Weber, Carl Maria von

COMPOSER (GERMANY)
BORN 18 Dec 1786, Eutin, Holstein - DIED 5 Jun 1826, London
CAUSE OF DEATH tuberculosis
GRAVE LOCATION Dresden, Sachsen: Alter Katholischer Friedhof, Friedrichstrasse 54

Cal Maria von Weber was a cousin by marriage to W.A. Mozart. His father moved from city to city and he was a sickly child and limped for the rest of his life. His father arranged for his musical education and among others he was taught by Michael Haydn (the brother of Joseph Haydn).

When he was only 18 years old he became conductor at the City Theatre in Breslau. During the years of the Napoleontic Wars he made concert tours in Germany and Switzerland. From 1813 until 1816 he was director of the opera in Prague and he learned Czech. In 1816 he became musical director of the new German Opera in Dresden. In Dresden he introduced a new way of seating for the orchestra that is still in use today.

On November 14, 1817 he married the opera singer Karoline Brandt. It was a good marriage and they had two surviving sons. In 1821 he became famous all over Europe with his opera "Der Freischütz". He was among the first composers to write opera's in German and this led to much resistance in Dresden from Italian opera lovers.

In 1826 his health had detoriated seriously by tuberculosis, but nonetheless he travelled to London for the premiere of "Oberon", an opera that had been commissioned by Covent Garden. He wanted to give more concerts in London to provide for his family after his death, but he died in London shortly after the premiere and he was buried at Moorfields Chapel. In 1844 Richard Wagner, who had known him as a young boy, transferred his remains to Dresden where he was reburied. Wagner gave the graveside speech.

Family
• Mother: Weber, Genoveva
• Son: Weber, Max Maria von
• Wife: Brandt, Caroline (1817-1826)

Related persons
• was teacher to Benedict, Julius
• knew Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
• was pupil to Haydn, Michael
• worked for Ludwig I, König von Bayern
• was a friend of Meyerbeer, Giacomo
• was a friend of Schröder-Devrient, Wilhelmine
• influenced Silcher, Friedrich
• admired Vespermann, Klara
• influenced Wagner, Richard
• knew Zumsteeg, Emilie

Events
16/9/1810Premiere of Von Weber's "Silvana" in Frankfurt am Main. The librettto was written by Franz Karl Hiemer. It was meant to be staged in Stuttgart but Von Weber was banised from Württemberg in February 1810. He was forced to stay in Mannheim but friends helped him to stage the opera in Frankfurt am Main. He conducred the premiere himself. His former lady friend Margarethe Lang was Mechthilde and his future wife Carline Brandt was Silvana. Further performers were Eduard Berthold and Otto Morhardt. [Brandt, Caroline]
0/12/1824Berlioz attends a performance of Weber's "Der Freischütz" at the Odéon Theatre in Paris. It was the first time he heard the music of Weber. [Berlioz, Hector]
15/12/1844Carl Maria von Weber is reburied in Dresden. Richard Wagner, who had known him as a child and was now the musical director in Dresden, held a speech at the new grave at the Catholic Cemetery. [Wagner, Richard]

Images

The grave of Carl Maria von Weber at the Alter Katholischer Friedhof, Dresden.
Picture by Androom (28 Aug 2005)

 

Sources
Baedeker Dresden, 1996
Encyclopedie van de Muziek, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1959
The Hector Berlioz Website - Berlioz Biography


Weber, Constanze

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 16 Jan 2022