After his success with Freischütz, Weber wanted to write a grand romantic opera and in the end the subject of Euryanthe was chosen, a tale inspired by a legend going back to the thirteen century. Euryanthe is music of inspiration and originality such as is rarely found in the history of German opera in the first half of the nineteenth century. The Italianisms that are occasionally glimpsed in Freischütz are eliminated almost completely. Euryanthe is set to music in its entirety, with accompanied recitative passages that are often of great beauty. We may say that in an opera that has many experimental features Weber sought for the first and only time in his life to overcome the traditional dichotomy between spoken and sung parts, between recitative and closed numbers, creating a highly supple musical structure. The present production features a cast of specialists of German opera and the outstanding direction of Pier Luigi Pizzi.
Swiss-born Bloch, a pupil of Eugène Ysaÿe, emigrated to the United States in 1916. Written in 1926, two years after Bloch had become an American citizen, America: An Epic Rhapsody, is the composer’s tribute to his adopted country. This romantic and patriotic score vividly surveys the history of the US from the native American melodies of pre-colonial days to the modern era of 1920s jazz and beyond. The Concerto Grosso No 1 is a bold statement which unites the eighteenth-century concerto grosso form with a modern tonal language.