OBERON, Weber's last Opera, was written for performance in England, just a hundred years ago. It was produced at Covent Garden on April 12, and on June 4 the composer died in London.
The plot of the Opera is rather absurd-a mixture of fairy love, mediaeval chivalry, and wild adventure, with revengeful villains, hairbreadth 'scapes of lovers, and, of course, a' happy ever after ' wind up.
In the fine Overture we admire Weber's genius for composing imaginative music, full of romantic and pictorial suggestion. There are all sorts of graphic ideas in it-the magic horn of Oberon, fairy music, and the more positive strains of human loves and triumphs.
SIBELIUS, Finland's greatest composer, has had remarkable recognition from his countrymen. A year or two ago, on his sixtieth birthday, the President of the Republic personally invested him with the Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose of Finland, and Parliament voted an increase in the pension which he has received since 1915. A national subscription was also raised in his honour.
In such music as his tone poem, Finlandia, the Kalevala Suite, and chiefly in his seven Symphonies, we find the best-the virile, rugged Sibelius, using national idioms and often deriving the rhythms of his music from those of traditional Finnish folk-poems.
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