When people today speak of the music group “Abba” for example. The first thing you hear is: “what a has-been,” etc. But when people talk about Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach; they omit them from these comments. People make reference to the fact that so called: ‘classical composers’ are exempt from ever being forgotten. To society, mortality is a disease only akin to popular music/musicians: not to classical musicians.
Carl Maria von Weber was considered to be one of the greatest composers of the 19th century. He was called the father of “German Romantic Opera,” he was admired by many great men: Wagner, Nietzsche, Shaw, Chopin, Liszt, Mahler; the list is endless. He was considered to have been ahead of his day, as well as one of the great composers of all times.
Weber was born in 1786, and died in 1826. His brief life was the result of Consumption (Tuberculosis). But in his short 40 years (shy of, since he was 39 when he died), he became one of the greatest conductors, pianists, and composers of his time. Weber conducted much during his short life, especially operas. He wrote many operas himself, his magnum-opus being: “Der Freischutz”; this opera is not only his most famous work; but it’s one of his few compositions which still gets regularly performed today: especially the overture.
Weber had large hands. As a result of this; his piano music is full of awkward jumps, runs, skips…making it quite difficult for even the most accomplished amongst pianists. The “Konzertstuck” was performed quite often during the 19th century. Liszt himself played it to death, and even Stravinsky has a few good things to say about this work. Weber’s A-Flat Sonata was considered to have been ahead of its day. This sonata (his second sonata) is a 40 page nightmare; even the most virtuoso of pianists find this work difficult. Of course, his most famous piano composition of all time was: “Invitation to the Dance.” During the 19th century; the Polacca Brillante, Invitation to the Dance, The Konzertstuck, and the A-Flat Sonata were played as frequently as any other piano composition. Weber also wrote symphonies, concertos, and chamber music.
Weber died in 1826 shortly after the premiere of his opera “Oberon.” Around the turn of the 20th century, Weber’s music started to diminish in popularity. At around 1960; his piano music along with his other works had almost been forgotten. Today, with the exception of the Oberon and Freischutz overtures, his works seldom if ever get performed. Liszt , Debussy, and especially Wagner admired Weber very much.