First performed in Berlin in 1821, "Der Freischutz" is recognized as the wellspring of German Romantic opera. It was immensely influential in subject matter, atmosphere, orchestration, and other aspects on all later German operatic writing, and it is still quite popular.
The composition of "Der Freischutz" occupied Weber for an unusually long time. He started in July 1819 and did not complete the work until May 1880. Based on the short story ""Der Freischutz"" in the "Gespensterbuch" (Book of Ghosts) by August Apel and Friedrich Laun, its highly romantic aspects include a dark, mysterious forest setting, populated by lusty huntsmen and abounding in evil and magical overtones.
This edition reproduces the full orchestral score in a clear, modern engraving for easy reading and study, with large legible notation. Do not confuse this with a piano rendering; it is a full orchestral score. In addition to its obvious uses for study, this score is also indispensable for anyone listening to recordings. In no other manner can the listener keep full awareness of the orchestral richness of this opera. The complete German text, including all spoken dialogue, accompanies the music.