Monday, November 16, 2009

The truth about Carl Maria von Weber

Since yesterday we have become the official clearinghouse for all things Carl Maria von Weber. Up above is a picture of a statue of Weber on the Theaterplatz in Dresden.

Yesterday our friend Prof. G wrote:

Apparently Weber, like JoAnn Falletta, played the guitar, along with being a superb conductor and pianist. He was also a good linguist. I imagine you know the story of how Beethoven once played host to Weber in a generous way...even though Weber was sometimes critical of Beethoven's music. It's interesting to hear the foreshadowing of Wagner's sound world in Weber's music, seeing as Weber died before Beethoven and Schubert.

He adds:

I wonder how many of the fashionable set who looked down on him and his profession ever did anything worth remembering. Hoch und Prosit to bohemians!

To which we say, Jawohl!

One day we will all go together to Ulrich's and toast Carl Maria von Weber. Ulrich's is a Buffalo tavern that goes back almost to Weber's time.

Our friend who calls himself Paladino writes:

Weber's father used some money loaned to Carl Maria to settle his own debts. Unfortunately, the money had been loaned to C.M. but the Duke of that province for the purchase of horses, and once the caper was discovered C.M. ended up borrowing more money and got in too deep. He was briefly imprisoned (at some Inn), after which the police showed up early one morning and escorted the entire family to the frontier with an order of banishment. C.M. eventually unloaded his errant father elsewhere and went on to greater things -- eventually. I read another accounting of this somewhere, which I will try to unearth in days ahead.

You do that, Paladino!

We would like that unearthed!

I unearthed an Internet profile of Weber that yielded several goodies.

This sentence for one thing:

Court life at Stuttgart was uncongenial to him, though he yielded to its temptations.

All kinds of images come to mind!

The profile also explains how Weber was related to Mozart's wife, Constanze Weber. They were first cousins! Weber's father, Franz Anton, was the brother of Fridolin Weber. He was Constanze's father. Also the father of Josepha, Aloysia and Sophie. Anyone who has ever read a book about Mozart knows who Fridolin Weber was.

So that is explained.

You know what I think is funny? When you are researching someone like Carl Maria von Weber and Google throws these sites at you saying:

"Carl Maria von Weber News. Carl Maria von Weber Updates. Carl Maria von Weber photos. Latest scoop on Carl Maria von Weber."

Ha, ha! They think they are the source of 19th century gossip. But they are not.

We are!

Here is a picture of Weber looking like quite the dandy.

And here is music from "Oberon" played on the banjo. There is a tremendous introduction:

Playing legitimate "Classical" music on the banjo was in vogue in the 1890's, and my great-grandfather Hezekiah Urastus Anderton was not immune to its influence. He was friendly with the composer's grandson, Zebulon Von Weber, who supplanted his income by making moonshine. Hezekiah was so grateful for this steady source of rotgut that he dedicated this film short to him.

Isn't that classic?

That guy was having his little joke, but I will say this, making moonshine does sound like a Weber thing to do.


  1. I didn't know about Weber spending some time in jail. Woo Hoo! Bach, Beethoven, Weber, Prof. G.....

    I like the company.

  2. That was quite a Dandy comb over.