Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber

Symphonic Metamorphosis On Themes Of Carl Maria Von Weber

Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber

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The orchestral work Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber was composed by Paul Hindemith in 1943.

The idea of composing a work based on Carl Maria von Weber's music was first put forward to Hindemith by the choreographer and dancer Léonide Massine, who originally suggested that Hindemith compose a ballet based on Weber's music. After studying Weber's music, Hindemith watched one of Massine's ballets and disliked it, so he wrote the Symphonic Metamorphosis instead.

The Symphonic Metamorphosis is in four movements:
  1. Allegro
  2. Scherzo (Turandot): Moderato - Lively
  3. Andantino
  4. March


The Weber themes are taken from incidental music Weber wrote for a play by Carlo Gozzi based on the same Turandot legend that later inspired Giacomo Puccini and others. Hindemith and his wife used to play Weber's music for two pianists, and Hindemith used some of these little-known pieces -- Op. 60/4 (first movement) (no. 253 in the Jähns catalog of Weber's works), Op. 10/2 (third movement) (J. 82), and material from the two piano duets Op. 60/2 and 60/7 (J. 242 and 265) for the themes for the other movements. Weber's piano duets were written around 1801 and 1818-9, his Turandot music in 1809.

The work was first performed on January 20, 1944 in New York City, Artur Rodziński conducting.

Instrumentation

The symphony is scored for a typical Romantic-sized orchestra.


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