Dissecting Weber's Opera to Inform Performance of "Concertino for Clarinet"

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Katharina Uhde


Arts and Sciences



ORCID Identifier(s)


Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-4-2017


For most music enthusiasts, the phrase “German Romantic opera” often evokes thoughts of Carl Maria von Weber. In the world of clarinetists, however, Weber is most often associated with his concertos that have become standard clarinet repertoire. A common performance tip clarinetists hear is to make the more lyrical parts of his concertos dramatic and sweeping as one would hear in his operas, but how can this best be applied? In pursuit of Totaleffekt, the total conception of the opera as one whole unit: music and drama, Weber orchestrates with an integrated approach. The clarinets do not have particularly flashy or virtuosic parts. Instead, the sound of the clarinet is weaved into the full orchestra to produce the desired effect. To tease out the relationship between his clarinet concertos and his operas, we must turn to the vocal and melodic lines indiscriminate of instrument. In my research I focus particularly on Concertino and his operas Euryanthe and Der Freischütz with analysis of the musical scores and consideration of historical context and what is known of Weber’s life.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Victoria Bruick is a senior English and music double major from Bakersfield, CA. Her interest in Carl Maria von Weber began in high school when she first heard with his "Concertino." Her interest in the concerto went beyond learning and performing the piece, and she chose to dive into the historical context and theory analysis of Weber's work for her culminating music history research project.

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