@Home > Der Freischutz
|Weber, C. M. v. (1786-1826)
|The Marksman (The magic bullets)
First performed June 18, 1821.
Libretto by Johann Friedrich Kind (in German),
after Johann August Apel and Friedrich Laun.
|A Summary of gDer Freischutz (The magic bullets)h
In the middle of the 17th century, in the Bohemian
Region, Czech Republic, Max who is a huntsman falls in love with Agathe who is
a daughter of the head forester, Cuno. Max must promise to become the head
forester following Cunofs retirement in the future in order to marry Agathe.
The champion of the shooting contest becomes the head forester. So, Max applies
for it. However, he feels in bad shape on the day before the contest.
Casper, who is another huntsman and a friend of Max, tempts Max to use
magic bullets. Someone can gain seven magic bullets, if he sells his soul
to the devil. His shots never miss the target, but the last bullet hits
the target that the devil states. Max refuses to use those cursed bullets,
but he is anxious about the shooting contest.
In the evening, Agathe is so worried about Max that
Annchen who is an Agathefs cousin encourages her. Max secretly decides to go to
get magic bullets, knowing Agathe doesnft want him to.
Casper takes Max to the Wolf's Glen. At the stroke of midnight, Casper
calls the devil. They get the seven magic bullets, and divide them - Max
takes 4 and Casper takes 3.
The next day, Max shows his skill in front of the
feudal lord. Max has used three magic bullets, and Casper has already finished
using his three magic bullets. Casper requests of the devil for the last magic
bullet to hit Agathe.
The feudal lord requests Max to shoot a white pigeon. Max shoots it with
the last magic bullet. At the same time, Agathe falls down, too. The surrounding
people run up to Agathe, but she is unwounded. Casper falls down and dies
instead of Agathe.
Max confides his secret to all the people. A hermit appears from the woods,
and urges the lord and the others to permit Max to marry Agathe one year
|A Comment on gDer Freischutz (The magic bullets)h
|gOperah was created in Italy, and mainstream opera was
in Italy. But, there was a growing tendency for Germany to create its own opera
in those days. Mozart composed his opera, gThe magic fluteh in German, and
Beethoven composed his only opera, gFidelioh in German. In addition, Carl Maria
von Weber composed this opera, gDer Freischutz (The magic
bullets)h in German. This opera established the national opera culture in
Germany. A lot of masterpieces of German opera were created following that.
The first performance of this opera succeeded, and then, it was performed
at many opera houses around Germany. Wagner, the great German opera composer,
when he was nine years old, saw this opera which was conducted by Weber.
Wagner appreciated it. This operafs overture consists of many kinds of
gLeitmotiv.h This sets up the basic musical feeling for the opera.
Some arias sung by Agathe, Max, and Casper are so wonderful that Ifm sure
you will enjoy listening to them. The most famous number in this opera
is the gChorus of the huntsmen.h You will probably pick up this melody
after just one time. The melody of this chorus is very cheerful, as if
it is celebrating the birth of the national opera in Germany.
|Gluck, C. W. (1714-1787)
@- Orpheus and Eurydice
Mozart, W. A. (1756-1791)
@- The Marriage of Figaro
@- Don Giovanni
@- Cosi fan tutte
@- The Magic Flute
Beethoven, L. v. (1770-1827)
Weber, C. M. v. (1786-1826)
@- The Magic Bullets
Rossini, G. (1792-1868)
@- The Barber of Seville
Donizetti, G. (1797-1848)
@- The Elixir of Love
Verdi, G. (1813-1901)
@- Il trovatore
@- La Traviata
@- Un ballo in maschera
@- Don Carlo
Wagner, R. (1813-1883)
@- The Flying Dutchman
@- Tristan und Isolde
@- Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg
@- The Rhinegold
@- Die Walkure
@- Twilight of the Gods
Offenbach, J. (1819-1880)
@- The Tales of Hoffmann
Strauss, J. (1825-1899)
@- Die Fledermaus (The Bat)
Bizet, G. (1838-1875)
Tchaikovsky, P. J. (1840-1893)
@- Eugene Onegin
Massenet, J. (1842-1912)
Humperdinck, E. (1854-1921)
@- Hansel and Gretel
Puccini, G. (1858-1924)
@- La Boheme
@- Madama Butterfly
Leoncavallo, R. (1858-1919)
Mascagni, P. (1863-1945)
@- Cavalleria Rusticana
Debussy, C. (1862-1918)
@- Pelleas et Melisande
Strauss, R. (1864-1949)
@- The Cavalier of the Rose
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