I just met a guy called Carl Maria…

14 Mar

Interesting concert tonight: Beethoven Consecration of the House Overture Op.124 (rubbish really, particularly considering the genius of Op.123 and Op.125), Weber’s Konzertstück in F Minor for Piano and Orchestra (about which more anon) and Brahms’ Second Symphony.

The Weber was entirely admirable – delightful melodies, plenty of variety of tempo and style, and exciting pianism. The conductor remarked that Weber is played much more often in his native land, and on the European mainland in general, than he is over here. I wonder why that is? I can understand that the ‘father of German romantic opera’ would have a particular following at home, but surely good music is good music everywhere. In Britain, I suppose we still prefer Mendelssohn, perhaps because that has been the ‘official line’ since Queen Victoria’s day. Now I’m as fond of Felix’s music as the next man, even fonder perhaps – and I doubt Weber wrote any choral works to equal Mendelssohn’s, large or small scale – but in other fields they’re a match for each other (OK, I’ll admit that neither of Weber’s Symphonies quite rival one or two of Mendelssohn’s). Could it be that we have greater regard for FM-B because he was such an early starter?

These days there always seems to be a clamour for ‘more of the same’, exemplified by David Mellor’s radio show ‘If you like that, you’ll like this’. May I respectfully suggest that all you Mendelssohn (or Chopin) -lovers take another look at Carl Maria von Weber.

P.S. Brahms 2: fantastic how much material the bearded wonder can get out of those first three notes!

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Posted by on 14 March 2009 in Music


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