Let’s start this episode of our musical universe series with a trick question. Who was the most famous and most successful opera composer during Mozart’s time? And while it would be tempting to think that Wolfie had his hand in
Although Carl Maria von Weber’s opera Der Freischütz is frequently portrayed as the liberation of German cultures from foreign influences, we should not forget that a “veritable Freischütz mania flooded all England.” Productions of the opera opened in London in
When the British explorer extraordinaire Richard Francis Burton published his translation of the traditional Middle Eastern stories in The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night in 1885, he brought the extraordinary wealth of Arabic storytelling to the West.
When Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz (The Marksman) was first produced at the Schauspielhaus in Berlin in June 1821, the musical world was stunned. Setting his career as a pianist and critic aside, Weber had created a work that
Franz Schubert composed his set of six German Dances in October 1824 for his piano student Countess Caroline Esterházy. Everybody knew that Schubert was deeply in love with his 18-year old student, and a number of compositions were the direct
Nobody composed variations like Franz Schubert! An undisputed master of the genre, his variations on his own melodies become a fascinating combination of formal innovation and musical poetics. Peeling away layer upon layer of significance and meaning, Schubert bathes his