ANNIVERSARY: Weber "Euryanthe"
Has anybody witnessed a stage production of this opera? I believe the libretto is a bit of a clonker but the overture is very exciting and has an independent concert life. My fear though is that Weber's music is becoming forgotten. How many V.commers have played music by Weber, beyond of course the hunting chorus from "Der Freischütz"?
I played the first violin part of Carl Maria von Weber's Clarinet Concerto sometime between 45 and 50 years ago. The clarinet soloist was Richard Meyers, then president of our local community college, but he went on to lead other larger, more well-known schools. Perhaps his greatest contribution to music (and maybe to the world) is that he is the father of violinist Anne Akiko Meyers.
I haven't seen Euryanthe, but I've seen a production of Der Freischütz.
One of my kids played the Andante and Rondo Ongarese, which Weber wrote for either viola or bassoon. It's actually a really nice and fun piece.
I once did a concert with the theme of "Shakespeare, 1826." All works from that year, each focusing on the Bard in some way. So there was the overture to Weber's Oberon, and that by itself was very fine.
Many years ago I remember playing through Weber's 6 Sonates progressives for violin and piano of 1810 and finding them good quirky fun. Two of them I see have had commercial recordings that can be heard on IMSLP, called violin sonatas in D minor and F major.
I've played (but not performed) the overture to Euryanthe under Sargent's baton, that to Freischütz under a less well-known conductor, and the clarinet quintet, but I've never heard the hymn tune "Weber" sung or played (He died at the home of a better-known hymn tune composer). I don't think he'll ever be entirely forgotten.
Well, in fairness, the posters featured “1826”. The other connections were a bonus. And it is not impossible that Mendelssohn free associated a link between Oberon and the Shakespeare he had been reading that summer.
Thank you for your interesting replies. I am glad to hear reports that Weber is still being played. His music is melodic, his orchestration has sparkle and originality. I have seen two productions of 'Der Freischütz', the first was visually hopeless, the second much better, but no Weber seems to be programmed in my neck of the woods. I have played in the Berlioz orchestration of 'Invitation to the Dance'. It had some difficult moments!
Since this is a violinists' forum I thought I should put in another word for the violin sonatas which are surprisingly neglected. Arnold Steinhardt recorded all six with Seymour Lipkin, as did Isabelle Faust with Alexander Melnikov on period instruments. On youtube you'll also find some of them played by Leonid Kogan and Grigory Ginzburg. More closely related to Mozart's than Beethoven's and coming in at under 10 minutes each, I think including one or two in a programme of heavier pieces could make a refreshing palate-cleanser.
That sound's like an interesting performance.
I fully agree Steve: the sonatas are surprisingly short, and very attractive. I've downloaded them from IMSLP. Somewhere in the past I have played the second movement of the first sonata, but I can't locate when or where.