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02.09.2014

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RMCO Work Detail

Title Overture to Rosamunde, D 644
Composer Schubert, Franz
Contributor's Name Robert Wright
Bio Movements: Andante / Allegro vivace

During little more than 15 years Schubert produced an amount of music that has scarcely been equaled even by composers who lived to a ripe old age. The period, up to about 1818, which saw him making audacious experiments in tonality and harmony within a basically Classical framework, is characterized by unselfconsious vitality. But as he reached his twenties he seems to have realized that his genius demanded something more of him than he had so far achieved and the next few years found him, in every respect, much more self critical. He gained recognition as a result of the publication of his songs and the singspiel Die Zwillingsbruder and the melodrama Die Zauberharfe.

The work now known as the Rosamunde overture has a complicated history. Its origins go back to the D major Overture "in the Italian style", of 1817, which was written during the height of the Rossini craze in Vienna; when composing music for Die Zauberharfe in 1820, Schubert modified the Adagio introduction and the Vivace coda of this earlier work for use in his new (C major) overture. The melodrama was a failure and only survived a few performances, but the charming overture was well received by the public. In 1827 Schubert published it, together with a selection from the incidental music to the play Rosamunde of 1823 as Op. 26, and since then it has become generally known as the overture to Rosamunde. This is its only connection to the play, however.

 

Work record last updated on 07-19-2004