BALLYGOWAN FLUTE BAND
Carl Maria von Weber was born in Eutin in the North West of Germany. He received his first instruction from his father, who had dreams of his son becoming a child prodigy like Mozart. By the time Carl was four years old, he was singing and playing the piano. He continued to study under several different musicians, and he published his first compositions when he was 12.
The family moved around a lot, and indeed, in later life, Carl did as well. He held a number of posts including director of Dresden opera, where he contributed to German opera as opposed to the traditional Italian. He wrote perhaps his most famous piano piece Invitation to a Dance in 1819, and his opera Freischütz, which was a great hit, in 1821. In 1824, Weber received an invitation from The Royal Opera in London, where he composed and premiered his opera Oberon in 1826.
Weber was one of the first composers to be recognised as from the new Romantic school, and in his time, he was pianist, guitarist, conductor, composer and critic. He died of TB and was initially buried in London, but later, his remains were moved to Dresden. He also left an unfinished opera (The Three Pintos) which was eventually finished by Mahler, and premiered in Leipzig in 1888.
The plot is based on a German folk legend, and many of its tunes were inspired by German folk music. The hunter becomes the hunted in a supernatural, scary storyline. It was performed all over Europe including London, and influenced many composers including Wagner and Berlioz. Also the overture and the Huntsmen's Chorus are often performed as concert pieces.