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Profile of Carl Maria von Weber

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Born:

November 18, 1786

Birthplace:

Eutin, near Lubeck (Germany)

Died:

June 5, 1826 in London, England due to tuberculosis.

Also known as:

He was a composer, piano virtuoso, orchestrator, music critic and opera director who helped establish the German Romantic and nationalist movements. Carl Maria von Weber was born into a musically-inclined family. His father, Franz Anton, managed a theatre company, and his mother, Genovefa, was a singer. He was married to Caroline Brandt, a singer, in 1817. Mozart's wife, Constanze, was a cousin of Weber.

Type of Compositions:

He is mostly known for his operas and works for the clarinet.

Influence:

In Salzburg, one of his early teachers was Michael Haydn, the younger brother of Franz Joseph Haydn. Weber's first work was Opus 1, Sechs Fughetten followed by his first opera, Das Waldmädchen, written when he was only 14 years old. He also studied with Abbé Vogler and completed his music studies in Vienna. Afterward, Weber became music director in various theatres, most notably at the Prague Opera in 1813. In 1816, he was appointed Kappelmeister in Dresden.

Notable Works:

Carl Maria von Weber's works include "Peter Schmoll und seine Nachbarn," "Silvana," "Grand Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Opus 11," "Abu Hassan," "Concertino, Opus 26," "Aufforderung zum Tanz" (was orchestrated by Berlioz), "Konzertstück, Opus 79," "Euryanthe" and "Oberon." His most famous work is the opera Der Freischütz (The Free Shooter) which opened on June 8, 1821 in Berlin.

Interesting Facts:

By the end of 1825, Weber knew that he was already dying but he wanted to make sure that his family was well-provided for when he passed away. Against the advise of his wife, he traveled to London to conduct the opening of his opera, Oberon, on April 12, 1826. He was found dead in his room on June 5, 1826.

Related Video:

Listen to the overture from Carl Maria von Weber's Oberon courtesy of YouTube.

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