Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weber's "Invitation to the Dance"

Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) was a German composer. His music has colorful harmonies and orchestration. He used popular themes from central European folk music. His is famous for his operatic music.
Weber wrote the ‘Invitation to the Dance’ as a tender gift to his wife, and presented it with a “program” that is so musically self evident that it needs no detailed explanation. A young lady receives a courtly invitation to a ball from a gentleman who asks for the honor of the first dance.
Related in the biography of Weber, by his son, that while the composer was playing the piano version of the piece to his wife, he gave her the following program of the piece:
“Bars 1-5, first appearance of the dances. Bars 5-9, the lady’s evasive reply. Bars 9-13, his pressing invitation. Bars 13-16, her consent. Bars 17-19, he begins conversation. Bars 19-21, her reply. Bars 21-23, speaks with greater warmth. Bars 23-25, the sympathetic agreement. Bars 25-27, addresses her with regard to the dance. Bars 27-29, her answer. Bars 29-31, they take their places. Bars 31-35, waiting for the commencement of the dance. The conclusion of the dance, his thanks, her reply, and their retirement.”

Weber was the founder of the dance music expression of deep feeling, and of a school of which Richard Strauss afterwards was a follower.

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