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Born: 1786, Eutin, GermanyDied: 1826, London, UK

“To judge a contemporary work of art correctly demands that calm, unprejudiced mood which, while susceptible to every impression, carefully guards against preconceived opinions or feelings.”

Weber’s father was a professional musician and theater impresario who promoted his young son as a second Mozart, and Weber’s first opera opened just days after his 14th birthday. His first professional appointment was as an opera conductor, and he often toured as a pianist, playing his own music. He was also a distinguished critic, but it is as an opera composer that he was most influential, particularly on Wagner and Berlioz. He died of tuberculosis following the triumphant premiere of his opera Oberon in London.

Further listening:Clarinet Concertos No. 1 & 2 (1811)Sabine Meyer, Dresden StaatskapelleHerbert Blomstedt (EMI Classics)