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Carl Maria von Weber
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber, in full Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst, Freiherr (baron) von Weber (born Nov. 18, 1786, Eutin, Holstein [Germany]—died June 5, 1826, London, Eng.), German composer and opera director during the transition from Classical to Romantic music, noted especially for his operas Der Freischütz (1821; The Freeshooter, or, more colloquially, The Magic Marksman), Euryanthe (1823), and Oberon (1826). Der Freischütz, the most immediately and widely popular German opera that had been written to date, established German Romantic opera.

Weber was born into a musical and theatrical family. His father, Franz Anton, who seems to have wished upon the family the baronial von to which it had in fact no title, was a musician and soldier of fortune who had formed a small traveling theatre company. His mother, Genovefa, was a singer; his uncles, aunts, and brothers were to some degree involved in music and the stage. Carl Maria was a sickly child, having been born with a diseased hip that caused him to limp throughout his life. When he began to show signs of musical talent, his ambitious father set him to work under various teachers in towns visited by the family troupe in the hope that he might prove a Mozartean prodigy. Among these instructors was Michael Haydn, the younger brother of the composer Joseph Haydn. Under Haydn, Weber wrote and published his Opus 1, Sechs Fughetten (1798).

The troupe paused briefly in Munich, where Weber learned the art of lithography under its inventor, Aloys Senefelder. Moving on to Freiberg, the Webers planned to set up a lithographic works in order to propagate the young composer’s music. The scheme fell through; but meanwhile Weber had composed his first opera, Das Waldmädchen (“The Forest Maiden”), which partially survives. Staged at Freiberg in 1800, it was a failure. On a return visit to Salzburg, Weber completed his first wholly surviving opera, Peter Schmoll und seine Nachbarn, which also failed when it was produced in Augsburg in 1803. Weber resumed his studies under the influential Abbé Vogler, through whom he was appointed musical director at Breslau (now Wrocław, Pol.) in 1804. After many difficulties, occasioned by the inexperience of a young director in putting through reforms, and a near-fatal accident in which he permanently impaired his voice when he swallowed some engraving acid, Weber was forced to resign. He was rescued by an appointment as director of music to Duke Eugen of Württemberg, for whose private orchestra he wrote two symphonies. They are attractive, inventive works, but the symphony, with its dependence on established forms, was not the natural medium of a composer who sought to bring Romantic music to a freer form derived from literary, poetic, and pictorial ideas.


Weber was next a secretary in the court of King Frederick I of Württemberg. Here he lived so carelessly and ran up so many debts that, after a brief imprisonment, he was banished. The principal fruits of these years (1807–10) were his Romantic opera Silvana (1810), songs, and piano pieces. Weber and his father fled to Mannheim, where he was, in his own words, “born for the second time.” He made friends with an influential circle of artists, from whom he stood out as a talented pianist and guitarist; he was also remarkable for his theories on the Romantic movement. Moving on to Darmstadt, he met Vogler again, as well as the German opera composer Giacomo Meyerbeer. From this period came principally the Grand Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Opus 11, for piano, and the delightful one-act opera Abu Hassan
 (1811).



 

Disappointed in not winning a post in Darmstadt, Weber traveled on to Munich, where his friendship with the clarinet virtuoso Heinrich Bärmann led to the writing of the Concertino, Opus 26, and two brilliant, inventive clarinet concerti. In all, he was to write six clarinet works for Bärmann, with whom he also toured. The clarinet remained, with the horn, one of the favourite instruments of a composer whose ear for new sounds and new combinations of instruments was to make him one of the greatest orchestrators in the history of music. Weber was also one of music’s great piano virtuosos; his own music reflects something of the brilliance and melancholy and exhibitionist charm described by his contemporaries when he performed it. From 1809 to 1818 Weber also wrote a considerable number of reviews, poems, and uncompromising, stringent music criticisms. All his work, music, and critical writings furthered the ideals of Romanticism as an art in which feeling took precedence over form and heart over head.



Appointed conductor of the opera at Prague in 1813, after a period in Berlin during which he caught the patriotic fervour of the day in some stirring choruses and songs, Weber was at last able to put his theories into full practice. His choice of works showed his care for Romantic ideals, and his choice of artists showed his concern for a balanced ensemble, rather than a group of virtuosos. Furthermore, by publishing introductory articles to his performances, he saw to it that his audiences were carefully prepared. Obstacles again appeared: a stormy love affair left him disconsolate, and opposition to his reforms forced him to resign in 1816. His reputation by now, however, was such that he was able to secure an appointment as director of the German opera at Dresden, beginning in 1817. The same year he married one of his former singers, Caroline Brandt.


Dresden was a city more backward than most in Germany, and it had a flourishing rival Italian opera. As the prophet of a German national opera, Weber was faced with even greater difficulties. Happily married, he applied himself energetically to his work, assuming full control over all aspects of the operatic production. No detail escaped him: he supervised repertory, recruitment, casting, scenery, lighting, and production, as well as the orchestra and the singers, taking care to see that every performer fully understood the words and plot of each opera. These tasks left him little time for writing operas himself, however, especially in view of the inexorable advance of his tuberculosis. He nevertheless produced several works during this period, including the last of his four piano sonatas, many songs and shorter piano solos, such as the famous Invitation to the Dance (1819), and the Konzertstück, Opus 79 (1821), for piano and orchestra.



 

It was also in Dresden that Weber began to work on Der Freischütz, which was an immediate success when it was performed in Berlin in 1821. The story, deriving from folklore, concerns a man who has sold his soul to the Devil for some magic bullets that will enable him to win a marksmanship contest and with it the hand of the lady he loves. The opera presented, for the first time, things familiar to every German: the simple village life, with its rough humour and sentimental affections, and the surrounding forest, with its smiling appearance concealing supernatural horror. Above all, the characters, from the cheerful huntsmen and village girls to the simple, valiant hero and the prince who rules over them, were all—with the tuneful, sensational music—a mirror in which every German could find his reflection. In Der Freischütz Weber not only helped liberate German opera from French and Italian influences, but, in his novel orchestrations and in his choice of a subject matter containing strong supernatural elements, he laid the foundations of one of the principal forms of 19th-century opera. Der Freischütz made Weber a national hero.


His next opera, Euryanthe was a more ambitious work and a larger achievement, anticipating Wagner as his piano music does Chopin and Liszt. It nevertheless foundered on its clumsy, though not intolerable, libretto. When Covent Garden in London commissioned a new opera, Weber took on the task of learning English and working with a librettist, James Robinson Planché, by correspondence. His motive was to earn enough money to support his family after his death, which he knew to be not far off. In form, Oberon was little to his taste, having too many spoken scenes and elaborate stage devices for a composer who had always worked for the unification of the theatrical arts in opera. But into it he poured some of his most exquisite music, and he traveled to London for the premiere in 1826. Barely able to walk, he was sustained by the kindness of his host, Sir George Smart, and by the longing to get home again to his family. Oberon was a success and Weber was feted, but his health was declining fast. Shortly before he was due to start the journey back to Germany, he was found dead in his room.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
 
Weber: "Der Freischutz" - 1821
 
 

An 1822 illustration of Der Freischütz depicting the opening scene with Max and Kilian
 
 
Der Freischütz, Op. 77, J. 277, (usually translated as The Marksman or The Freeshooter) is a German opera with spoken dialogue in three acts by Carl Maria von Weber with a libretto by Friedrich Kind. It premiered on 18 June 1821 at the Schauspielhaus Berlin. It is considered the first important German Romantic opera, especially in its national identity and stark emotionality. The plot is based on the German folk legend of the Freischütz and many of its tunes were thought to inspired by German folk music, but this is a common misconception. Its unearthly portrayal of the supernatural in the famous Wolf's Glen scene has been described as "the most expressive rendering of the gruesome that is to be found in a musical score".


Performance history

The reception of Der Freischütz surpassed Weber's own hopes and it quickly became an international success, with productions in Vienna the same year followed by Leipzig, Karlsruhe, Prague, other German centres, and Copenhagen. 1824 saw productions in four London theatres in four different adaptations, as well as the French premiere at the Théâtre de l'Odéon as Robin des Bois. Among the many artists influenced by Der Freischütz was a young Richard Wagner. A version in French with recitatives was prepared by Hector Berlioz for a production at the Paris Opera in 1841. This was revived at the Paris Opéra-Comique in 2011.

The overture and the "Huntsmen's Chorus" from act 3 ("With princely enjoyment and manly employment") are often performed as concert pieces.

 


Design for the Wolf's Glen (1822, Weimar)
 
 
Synopsis

Place: Bohemia
Time: At the end of the Thirty Years' War
Act 1[edit]
The young assistant forester Max loves Agathe and is to become the successor to Cuno, the head forester and Agathe's father. But a test of skill in marksmanship is required, the trial to be held the following day.

At a target shooting, Max loses to the young peasant Kilian, who is proclaimed "King of marksmen." (Chorus: "Victoria! der meister soll leben"/"Victory! Long live the master"; the good-naturedly mocking song of Kilian: "Schau der Herr"/"Let him gaze on me as king.")

Because Max has had ill luck for several days he easily falls under the influence of Caspar, who persuades Max to cast seven magic bullets to be used in the contest. Caspar, whose soul is to be forfeited to the devil on the following day, hopes to obtain three more years of grace by substituting Max in his place. (Trio: Cuno, Caspar, Max; chorus: "O diese Sonne"/"O the sun, fearsomely it rises.")

Left alone, Max sinks into deep melancholy at the thought of losing Agathe through failure at the shooting contest. (Aria: "Durch die Wälder"/"Through woods and fields.") Caspar with weird incantations tries to imbue him with courage. (Song: "Hier im ird'schen Jammerthal"/"Here in this vale of tears.")

He hands Max his gun loaded with a magic bullet, and to his own astonishment Max kills an eagle soaring at a great height. He resolves to go with Caspar at midnight to the terrible Wolf's Glen to cast the magic bullets, which will kill anything the shooter wants, in order to win the prize. Caspar, left alone, triumphs. (Aria: "Schweig! damit dich Niemand warnt"/"Silence, let no one warn him.")

Act 2

Agathe's chamber

Agathe is filled with sad forebodings. She sings of her meeting with a hermit in the forest, who told her that in some danger which menaced her, she would be protected by her bridal wreath. At the moment when Max shoots the magic bullet, the picture of Agathe's ancestor hanging against the wall falls to the floor, slightly wounding her. Agathe's cousin and companion Ännchen replaces it. (Duet: "Schelm, halt fest!"/"Rogue, hold fast, I will teach you.") Agathe is still more disturbed, but Ännchen endeavours to cheer her with jests. (Arietta: "Kommt ein schlanker Bursch gegangen"/"Comes a pretty boy this path.")

Agathe left alone awaits Max with the news of his success, which she decides to interpret as a favourable omen. (Recitative and aria: "Wie nahte mir der Schlummer ... Leise, leise"/"My eyelids droop in slumber ... Low, low, sacred words".)

Max arrives; he acknowledges that he has not been the victor, but explains that he has killed a deer, which he will bring this evening from the Wolf's Glen. Notwithstanding the prayers of Agathe and Ännchen, Max departs. (Trio: "Wie? Was? Entsetzen!"/"What, oh horror! there in the wolf's gorge?")

The Wolf's Glen at night

Caspar calls upon Samiel, the Black Huntsman, for assistance, and prepares the casting of the magic bullets. Max arrives and is warned by the spirit of his mother to abandon the project. Samiel conjures up the shape of Agathe, representing her as drowning herself in despair at Max's ill success, whereupon he plunges into the glen and with demoniacal noise the casting of the bullets is begun.

Act 3

Agathe's chamber

Agathe is praying. (Aria: "Und ob die Wolke sie verhülle"/"Through clouds obscure still shines the sun in radiant sky.") Her doubts have returned, owing to a dream of ill omen, but Ännchen again cheers her with laughter and song. (Romance and aria, subsequently added by Weber: " Einst träumte meiner sel'gen Base"/"My deceased cousin had a dream.") The bridesmaids arrive with the bridal wreath. (Song: "Wir winden dir den Jungfern-Kranz"/"We wind round thee the bridal wreath.") When Ännchen opens the box, however, she finds within a funeral wreath, which still further increases Agathe's misgivings. She is somewhat comforted by the memory of the hermit's promise that she shall be protected by her bridal wreath.

The meeting of the marksmen

Having split the seven bullets between them, Max has used four and Caspar has used three. Max demands Caspar give him his last bullet to use in the final shooting contest, but Caspar refuses. As Max leaves, Caspar shoots a fox, thus making Max's bullet the seventh and controlled by the Evil One.

The prize shooting

Prince Ottokar awaits Max at his tent. (Chorus of foresters: "Was gleicht wohl auf Erden"/"What excels the pleasures of the chase.") Max is now to shoot a dove. As he takes aim, Samiel, the black huntsman, appears to guide the bullet, and causes Max to fire at Agathe, who is apparently wounded. (Finale: "Schaut, o schaut"/"See, oh see, he shoots his bride.") Agathe falls, but her bridal wreath has deflected the bullet, which struck Caspar. Agathe revives from her faint. Caspar, seeing a holy hermit by her side, realizes that he has failed. Samiel grasps him instead of Max, whereupon Caspar expires with a curse upon his lips. Prince Ottokar orders the corpse to be thrown into the Wolf's Glen, then demands and receives an explanation from Max. In spite of pleas from Cuno, Agathe, peasants, and huntsman, the infuriated Prince pronounces the sentence of banishment. Before this can be carried out, however, the hermit enters into their midst. The Prince acknowledges the holy man, and asks for his counsel. The hermit explains that the combined effects of love for Agathe, and fear of losing her should he fail the shooting trial are what caused Max to stray from a life that was formerly without fault. The hermit goes on to condemn the trial shot, suggests a probationary year as penalty, and asks who among the assembled has looked into their own heart and would be willing to cast the first stone. If Max lives a faultless life, he will gain forgiveness and be permitted to marry Agathe. The Prince commends the hermit for his wisdom saying a higher power speaks through him. The Prince ends his pronouncement by saying he, himself, will place the hand of Agathe in that of Max when the probation is over. The opera ends with the ensemble singing prayers of thanks.

Instrumentation
The opera Der Freischütz is scored for a standard-sized orchestra composed of:

In the orchestra pit: 2 piccolos, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, strings (violin I and II, viola, cello, double bass).

Onstage: 1 clarinet, 2 horns, 1 trumpet, violins, celli.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
 
 
Der Freischutz - Carl Maria Von Weber
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Weber: Der Freischütz - Köln, 1955 (Grümmer, Hopf, Poell; dir. Kleiber)
 
Ottokar: Alfred Poell
Kuno: Heiner Hern
Agathe: Elisabeth Grümmer
Ännchen: Rita Streich
Kaspar: Max Proebstl
Max: Hans Hopf
Kilian: Kurt Marschner
Kölner Rundfunks Sinfonie Orchester und Chor
dir. Erich Kleiber
rec. march 1955
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber : Der Freischutz - Overture
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Der Freischutz - Weber - Ludvigsburg - 1988
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oberon - 1826
 
Oberon, or The Elf King's Oath is a 3-act romantic opera in English with spoken dialogue and music by Carl Maria von Weber. The libretto by James Robinson Planche was based on a German poem, Oberon, by Christoph Martin Wieland, which itself was based on the epic romance Huon de Bordeaux, a French medieval tale.

Against his doctor's advice, Weber undertook the project commissioned by the actor-impresario Charles Kemble for financial reasons. Having been offered the choice of Faust or Oberon as subject matter, he travelled to London to complete the music, learning English to be better able to follow the libretto, before the premiere of the opera. However, the pressure of rehearsals, social engagements and composing extra numbers destroyed his health, and Weber died in London on 5 June 1826.


Performance history

First performed at Covent Garden, London on 12 April 1826, with Miss Paton as Reiza, Mme. Vestris as Fatima, Braham as Huon, Bland as Oberon and the composer conducting, it was a triumph with many encores, and the production was frequently revived. The libretto was later translated into German by Theodor Hell, and it is in this German translation that the opera is most frequently performed.

The opera was soon mounted elsewhere: Leipzig in 1826, Dublin, Edinburgh and Vienna in 1827, Prague in 1828 and Budapest in 1829, with many other performances in western Europe from the 1830s to the 1860s.

Weber was dissatisfied by the structure of the opera as it was produced in London, and intended to revise the work on his return to Germany, but died in London before starting work on the revision. Since then, other composers and librettists have revised the work, notably Franz Wüllner, Gustav Mahler (who, preparing a new performing version, rearranged some of the numbers and composed some linking music based on material from the existing score) and novelist-composer Anthony Burgess, who wrote a new libretto for Oberon and arranged the overture for guitar quartet. Franz Liszt made an arrangement of the overture in 1843 for solo piano (S.574).

The first performance of Oberon in America took place in New York at the Park Theatre on 20 September 1826. It was first seen in Paris in 1830 at the Théâtre Italien (in German).[2] A lavish production was mounted in French at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris on February 27, 1857, conducted by Adolphe Deloffre, and was praised by Berlioz.

In the 20th century, the Metropolitan Opera premiere was on 28 December 1918 (accumulating 13 performances up to 1921) with Rosa Ponselle as Reiza, conducted Artur Bodanzky, who also composed recitatives in place of original spoken dialogue. The opera was staged at the Salzburg Festival in 1932 and 1934 under Walter, at the 1950 Holland Festival with Monteux conducting, the Florence Festival in 1952 under Stiedry and at the Paris Opera in 1953 with Cluytens. Although the opera has been staged intermittently in the 20th century, it has been often been performed successfully in concert.



Sheet music cover for "Mermaids' Song" by Charles Kinkel;
lithograph by Gregson, Donaldson & Elmes, 1866



Orchestration
The opera is scored for 2 flutes, 2 clarinets (in A), 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 4 horns (in D and A), 2 trumpets (in D), 3 trombones (alto, tenor and bass), strings and tympani. The tunings for clarinets, horns and trumpets are from the overture. For instance, Act I opens with horn in F.

Synopsis

Act 1

Fairies sing around the sleeping Oberon in his bower. Puck enters and recounts Oberon’s quarrel with Titania, his queen, where Oberon vowed not to be reconciled with her until a pair of human lovers are found who have been faithful to each other through all perils and temptations. Puck has ventured everywhere to find such couples, but in vain. Awakening, Oberon curses the rash vow he made. Puck tells him that the knight Sir Huon has been ordered by Emperor Charlemagne to go to Baghdad, slay the man on the Caliph's right hand, then kiss and wed the Caliph's daughter. Oberon decides that this knight and the princess will be the ones to assist him in his reconciliation with his queen. A vision of Reiza is conjured for Huon and his squire Sherasmin, and they are given a magic horn to summon aid from Oberon if needed. Fairies are called in to carry Huon on his mission.

On the banks of the Tigris Prince Babekan is rescued from a lion by Huon and Sherasmin. Babekan is actually the betrothed of Reiza but when he attacks Huon and Sherasmin they put the prince and his band to flight. Next, Namouna, an old woman tells Huon that Reiza is to be married the next day, but has also had a vision which has drawn her to Huon.

In the palace of Haroun al Rachid Reiza confides to her attendant that she will only marry the knight in her vision, and, as Fatima announces the arrival of Huon the two women rejoice in anticipation.

Act 2
In the splendid court of Haroun al Rachid a chorus sing praises to their ruler. Reiza is led in to wed Prince Babekan, seated on the caliph’s right, but Huon and Sherasmin burst in, kill Babekan and flee with the princess and Fatima. A ship is to take them to Greece. The two couples express their love as they depart.

Puck invokes the spirits of the elements to wreck Huon’s ship. Huon and Reiza survive and he goes in search of more survivors while she sings of the fury and menace of the sea. At the close of her aria she espies a ship approaching and signals to it. But it is a pirate ship and Abdallah and his crew abduct Reiza. Huon tries to save her but is wounded; he manages to sound the magic horn and Oberon appears. Oberon tells Puck to take Huon to Tunis and the house of Ibrahim. The mermaids sing happily over the unconscious prince.

Act 3
In the garden of the Emir's house in Tunis Fatima sings of her fate as a slave. She and Sherasmin are now married and they sing of their childhood. Puck makes Huon appear, and after Fatima tells him that Reiza is in a harem, they plan her rescue.

In the harem of Almanzor, Reiza laments her lot and manages to get a message to Huon who sets off to release her. However, by accident he encounters Roshana, the Emir's wife, who tries to persuade Huon to kill Almanzor and marry her. He refuses but the Emir discovers them and condemns Huon to death at the stake. Reiza implores the Emir to pardon Huon, but as she had scorned his advances, the Emir refuses and orders the two to be burned together. Oberon is summoned by Sherasmin blowing the magic horn. The Emir’s slaves begin to dance, and after a second blast on the horn, Oberon and Titania appear. The Tunisians flee, the lovers are transported to Charlemagne’s court, and Huon is pardoned.

Music and noted arias
Comparing the unconventional plot and structure of Oberon with that of The Magic Flute, Kobbé contends that 'Oberon is musically strong enough to stand on its own merits'. Grove notes that despite the "unmitigated awfulness" of the libretto, Weber was able to provide musical characterisation for the main characters, at the same time colourfully evoking the mood of the different scenes; the careful recurring use of the horn call motif helps to give the impression of tying the work together. The fairy strands of the opera are given in delicate, beautifully orchestrated music that often anticipates the fairy music of Mendelssohn.

The most famous numbers are the overture (passages of which are quoted by Berlioz in his Treatise on Instrumentation) based on themes from within the opera including the magic horn call, which is played regularly in the concert hall, and Reiza's soprano aria Ocean, thou Mighty Monster (Ozean, du Ungeheuer).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Oberon -Overture
 
Published on Mar 4, 2013
Overture to Oberon by Carl Maria von Weber
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
David Oistrakh, conductor
Kongresshalle Leipzig, 28.I.1969
 
 
 
 
 
 
Euryanthe - 1823
 
 
 
 
Euryanthe is a German "grand, heroic, romantic" opera by Carl Maria von Weber, first performed at the Theater am Kärntnertor, Vienna on 25 October 1823. Though acknowledged as one of Weber's most important operas, the work is rarely staged because of the weak libretto by Helmina von Chézy (who, incidentally, was also the author of the failed play Rosamunde, for which Franz Schubert wrote music). Euryanthe is based on the 13th-century romance "L'Histoire du très-noble et chevalereux prince Gérard, comte de Nevers et la très-virtueuse et très chaste princesse Euriant de Savoye, sa mye."

Only the overture, an outstanding example of the early German Romantic style (heralding Richard Wagner), is regularly played today. Like Schubert's lesser-known Alfonso und Estrella, of the same time and place (Vienna, 1822), Euryanthe parts with the German Singspiel tradition, adopting a musical approach without the interruption of spoken dialogue characteristic of earlier German language operas such as Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Beethoven's Fidelio, and Weber's own Der Freischütz.


Performance history

Euryanthe premiered on 25 October 1823, in a year marked by Vienna's interest in Italian operas, particularly those of Rossini. Although the initial reception was enthusiastic, the opera lasted only 20 performances, with complaints about the libretto and the length of the opera. Franz Schubert commented that, "This is not music ..."

In spite of this, the opera has since had several champions. Victor Hugo in Les Misérables calls the huntsman's chorus in Act 3 "perhaps the most beautiful piece of music ever composed". During his term as director of the Vienna State Opera, Gustav Mahler mounted a new production of Euryanthe in 1903. Despite amendments in the libretto by Mahler himself (who described von Chézy as a "poetess with a full heart and an empty head") and Max Kalbeck and a few changes in the score by Mahler, there were only five performances. Mahler realised the weaknesses of the libretto and the absurdities of the plot; in particular, in the third act, the ludicrously implausible meeting of all the characters in the middle of a rocky waste, a scene which he always alluded to as 'the merry folk reunited'. Leo Slezak played Adolar, Leopold Demuth played Lysiart.

The composer and musicologist Donald Francis Tovey regarded Euryanthe as musically superior to Wagner's better-known opera Lohengrin (whose plot and music echo Euryanthe in several respects, especially with regard to the use of Leitmotiv technique) and made a new performing version, while Arturo Toscanini conducted the La Scala premiere in 1902. Carlo Maria Giulini conducted a performance in May 1954 at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and a recording is available, along with other historic live recordings. Euryanthe has also been staged more frequently in recent years.

Grove notes Weber's use of chromaticism to depict the evil characters, the fine orchestration, and the careful blend of recitative, arioso and set piece.

Synopsis

Time: 1110
Place: Prémery and Nevers, France
Act 1
Euryanthe is betrothed to Count Adolar. In a hall of the palace of King Louis of France in Prémery, the count sings the praises of his promised bride. Lysiart, Count of Forest and Beaujolais, challenges the fidelity of the maiden and asserts that he can win her should he care to try. Adolar stakes his lands and fortune on the faithfulness of Euryanthe and demands that his friend shall show some proof of his victory should he win one.

In her castle at Nevers, Euryanthe has given refuge to Eglantine de Puiset, the daughter of a mutineer. Eglantine is enamoured of Adolar, and under the pretence of friendship for her benefactor, she secretly determines to effect Euryanthe's downfall and rupture her attachment to Adolar. Lysiart, who has unsuccessfully attempted to gain the favor of Euryanthe, assists Eglantine. After questioning by Eglantine, Euryanthe confides a secret given to her by Adolar to Eglantine. The latter's sister Emma had lost her lover in battle, and had killed herself by drinking poison from a ring (the 'ghost' music from the overture is heard). Her soul can find no rest until the ring, lying in her tomb, should be moistened with the tears of an injured and innocent maiden. Euryanthe, who has been praying each night at Emma's tomb, had promised Adolar to keep this secret, and, too late, she repents having told it to Eglantine. After Euryanthe leaves, Eglantine sings how she will denounce Euryanthe to Adolar; Lysiart arrives in order to take Euryanthe to the palace.

Act 2
At night, Lysiart sings both of his guilt and his love. Eglantine visits the tomb, abstracts the ring, and gives it to Lysiart, who had almost given up on his wager with Adolar. She lets him know the secret behind the ring, and he proposes marriage with Eglantine.

Before an assembly in the hall at Prémery, Adolar reveals his anxiety while still longing for his bride, who then arrives. Lysiart displays the jewel to Count Adolar, claiming that Euryanthe had told him about it. Adolar is convinced that his betrothed is unfaithful, since she must have betrayed the secret known to him and her alone. Euryanthe protests her innocence, Adolar gives up his possessions to Lysiart, and rushes off into the forest with Euryanthe.

Act 3
In a rocky gorge, Adolar intends to kill Euryanthe, still protesting her innocence, and then himself. They are suddenly attacked by a serpent and the girl throws herself between her lover and the monster; Adolar kills the serpent. He cannot find the heart to kill the one who would have given her life for his, and he goes off, leaving her to her fate. Euryanthe longs for death, but the king and his hunters arrive on the scene, and she recounts the story of her woe and the treachery of Eglantine. Although joyful that she might see Adolar again, she collapses as they lead her away.

Meanwhile, Eglantine has become engaged to Lysiart, and the wedding is about to take place in the Castle of Nevers, when she is stricken with remorse. Adolar has entered in black armour with his visor down. Eglantine, struck by the silence of the courtiers, and still in love with Adolar, thinks that Euryanthe appears to her as a ghost. Adolar shows who he is, and challenges Lysiart to fight. The king appears, and to punish Adolar for his distrust of Euryanthe, tells him that she is dead. Eglantine, triumphant at the supposed death of her rival, makes known the plot and is slain by the furious Lysiart. As Eglantine dies Euryanthe enters and rushes to Adolar. Lysiart is led off, and Adolar's sister finds peace at last because her ring was moistened by the tears of the innocent Euryanthe.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 

The forest scene with the serpent, performed at the Royal Theatre in
Dresden with Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient in the title role.
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Euryanthe - Overture
 
Conductor: Marek Janowski
Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresd
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Piano Concerto 1 in C Major
 
New York Metamorphoses Orchestra
Eugene Sirotkine, piano
June 22, 2013 at Teatro Del Museo Del Barrio, New Yo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Piano Concerto 2 in E Flat Major Op. 32
 
Published on Apr 2, 2014
Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826)
Piano Concerto 2 in E Flat Major Op. 32
I. Allegro maestoso
II. Adagio
III. Rondo: Presto

RTE Sinfonietta
Proinnsias O Duinn, Conductor
Benjamin Frith, Piano
Naxos Record Label
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Piano Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 49, J. 206
 
Published on Feb 7, 2013

Alexander Paley (piano)
Carl Maria von Weber - Piano Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 49, J.  206
I. Allegro feroce
II. Andante con moto
III. Rondo: Presto con molta vivaci
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Weber - Piano sonata n°2 - Gilels London 1968
 
Piano sonata n°2 op.39
I. Allegro moderato con spirito ed assai legato 0:00
II. Andante 12:27
III. Menuetto capriccioso. Presto assai - Trio 19:11
IV. Rondo. Moderato e molto grazioso 22:52
Emil Gilels
Live recording, London, 17.III.1968
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Piano Sonata No. 4 in E minor, Op. 70, J. 287
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
C. M. Von Weber - Clarinet concerto n°1 in F Minor, op. 73
 
Concert at the Verdi Hall of Milan Conservatoire.
Soloist Laura Magistrelli
Orchestra Cantel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Clarinet Quintet Op. 34
 
Published on Oct 4, 2012
Quintet for Clarinet and Strings by Carl Maria von Weber. Gleb
Kanasevich - clarinet, Hye Jin Koh and Kayla Moffett - violins, Jane
Mitchell - viola, Andrew Hayhurst - cello.
I. Allegro 0:00
II. Fantasia 7:37
III. Menuetto 13:15
IV. Rondo 18:24
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber: Trio for Flute, Violoncello and Piano in g minor op.63
 
Uploaded on May 26, 2011
Trio Lunata. Hironaru Saito (flute) Lukas Kroczek (cello)Takako Ono
(piano)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Symphony No. 1 in C major, J. 50
 
Published on Nov 30, 2012
John Georgiadis. Queensland Orchestra
Carl Maria von Weber - Symphony No. 1 in C major, J. 50
I. Allegro con Fuoco 00:07:56
II. Andante 00:06:20
III. Scherzo and Trio 00:04:06
IV. Finale: Presto 00:06:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Missa Santca No.2 in G-major, Op.76, J.251 "Jubelmesse" (1819)
 
Work: Missa Santca No.2 in G-major, Op.76, J.251 "Jubelmesse"
(1819)
Kyrie 00:00
Gloria 03:59
Credo 08:58
Offertorium 15:13
Sanctus 17:52
Hosanna 19:02
Benedictus 20:02
Hosanna da capo 22:14
Agnus dei 23:13
Dona nobis pacem 24:46
Soprano: Anke Hoffmann
Alto: Mechtild Georg
Tenor: Andreas Wagner
Bass: Yoo-Chang Nah
Chorus: Cologne West German Radio Chorus
Orchestra: Cologne West German Radio Orchestra
Conductor: Helmut Froschauer
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Concertino, Op. 45 for Horn and Orchestra
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Aufforderung zum Tanz / Invitation à la Valse / Invitation to the Dance
 
 
 
 
 
 
"Abu Hassan" - 1811
 
 
Abu Hassan is a comic opera in one act by Carl Maria von Weber to a German libretto by Franz Carl Hiemer (de), based on a story in One Thousand and One Nights. It was composed between 11 August 1810 and 12 January 1811 and has set numbers with recitative and spoken dialogue. The work is a Singspiel in the then popular Turkish style.

Performance history
Abu Hassan was first performed at the Residenz Theater in Munich on 4 June 1811, under Peter Winter. In London, it was produced in English at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1835, and in Italian at Drury Lane on 12 May 1870 (at the same time as Mozart's L'oca del Cairo), the translation being made by Salvatore Marchesi (it), and the dialogue set to recitative by Luigi Arditi.

Abu Hassan is not now part of the commonly performed operatic repertory, though it is sometimes staged. The overture is, however, well known and has been recorded separately many times.
 

Synopsis
Abu Hassan, a favorite of the Caliph of Baghdad, is heavily in debt. To retrieve his fortunes, he sends his wife Fatima to the Caliph's wife, Zobeide, to announce his (Hassan's) death, for which Fatima will receive 50 pieces of gold and a piece of brocade. After Fatima has set off, creditors enter Abu Hassan's house to collect money. Omar, the richest creditor, is tricked into believing that Fatima has spoken to him of love, so he agrees to pay all the other creditors.

Fatima returns with the presents from Zobeide. Abu Hassan now goes to visit the Caliph, intending to try a similar story about his wife and get money from him. While he is out, Omar reappears and demands a kiss from Fatima, but Abu Hassan returns. Omar hides in an adjoining room, and the husband and wife enjoy his fear of being discovered.

Now Mesrur, a messenger from the Caliph, arrives, to see if Fatima really is dead. Both the Caliph and his wife want to know who it was who died, and if both, who died first. Mesrur, seeing Fatima lying on the divan, her husband in apparent distress at her side, runs back to tell the Caliph. He has only just gone, when Zobeide's nurse runs in on a similar errand. This time it is Hassan who feigns death, while Fatima is all tears and lamenting.

Finally the Caliph and his wife are announced. Hassan and Fatima throw themselves on the divan, covering themselves, as if dead. The Caliph now offers 1,000 gold pieces to anyone who will tell him which of them died first. Hassan revives and throws himself at the Caliph's feet, saying "It was me - I died first!" He asks for a pardon, as well as the gold. Fatima does likewise, and the Caliph pardons them both. Omar, having paid off Hassan's debts in the hope of winning Fatima's heart, is sent away in disgrace.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Abu Hassan
 
ABU HASSAN
composed by Carl Maria von Weber
libretto by Franz Carl Hiemer
based on ''Thousand and One Nights''
written in august 1810
premiere Munich 4th july 1811

Rundfunkkonzertmitschnitt von 19 december 1944

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Fatime, soprano)
Erich Witte (Abu Hassan, tenor)
Michael Bohnen (Omar, bass)

Chor & Orchester des Berliner Rundfunks
Dirigent Leopold Ludwig

Overture (00:00:00)

Erste Akt (Anfang)
1. Ach, ist das ein Leben (00:03:22)
2. Liebes Weibchen (00:03:59)
3. Ach, eine herrliche Mahlzeit (00:06:27)
4. Mein liebes Weibchen (00:09:16)
5. O Fatime, meine Traute (00:11:35)
6. Umschwebt nur mein Liebchen (00:13:32)
7. Da kommt jemand (00:14:40)
8. Geld! Geld! Geld! (00:16:06)
9. Ach, dank sei dem großen Propheten (00:18:46)
10. Tränen sollst du nicht vergießen (00:19:44)
11. Von Liebe und Treue (00:22:06)
12. Nun, Hassan, beeile dich (00:25:40)

Erste Akt (Fortsetzung & Ende)
13. Wird Nachtigall wohl trauern (00:26:10)
14. Verzeiht, schöne Fatime (00:29:44)
15. Siehst du diese große Menge (00:30:30)
16. Hat das Märchen dir gefallen (00:31:58)
17. Um Allahs Willen, weh' uns (00:34:45)
18. Ich such' und such' in allen Ecken (00:35:39)
19. Himmel, da eilt jemand über die Straße (00:38:31)
20. Hier liegt, welch' martervolles Los (00:40:27)
21. Arme Fatime, so ist es also wahr? (00:43:02)
22. Angstlich klopft es mir im Herzen (00:44:23)
23. Seht, der Kalif ist gekommen (00:46:21)
24. Erhebet Euch! (00:47:42)
25. Heil ist dem Haus beschieden (00:51:21)

 
 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Abu Hassan - Overture
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carl Maria von Weber - Abu Hassan (1811) - No. 1. Sinfonia & Introduction to the Conflict
 
"Abu Hassan" is a German singspiel in one act by a young Carl Maria von Weber, one of his first successes, in fact, a light, vivacious work that was well received at its' Munich premiere which took place on June 4, 1811. The libretto, written by Franz Carl Hiemer, was derived from "Le dormier eveille" or "The sleeper awakened" by Antoine Galland, in turn relating one of the tales of the "Thousand & One Arabian Nights" which were, in part, the chief instigators of the Turkish craze that steadily transmitted into a series of operas set in the Middle East and Africa, including Mozart's "L'oca del Cairo" and, more famously, "Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail" and Rossini's "L'italiana in Algeri", to name just a few examples. Weber's librettist actually used only the second half of the story, while the entire piece was later set by Meyerbeer's 1815 "Lustspiel Wirth und Gast".

The subject of this comic work concerns a debtor, Abu Hassan (tenor), and his wife, Fatime (soprano), and their efforts to outsmart the Caliph (and his creditor, Omar (bass)) and gain from him the money allotted for their supposed funerals, so that they can pay their debts and live in ease. They are both beset by creditors as the opera opens (as was Weber himself at the time of the opera's composition; in fact, Franz Carl Hiemer, a friend from Weber's Stuttgart days where they both had been frequently in debt, sent Weber the libretto in March of 1810, while the composer slowly set the opera in the following several months). Thankfully, all ends happily for all (except the wicked Omar who is imprisoned for his misdeeds by the Caliph (spoken role)).

The 1944 recording that I am using is quite wonderful in both the orchestra's vivid playing and the soloists' well-characterized singing (with the tenor being a possessor of a slightly dry but believable in the context of the role voice), while the sound quality is not as clear as it could have been, though it does not distract from the overall enjoyment of the piece and the performance:

Leopold Ludwig - Conductor,
Berliner Rundfunk-Sinfonie Orchester - Orchestra,
Berliner Rundfunk-Sinfonie Chor - Chorus.

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf - Fatima,
Erich Witte - Abu Hassan,
Michael Bohnen - Omar.

For this series of uploads I decided to present solely the music material, while omitting the dialogue and the opening recitative of the tenor's aria and much of the creditors' chorus (here limited to the final stretta) to post the opera in just four uploads (the work is actually quite short, lasting about an hour); I've also made some changes to the order in which the numbers appear in the opera (I will, of course, mention these replacements in the description), forming a slightly more conventional but more or less logically developing structure.

Sinfonia. The opera opens by a sprightly theme, pianissimo, which, after development, is followed by a fortissimo passage (the melodic material of the section is used throughout the sinfonia to link the main portions); the second gentle theme, stated by the winds, follows; a third theme of a grandiose nature closes the opening section, and is followed by a free fantasia which leads to the return of the first theme. In the concluding section the first and third themes are followed by a brilliant, sprightly final coda. All this is packed into a three minute musical number, the brevity of which only highlights the complexity of the structure.

I (II in opera). Aria for Abu - "O Fatime! meine Traute" (omitting the recitative and the opening allegro). Both Fatime and Abu have solo arias with which to display their vocal expertise, and we begin with Abu's only solo piece, wonderfully accompanied by two guitars and a warm-voiced bassoon as he sings of his love for Fatime, while the piece closes with enough vocal virtuosity to rival that of his wife.

II (III in opera). Scene for Abu, Omar & Chorus - "Ja, ja, ja!". In this particular case, the retained section of the chorus, a particularly busy agreement of the creditors to give Abu just a bit more time "to obtain" the necessary money to pay them off (a steady decrescendo of sound follows, as the crowd disperses; the whole section reminds one immediately of the stretta to the introduction of Rossini's "Il barbiere"), almost works as a stretta for a possible introduction for the whole work.

III. (I in opera). Duettino for Abu & Fatime - "Liebes Weibchen". The duettino for the couple introduces us both to the main characters, while the basic situation is related. The piece is superbly vivacious but Weber introduces a slightly more darker mood in the central section highlighted by the winds' light descents; however, the ending returns to the original airy character, as husband and wife resolve to deal with their torments as optimistically as they can.

 
 
 
 
 
     
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