The Viennese Dance Series for Chamber Ensembles
Philipp Fahrbach Jr.
Our sound-bite is played by the traditional Viennese Schrammel combination of 2 Violins, Clarinet & 13 String Bass Guitar. This recording comes the closest of any to sounding like our edition for piano trio with the guitar having much but by no means all of the piano part. We do, in fact, have a very old live recording by three Viennese musicians that we are hoping to convert to MP3 format soon. In the meantime, we think this will give you a very accurate idea of what our arrangement sounds like.
Im Kahlenberger Dörfl Polka, Op.340 for Piano Trio
The Fahrbachs were another important and famous Viennese dance composer dynasty. Philipp Fahrbach Jr (1843-1894), as his name implies, was the son of a man with the same name. His father, Fahrbach Sr. (1815-85) was, like the Strausses and Lanner, trained as a violinist and became a dance orchestra conductor and composer. Fahrbach Sr. started out in Strauss Sr.'s orchestra but, like Strauss Jr., started his own group in 1835. Many of his works enjoyed the same popularity as did theirs. Fahrbach Jr. was trained in the same manner and joined his father's orchestra in 1855. By 1870, he had gained the reputation as one of the best military band conductor of his time. At least in Vienna, if not elsewhere, where many of his works, such as Im Kahlenberger Dörfl (which enjoyed world-wide popularity), have remained as popular as those of the Strausses and Lanner.
Im Kahlenberger Dörfl literally means in the little village of Kahlenberg--the Kahlenberg is a small mountain not far fromVienna. Fahrbach composed it in honor of the small village of Kahlenberg, famous to the Viennese for its guesthouses and fine wine. It is what was known as a "Polka Francais" to be distinguished from the heavier, thumping German version. This is a charming dance, light in mood, captivating in every way, a perfect little gem, which explains its great popularity.
Was this music specifically written for piano trio? Probably not, it mostly likely was intended for a small group (say 4-6 players) of strings and winds such as 2 violins, a cello or bass, a clarinet and a guitar and perhaps a flute and horn. However, like the Strausses and Lanner, Fahrbach Jr. immediately made arrangements for all sorts of ensembles, among them was sure to be the piano trio, an ensemble which was perhaps the most popular of its kind in the middle class homes of 19th century Central Europe. Fahrbach Jr., conducted what was then called a "military" band (which in reality at the time was a small group of strings and some wind instruments). They would have performed in intimate surroundings such parks, gardens and spa resorts. But one combination for which this work was never intended was the modern day 100 member symphony orchestra--probably the least valid arrangement of all. This type of music was meant to be intimate and on a smaller scale. This is the time-honored way in which most Viennese then and now have listened to their beloved waltzes, polkas and galopps. Thus it is with pleasure that we make it available again in a version for piano trio.