By Burton D. Fisher
Weber's DER FREISCHUTZ, with central Characters, tale Synopsis, tale Narrative with tune Examples, and a finished and insightful research and observation.
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Extra info for Der Freischutz (Opera Journeys Mini Guides)
As she is about leave, an inner voice compels the Hermit to give her a gift. He turns to a rose bush, the first cutting of which had been brought to him long ago by a pilgrim from the Holy Land: each summer he collects and presses the leaves, to which the peasantry attribute supernatural powers of bodily healing and protection from harm. He gives Agathe some of the consecrated roses as a bridal gift, and dismisses her with a further exhortation to be virtuous. Weber had doubts about the effectiveness of opening the opera with the Hermit scene, but librettist Kind insisted on its retention, declaring that without it the work would seem like a decapitated statue.
Certainly, Weber’s success helped to propagate the practice, and quite obviously influenced the later overture masterpieces composed by Wagner for Tannhäuser and Die Meistersinger. The overture reflects Weber’s genius as a musical dramatist as well as his inventiveness and skill as an orchestrator: its music possesses an unprecedented dramatic depth and brilliant melodiousness. His Der Freischütz Page 33 ingenious skill in orchestration certainly contributed to the development of subsequent orchestral expressiveness: the color values of his woodwinds, and the picturesque use of horns unique for their times.
The premiere generated conflict and controversy: the public was wildly enthusiastic, but the critics were less favorable. ” But the opera appealed to the affections of the German people, an affection for the work that has never diminished. T he underlying story of Der Freischütz is founded on an old legend among huntsmen in Germany: the man who sells his soul to Zamiel, the demon hunter, or BlackHuntsman, would receive seven magic bullets; the bullets always hit their mark, but the seventh bullet belongs to the demon, who, after thee years, will use it at his will to kill the huntsman who had sold his soul to him.
Der Freischutz (Opera Journeys Mini Guides) by Burton D. Fisher