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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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Weber, Der Freischütz Overture

Weber, Der Freischütz Overture

(p.415) Chapter 100 Weber, Der Freischütz Overture
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz overture is a typical product of the Teutonic romantic movement of the early nineteenth century. The story, with its wolf's glen, its flaxen-haired maidens, and its magic bullets, one of which, at the climax of the opera, apparently goes crooked and hits the villain instead of the heroine, leaves a modern Anglo-Saxon audience, alas! cold. However, one must remember that out of this farrago evolved the great supernatural music dramas of Richard Wagner. Not only in his choice of subjects but in the actual texture of the music, Weber was the direct forerunner of Wagner. The dramatic tension engendered by tremolando strings and heavy drum notes, which one finds in the introduction of this overture, became almost a bad habit with Wagner in tragic situations.

Keywords:   von Weber, Der Freischütz, Teutonic, romantic movement, supernatural, Richard Wagner, tremolando strings

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