The Viennese Dance Series for Chamber Ensembles

Johann Strauss Jr.

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Wiener Blut Waltzes for String Quartet, Op.354

In April of 1873, Vienna celebrated the wedding of Kaiser Franz Josef's daughter Gisela to Prince Leopold of Bavaria. In one of the concerts celebrating the event, Strauss' now famous set of waltzes, Wiener Blut (Vienna Blood or Vienna Spirit) were performed by him conducting, for the first time, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which had up until that time refused to perform his music because it was not serious enough. But by 1873, his reputation was virtually world-wide and he was Austria's most famous composer. They could not refuse.

Wiener Blut begins with a gentle melody which is instantly recognizable, with lyrical grace and an enthusiasm. The second waltz is more subdued.  The third waltz is full of grandeur as befitting the wedding of the royalty. The coda recalls earlier the themes of the second and third waltzes and concludes in stirring fashion.

It is true that this is one piece which Strauss did intend for orchestra, however, it even though it was played by the Vienna Philharmonic, it was in a scaled back version of around 30 players which why is arrangements of this work for much smaller and more intimate groups have been so successful.

Parts: $16.95 





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