Carl Maria von Weber

Although entirely a contemporary of Beethoven, CARL MARIA VON WEBER adhered to a very different aesthetic and style in his musical output – it lacks dramatic conflicts inherent to Beethoven’s music, but it does reflect emotional sophistication and grace.
Weber left a singularly distinct impression in the eyes of his contemporaries. In their opinion, he was “unimposing, short in stature and thin, with narrow shoulders, long arms, but everyone was immediately captivated by the comely shape of his elongated head, by the pale but soulful and cheerful expression of his face, the frank, straightforward speeches, intoned in a beautiful, sonorous baritone.”
Evidently, family tradition and family upbringing underlie Weber’s successes: his father, Baron Franz Anton von Weber (uncle of Mozart’s wife Constanze, nee Weber) was an experienced violinist and director of a traveling dramatic troupe; his mother was a superb singer and his brother – an excellent musician, a student of Joseph Haydn. As a result of having accrued musical and theatrical impressions early on, Weber channeled
his talent into the genre of opera, despite of having produced some fine instrumental opuses and acquired the reputation of a fine concert pianist. His initial music education was largely indebted to an interesting contemporary figure – Abbé Josef Vogler, an organist, composer and theorist. In 1804, with Vogler’s assistance, he assumed the function of Director at the City Opera in Breslau (present-day Wrocław in Poland).
Weber has made a definite contribution to the spatial arrangement of the contemporary symphony orchestra by changing the positions of certain wind and string instruments.
After a short stay in Breslau, he gave concerts in various cities, hardly ever staying in the same place for very long. In 1813, as Director of the Prague Opera, he realized one of the first productions of Beethoven's opera Fidelio. From 1816, he was Director of the newly founded German Opera in Dresden. In 1821, with the premiere of Der Freischütz, his fame spread throughout Europe. With this opera, Weber became the founder of the
German romantic opera. Five years later, especially for The Royal Opera House Covent  Garden in London, he wrote his opera Oberon based on Shakespearess plays The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He traveled to London to attend to its production, and died there of tuberculosis in June of that year.
In 1811, Weber undertook a concert tour around Germany and Switzerland. It was during this tour, while in Munich, that he met Heinrich Josef Baermann (1784 – 1847), whom Weber called “a great artist and a delightful man” and went on to write for him his two clarinet concertos, Concertino Opus 26, Variations Opus 33, Quintet Opus 34, Duet Opus 48. Baermann exerted on the composer the same kind of creative influence
as clarinetist Anton Stadler had once exerted on Mozart.

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