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Carl Maria von Weber a cousin of Mozarts wife Constanze was trained as a musician from his childhood the son of a versatile musician who had founded his own travelling theatre company He made a favourable impression as a pianist and then as a music director notably in the opera-houses of Prague and Dresden Here he introduced various reforms and was a pioneer of the craft of conducting without the use of violin or keyboard instrument As a composer he won a lasting reputation with the first important Romantic German opera Der Freischtz The opera Der Freischtz The Marksman first staged in Berlin in 1821 blends many of the ingredients typical of German Romanticism simple peasant virtues mingling with the magic and latent evil of the forest where the heros magic bullets are forged at midnight The grand heroic-Romantic opera Euryanthe is better known for its overture as is the opera Oberon written for London in 1826 Webers two concertos and the concertino for clarinet were written for the clarinettist Heinrich Baermann Weber also wrote two piano concertos and a Konzertstck for piano and orchestra for his own use as well as a useful Horn Concertino and Bassoon Concerto His Aufforderung zum Tanze Invitation to the Dance is well known in an orchestral version of a work originally written for piano Recommended Recordings Clarinet Concertos Nos 1 2 Concertino Dances and Marches from Die Drei Pintos Turandot Silvana Webers chamber music includes a Clarinet Quintet and a Grand Duo Concertant for clarinet and piano successors to the concertos and concertino for Baermann Recommended Recording Quintet Op 34 Variations Op Posth Op 33 Aufforderung zum Tanz Invitation to the Dance is a charming programme piece following the progress of an invitation to dance as a young man escorts his partner to the dance-floor and engages in polite conversation Webers other piano compositions include four sonatas for the instrument Recommended Recordings Sonata
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