he assimilated with exemplary delicacy every imported or domestic folk sound, so that every phrase of his music screams first the personality of the composer and then its national origin.

(George V. Monemvasitis)