The Viennese Dance Series for Chamber Ensembles
Johann Strauss Jr.
Roses from the South Waltzes, Op.388 for String Quartet
Rosen aus dem Süden (Roses From the South), Op. 388, dates from 1880. It consists of a substantial introduction which begins Andante and then slowly morphs into an Allegro agitato which is then followed by a set of four waltzes and an extended coda. The themes are drawn from the operetta Das Spitzentuch der Königin (The Queen's Lace Handkerchief). It was was first performed by the Strauss Orchestra conducted by Johann’s younger brother Eduard in Vienna in early November 1880. Despite its somewhat introspective mood, it nonetheless became one of Strauss’ more popular waltzes.
Although this music was not written for string quartet, we know that it was common practice almost as soon as Strauss composed a waltz at the piano, for him to start making arrangements. First for his orchestra and then for the other combinations which his publishers demanded, mostly for string quartet and piano trio or piano four hands so that the music could be enjoyed in Vienna’s cafes, hotels and restaurants as well as in the parlors of the middle class. It is in this spirit that our arrangement for String Quartet is presented.