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Overtures Naxos 8.570296


Composer: Carl Maria von Weber

Conductor: Antoni Wit

Orchestra: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra


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.

Overture Review

While Der Freischütz, Oberon, and Euryanthe are Carl Maria von
Weber's best-known and most frequently recorded operas, the rest of his output
for the theater is much less familiar to modern audiences, except for several of
his highly tuneful overtures, which have remained popular over the years as
concert staples. This 2008 Naxos release features 10 such pieces; six
celebrated opera overtures are balanced with the concert works Der Beherrscher
der Geister and the Jubel-Ouvertüre, as well as with selections from the
incidental music for the plays Preciosa and Turandot (the latter's overture and
march employ the catchy “Air chinois,” which Paul Hindemith used for the
second movement of his Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes of Carl Maria von
Weber). These pieces are

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