The Viennese Dance Series for Chamber Ensembles

Johann Strauss Jr.

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Kunstlerleben Waltzes for String Quartet, Op.316

The Kunstlerleben (Artist's Life) Waltzes were composed for the Hesperus Ball during the Carnival season of 1867. The Hesperus Association was known as the Artist's association and very influential in Vienna. Johann Jr and his brothers were members. Hence the name of the waltzes.

The Kunstlerleben Waltzes were debuted only three days after the first successful of the Blue Danube Waltzes (which originally did not meet with success). They were quickly heralded as a new 'twin' of the 'Blue Danube'. It begins with an inspired introduction, a pensive waltz melody which is interrupted by two loud and fierce chords. The first waltz of five waltzes features a high-spirited tune and a robust accompanying waltz passage. The second and third waltzes are somewhat melancholy but are followed by two more light hearted waltzes before the appearance of the coda, which is nearly as long as the five preceding waltzes are reprises what has come before before ending on a triumphant note.

While this work was premiered by a small chamber orchestra of around 20 players, Strauss immediately, as always, made arrangements for all of the common chamber music ensembles which have become every bit as successful as the original.

Parts: $16.95 





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