The Viennese Dance Series for Chamber Ensembles

Johann Strauss Jr.

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Stadt und Land Polka, Op.322 for String Quartet

The Stadt und Land Polka, Town and Country Polka in English, dates from 1868. It was one of the first pieces to be performed at Strauss’ new promenade concerts. The previous year, Strauss had concertized in England and gave a series of ‘Promenade Concerts’ (today, the Proms are given at the Royal Albert Hall) in London on the grounds of Covent Garden, at that time a city park. Strauss noticed the seating arrangement at these concerts, in which the audience was seated in a circle around the orchestra, which allowed them to better hear and concentrate on the music. Those who wished to promenade or walk about could do so outside the ring of audience chairs.


The Stadt und Land Polka was meant to present, by means of musical examples, the sophistication of city life contrasted against the simple pleasures or rural village life. It was originally intended for his small orchestra of around 25 players but, like so many of his other popular works, arrangements of it for much smaller and more intimate groups were almost immediately made from the time it was published so that it could be heard in the cafes and coffee houses throughout Vienna.


Parts: $12.95 





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