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Weber’s Hopes & Fears

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Carl Maria von Weber was 31 years old and beginning to settle down professionally and socially. On March 10th, 1817 he wrote from Dresden to a friend:

“I should have written to you long ago to tell you about my appointment as Kapellmeister to the King of Saxony and Director of the German Opera here, but I have really had too much to do. Anyway, I am at last settled here, and my wonderful travel plans have all evaporated. Sure, I have an annual vacation, but if I get married in the autumn–God willing–it will be harder for me to leave the nest.

“I had many frustrations and intrigues to overcome here and several times was on the brink of leaving again, but in the long run it showed them they were dealing with a man who was too independent to allow his rights to be trampled. Now everything’s going along smoothly. Those who don’t love me at least fear me.

“Soon I’ll be trying my hand at a new opera, written for me by the well-known poet Friedich Kind. It’s The Hunter’s Bride, a very romantic, captivating and beautiful piece. For the most part I lead a solitary, maybe even melancholy life because even though I have plenty of acquaintances and am generally respected, I lack a real friend, have no one to talk with about music, and that’s really sad.

“My appointment here is only for a year. That’s customary. And though it’s never been known not to lead to a lifetime engagement, I know my own star so well that I’m still anxious but I trust in God and do not tremble, although in the future I’ll have more than just myself to take care of. The arrangement with my fiancée’s mother is also settled now. She’s going to her son at Mainz and I’m to give her 100 thalers a year. It’s worth the sacrifice to have peace and quiet at home.”

Carl Maria von Weber, full of hopes and fears on March 10th, 1817. In four years he would be famous throughout Germany for his opera Der Freischutz.

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