Carl Maria von Weber is best-known as a master of Romantic opera, but he was originally a virtuoso pianist who created a substantial amount of piano music for concert use. Next to his four piano sonatas, the five large and brilliant concert pieces brought together in this book, and two final variation cycles, are certainly his most important piano solo pieces. From the early Momento capriccioso op. 12 of 1808 to the dazzling Aufforderung zum Tanz op. 65 and Polacca brillante op. 72, it is possible to trace by these technically-demanding works the composer/pianist’s development of a very mature and impressive formal compositional mastery.
In the extensive preface to this thoroughly-researched Urtext edition one can read, among other things, the underlying programme that Weber came up with for the Aufforderung zum Tanz.
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This selection includes Carl Maria von Weber’s five brilliant large-scale concert pieces and his last two sets of variations. These seven works probably constitute his most significant compositions for piano two-hands, apart from the four sonatas, which merit an edition of their own. Weber’s earliest virtuoso concert pieces, the “Momento capriccioso” op. 12 and the … more
About the composer
Carl Maria von Weber
One of the most important German opera composers before Wagner, he advocated for a German opera through his own output and in his writings. His fame is predicated on “Der Freischütz,” which was received emphatically as a German nationalist opera. His instrumental works (orchestral pieces, solo concerti, chamber music, piano works) are largely based on Classical models though already anticipate the Romantic sound.
|1786||Born in Eutin on November 18 or 19. Journeyman years with the “Webersche Schauspielergesellschaft,” a wandering acting troupe. He plays smaller roles for children.|
|1797||The troupe comes to Salzburg, where he studies composition with Michael Haydn from 1798.|
|1800||Premiere in Freiberg of his first Romantic, comic opera, “Das Waldmädchen” (“The Forest Maiden”).|
|beginning 1803||Years of study in Vienna with Georg Josef Vogler.|
|1804–06||First appointment as music director in Breslau (Wrocław).|
|1810||Premiere in Frankfurt am Main of the Romantic opera “Silvana.” Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 11.|
|1811||Clarinet Concerti No. 1 in F minor, Op. 73, and No. 2 in E-flat major, Op. 74, commissioned by Maximilian of Bavaria; in 1812, Piano Concerto No. 2 in E-flat major, Op. 32.|
|1813–16||Opera director and music director of the Estates Theater in Prague. From 1817 onward,courtl music director in Dresden.|
|1819||Piano pieces: “Rondo brillante” in E-flat major, Op. 62; “Aufforderung zum Tanze” (“Invitation to the Dance”) in D-flat major, Op. 65; “Polacca brillante” in E-flat major, Op. 72. Trio in G minor for piano, flute, and cello, Op. 63.|
|1821||Premiere in Berlin of his Romantic opera “Der Freischütz,” Op. 77; it is received as an archetypal German opera due to its subject matter and music, although it integrates German, French, and Italian elements. Konzertstück in F minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 79, which paves the way for one-movement concerto compositions in the nineteenth century.|
|1823||Premiere in Vienna of “Euryanthe,” Op. 81.|
|1826||Premiere in London of “Oberon.” Death in London on June 5.|