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Weber: Symphonies, Overtures, Concertos / Blomstedt, Marriner, Tortelier

Weber / Johnson / Rosel / Blomstedt / Marriner
Release Date: 11/19/2013 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94698   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Peter RöselEmma Johnson
Conductor:  Sir Neville MarrinerHerbert BlomstedtYan Pascal TortelierGerard Schwarz,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the FieldsDresden StaatskapelleEnglish Chamber Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"The first CD comprises the two symphonies that Weber composed and both are in the key of C major. Written in the conventional form, when Weber was only 20 years of age, many music writers have perhaps unfairly dismissed them as insubstantial youthful experiments. I consider the Weber symphonies to be colourful, extremely interesting and most worthwhile. Significantly they provide a link between a late ‘classical’ Haydn symphony and an early ‘romantic’ Schumann symphony... Sir Neville Marriner and the ASMF have full measure of these witty and happy symphonies... Soloist Peter Rösel gives a stellar performance of the Konzertstück and the two concertos ably assisted by Herbert Blomstedt and the Staatskapelle Dresden who provide Read more a spirited and full blooded performance. The orchestral sound is somewhat blurred at times however the soloist does not suffer unduly from this, albeit the piano sounds rather bright." -- Michael Cookson, MusicWeb International (reviewing the symphonies and piano concertos)

"The Berlin and Dresden Staatskapelle under Marek Janowski and Otmar Suitner are heard in a selection of dramatic overtures by Carl Maria von Weber. The most famous work on this album is the overture to Weber's opera, Oberon. The equally famous overture to Der Freischütz is not included but in its place are five more, all splendidly played with an air of adventure. Featured are the overtures to Peter Schmoll, Der Beherrscher der Geister, Preciosa, the Jubel Ouvertüre and the Euryanthe Overture. These are high-spirited performances by two excellent, well-recorded orchestras." -- Greg La Traille, ArkivMusic.com (reviewing the overtures)

Carl Maria von Weber is a name that is often cited with regard to the bridge between Classicism and Romanticism, and yet how many works of his is it possible to name? In this fantastic compendium, we have the chance to explore some of his finest instrumental music; beginning with the two charming symphonies, written in the composer's early 20s and reflecting the new Romantic fascination with timbre, the compilation also details the operatic overtures (Der Freischütz among them), perhaps his greatest works for orchestra alone and which reflect the many years he spent as Director of the Prague and Dresden Houses promulgating nationalist opera. Compositions for soloist and orchestra make up the rest of the release: in addition to the clarinet concertos, music of scintillating bravura which set new standards in this instrument's repertoire, there are the piano concerti -- similarly virtuosic works which anticipate those by Mendelssohn and Chopin and are testament to the composer's extraordinary powers as a keyboardist.

Indeed, to say that Weber exerted an enormous influence of subsequent generations of composers is no exaggeration; Euryanthe and its highly developed leitmotif technique, for example, pointed the way forward for a young Wagner. Bringing together many world-class names, such as Emma Johnson on clarinet and Sir Neville Marriner conducting the Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields, this collection is the perfect introduction to a composer whose oeuvre holds a significant place in the music history books.

"Rösel [...] deals beautifully with the Chopinesque flourishes in the slow movement of No.2."
Marriner's conducting of the symphonies: "... attractively vibrant performances that bring this music fully to life." (Gramophone)

Other information:
- Carl Maria von Weber marked the transition from the Classical to the Romantic period. His works, while adhering to the formal style of the Viennese School, abound in dramatic contrasts and glittering instrumental virtuosity. His concertos, for piano and for clarinet, are hugely enjoyable, full of "Spielfreude" and many a good tune.
- Weber's concertos, overtures and symphonies still keep repertoire nowadays, crowd pleasers as they are in their relatively simple musical language and immediate appeal.
- Excellent performances by the brilliant Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner, English Chamber orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden and Staatskapelle Berlin, pianist Peter Rösel and star clarinettist Emma Johnson.
- Booklet contains detailed notes on the composer and his music.
- Recordings made between 1974 and 1984. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in C major, J 50/Op. 19 by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1807/1810; Germany 
2.
Symphony no 2 in C major, J 51 by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1807; Germany 
3.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in C major, Op. 11 by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Peter Rösel (Piano)
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1810; Germany 
4.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in E flat major, Op. 32 by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Peter Rösel (Piano)
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1812; Germany 
5.
Konzertstück for Piano and Orchestra in F minor, Op. 79 by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Peter Rösel (Piano)
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Dresden, Germany 
6.
Concerto for Clarinet no 1 in F minor, J 114/Op. 73 by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Emma Johnson (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Yan Pascal Tortelier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1811; Munich, Germany 
7.
Concerto for Clarinet no 2 in E flat major, J 118/Op. 74 by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Emma Johnson (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1811; Munich, Germany 
8.
Oberon, J 306: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825-1826; Dresden, Germany 
9.
Peter Schmoll, J 8: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1801-1802; Germany 
10.
Ruler of the Spirits Overture, J 122/Op. 27 by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1811; Germany 
11.
Preciosa, J 279: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1820; Dresden, Germany 
12.
Jubel Overture, J 245/Op. 59 by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1818; Dresden, Germany 
13.
Euryanthe, J 291/Op. 81: Overture by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822-1823; Dresden, Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Wonderful Collection January 21, 2017 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "Carl Maria von Weber's niche in musical history is located in the Beethoven era, namely the early years of the 19th century, when 'classical' music was undergoing a shift from the classicism of Haydn, Mozart, et al, to the romanticism of Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, etc. In my opinion, Weber's music reflects this shift nicely, and I further assert that this fabulous 4 CD set from Brilliant Classics, containing much of Weber's non-operatic orchestral production, will show this quite clearly. Each disk presents a different category of musical compositions, so perhaps the way to proceed here is to summarize each disk. Number 1 contains Weber's two elegant symphonies, which receive a fine performance from the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner's direction. While I would not go so far as to say these relatively short symphonies are deeply profound compositions, they do contain all the elements which made Haydn so significant, and it is reasonable to say that Weber takes the best of Haydn to the 'next level' (largely classical in structure, luxurious melodic content, and a cheerful, carefree tone, and obvious signs of the emerging shine of Romantic Era orchestral coloration). I was particularly struck by the imaginative Symphony #1, especially its rollicking finale. Disk #2 is a horse of a different color, namely Weber's works for piano and orchestra, performed by pianist Peter Rosel and the Staatskapelle Dresden under Herbert Blomstedt. These are simply lovely pieces, which to my ears seemed to contain elements of Beethoven (orchestral assertiveness) and Mendelssohn (lyrically agile piano scoring). Soloist Peter Rosel is superb in his technical presentation of these works (Konzertstuck in F Minor and Weber's two magnificent piano concertos), and as for the quality of the Dresden orchestra's accompaniment, well, you don't need me to remind you of the capabilities of this world class ensemble. Disk #3 gives us Weber's stunning clarinet concertos, which to me rank right up there with Mozart's masterpiece. Clarinetist Emma Johnson and the English Chamber Orchestra present these sparkling concertos with flair and elegance, making this disk a strong candidate to be the collection's shining star. In my opinion, however, that honor goes to Disk #4, as the Berlin Staatskapelle takes center stage to deliver a knockout performance of five of Weber's operatic overtures. There is a 6th overture to end the disk, and this one features an encore performance by the Dresden Staatskapelle. Interestingly, the overture to 'Der Freischutz,' undoubtedly the most well known of Weber's operas and the one which established his credentials, is not included here. The good news is that nothing is lost by its absence, as the overtures which are on the disk are brilliant early Romantic era musical statements, and both the Berlin and Dresden orchestras give them a powerful, glorious workout. To sum all of this up, I'll simply urge the Arkivmusic community to give serious consideration to this Brilliant Classics Weber anthology. It consistently delivers music of the highest caliber, and it will not let you down. Strongly recommended." Report Abuse
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