Opera Scotland

Carl Maria von Weber Suggest updates

Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber

Born Eutin 18 November 1786.

Died London, 5 June 1826.

German composer.

Weber's great operatic success was Der Freischütz, a work of genius which was rapidly performed all over Europe (including Scotland) and became one of the most influential musical works in the romantic movement. His greatest achievement, however, was probably the establishment, first in Prague 1813-16, then Dresden 1816-21, of what would be recognised as well-run musical and operatic institutions - establishing proper rehearsal schedules, supervising stage design and the direction of singers.

He began as a youthful piano virtuoso, and also composed several successful concertos, notably for clarinet and bassoon as well as piano. Abu Hassan is a delightful little comedy, the only one of his pre-Freischütz operas to survive nowadays. After the success of Freischütz in Berlin his reputation was assured. Unfortunately, the creation of follow-up works was problematic. He abandoned the promising comedy Die drei Pintos to work on a grand opera for Vienna. Euryanthe contains superb music, but the text is notoriously intractable. It was not a success, though it strongly influenced other composers, most notably Wagner, with Lohengrin. Weber's health was always fragile, and aware that his tuberculosis was terminal, he accepted a commission from London. Again, the music in Oberon is of astonishingly high quality, but the hybrid style of entertainment, almost pantomime, that was popular in London at the time, has hindered its subsequent success.


Operas performed in Scotland are shown in bold:-

01   Das Waldmädchen (comp 1800) (Steinsberg) (mostly lost)

02   Peter Schmoll und seine Nachbarn, J8 (Augsburg 1803) (Turk

 03   Rübezahl, oder Der Beherrscher der Geister (comp 1805) (mostly lost)

04   Silvana, J87 (Frankfurt 1810) (Hiemer)

05   Abu Hassan, J106 (Munich 1811) (Hiemer)                                                                

06   Der Freischütz, J277 (Berlin 1821) (Kind)

07   Die drei Pintos, JAnh5 (1821, comp Mahler, prod Leipzig 1888) (Hell)

08   Euryanthe, J291 (Vienna 1823) (Von Chezy)

09   Oberon, or The Elf-King’s Oath, J306 (London 1826) (Planché)                                                                              

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