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Carl Maria von Weber composed a number of pioneering works for the operatic stage as well as incidental music whose highly attractive scores combine Classical principles of clarity with a unique lyricism and orchestral mastery that would inspire later Romantic composers.
This disc presents overtures from his ever-popular Der Freischütz, Euryanthe and Oberon, as well as from other undeservedly lesser-known operatic works, alongside concert pieces such as the Jubel-Ouvertüre and Der Beherrscher der Geister, and the incidental music for the plays Preciosa and Turandot, all of which amply display his vivid and refined dramatic imagination.
In a recent concert the Dominion Post praised the “superb playing” of the NZSO.
Carl Maria von Weber: Euryanthe, J. 291: Overture
Euryanthe, J. 291: Overture
Carl Maria von Weber: Peter Schmoll und seine Nachbarn, J. 8: Overture
Peter Schmoll und seine Nachbarn, J. 8: Overture
Carl Maria von Weber: Oberon, J. 306: Overture
Oberon, J. 306: Overture
Carl Maria von Weber: Der Beherrscher der Geister (Ruler of Spirits), J. 122
Der Beherrscher der Geister (Ruler of Spirits), J. 122
Carl Maria von Weber: Overture and Marches for Turandot, J. 75
Overture and Marches for Turandot, J. 75: Overture - Act II: March
Carl Maria von Weber: Preciosa, J. 279: Overture
Preciosa, J. 279: Overture
Carl Maria von Weber: Silvana, J. 87: Overture
Silvana, J. 87: Overture
Carl Maria von Weber: Jubel-Ouverture, J. 245
Jubel-Ouverture, J. 245
Carl Maria von Weber: Abu Hassan, J. 106: Overture
Abu Hassan, J. 106: Overture
Carl Maria von Weber: Der Freischutz, J. 277
Der Freischutz, J. 277: Overture
“Descriptive, colourful opera overtures - it's a pity that the sound isn’t better.”
“…Antoni Wit has a genuine feel for the music, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra responds well throughout. Strongly recommended.”
“Here are all six opera overtures, plus those for the incidental music to Preciosa and Turandot. The Ruler of the Spirits and Jubel are independent pieces, the latter celebratory and ending with a terrific orchestration of the tune we know as 'God Save the Queen', the former one of Weber's most brilliant pieces, one that really ought to feature more as a concert-opener. Antoni Wit goes at it with a will, and nimbly catches the good humour of the Abu Hassan overture, not least thanks to a lively oboe here and in Peter Schmoll. The orchestra also boasts a good horn section, very much called for in both Oberon and Der Freischütz. Peter Schmoll and Silvana are attractive examples of how early Weber began finding his voice as an orchestrator, in the case of Schmoll when still in his teens. If only the sound were better, this would be an easy record to recommend. But as well as writing beautifully for wind, Weber makes demands on the richness and depth of the full orchestra and, especially in Euryanthe and Oberon, on the hurtling virtuosity of the strings. A crowded acoustic does not help clarity here, or in the busy figuration at the climax of Jubel. The seldomplayed Turandot, with its quirky little oriental tune that caught Hindemith's ear for his Weber Metamorphoses, fares rather better.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.