The Road of Romance, in South Bavaria, leads through the countryside to the great castle of Weikersheim, former residence of the Counts and Princes Hohenlohe. Further exploration of Bavaria and the Bavarian Forest leads to Prunn Castle on its rocky eminence, and finally to Würzburg on the River Main and the Marienberg Fortress.
Max Bruch, a native of Cologne, enjoyed a career that took him, as a conductor, to Liverpool, Coblenz, Breslau and Bonn, before his final years in Berlin. His first Violin Concerto remains among his most popular works. Carl Maria von Weber led an even more varied life that took him to musical centres in Germany and Austria. He was a pioneer of German romantic opera, and three opera overtures are chosen here. Der Freischütz (The Marksman) evokes the spirit of the German forest, while Euryanthe explores more exotic territory, as does Oberon, Weber's final opera, written for London in 1826, the last year of his life.