The Viennese Dance Series for Chamber Ensembles
Neue Wiener Lšndler, Op.1
For 3 Violins & Cello or standard String Quartet
Josef Lanner (1801-1843), although not so well-known as either Johann Strauss Sr., was one of the original pioneer "Waltz Kings" of Vienna. Today, outside of Vienna, he is all but forgotten. But some extraordinarily lovely music came from his pens. And all of it was originally intended for small chamber music ensembles. Josef Lanner, a violinist, was largely self-taught. At first a member of a small local Viennese dance orchestra, Lanner formed a string quartet and went out on his own. He met with immediate success and after a few years increased the size of his group to a small string orchestra which included Johann Strauss, Sr. who served as Lanner's deputy leader.
Was this music specifically written for string quartet or piano quintet. The original setting for Neue Wiener Lšndler was for a string quartet consisting of 3 violins and a bass or cello. Our edition can be played either by the original ensemble of 3 Violins and cello (or bass) or the standard string quartet of 2 violins, viola and cello. Our sound-bite, with string quartet, presents abbreviated sections several lšndler
The most popular dances in Vienna during the first half of the 19th century were the waltz, the Lšndler and the German Dance. These dances were all in 3/4 time with little more than simple melodies, usually of 8 bars each. Lanner succeeded in creating in assembling such small melodies into medleys which paved the way for the development of the Viennese waltz. The Neue Wiener Lšndler, Op.1, were composed in 1819 and took an old Austrian traditional country folk dance, the lšndler (in German meaning from country) and presented it in an updated way--more or less in early waltz format-- so that it could be danced to in Vienna's then popular dance halls. From the time they were premiered right up until the present, the Neue Wiener Lšndler achieved world-wide fame and are among Lanner's most beloved compositions.