Thursday, 8 January 2009

225. Carl Maria Von Weber - Der Freischutz (1821)


Title: Der Freischutz
Performers: Endrik Wottrich, Berliner Philharmoniker
Director: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Year: 1995
Length: 2 hours 30 minutes


We finally arrive at the first properly romantic opera, even if Beethoven's Fidelio already had plenty of elements of it Weber's Der Freischutz is distinguished by nationalist elements, use of folk tales and the supernatual which mark it out most definitely as a romantic work.

It is striking how influential this work is, throughout you can hear Wagner's future operas in the more bombastic scenes with particular incidence for the amazing overture and the fantastic scene of demon summoning at the Wolf's Glen.

The music is strikingly original even if not particularly catchy, in fact few operas could be further away from Rossini's comedies that we have had here recently. This opera is very definitely Teutonic, this marked difference in national styles will only intensify itself more as composers take further inspiration from their own national musical traditions. Thematically the opera is also a great change, use of folklore and the supernatural, set in an unknown age and heavily concerned with emotion more than plot. A true mark in musical history.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Its unearthly portrayal of the supernatural is especially poignant in the famous Wolf's Glen scene. Despite its daring innovations (and some scathing attacks by critics) it quickly became an international success, with some fifty performances in the first 18 months after its June 18, 1821 premiere at the Konzerthaus Berlin. Among the many artists influenced by Der Freischütz was a young Richard Wagner, who would come to be seen by many as Weber's successor.

The Wolf's Glen:

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