£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    

 

Strauss, J Jnr (1825-1899) - Overture: Die Fledermaus

An operetta is literally a “little opera”, originally a play with overture, songs and dances, but which has evolved into something indistinguishable from opera except for being set to “light music”. We all know what that means, but are hard-pressed to define it, except by example. The classic examples are (would you believe?) the music of Johann Strauss Sohn. Die Fledermaus (1847) is his best known, and unquestionably best loved, operetta, the third of a series of stage works that he embarked upon at the prompting of Offenbach, no less. Like so many works now firmly embedded in our affections, it had a distinctly chilly reception, getting the chop after a measly 16 performances in Vienna. 

The overture is firmly in the tradition established by Rossini and continued in our century by the likes of George Gershwin, which is a “trailer” for the goodies in store. It even starts with a traditional audience “shutter-upper” (so, be warned!), succeeded by a veritable cascade of melodies so mouth-watering that one can only wonder what it would have taken to please those miserable Viennese, 150 years ago. It does, though, make considerable demands on the performers, who must be alive to its many and extreme changes of pace: not generally a feature of his waltzes and polkas, these are the key to much of the hair-raising excitement of this incredibly entertaining music.
.
 


© Paul Serotsky
29, Carr Street, Kamo, Whangarei 0101, Northland, New Zealand


 

Conditions for use apply. Details here
Copyright in these notes is retained by the author without whose prior written permission they may not be used, reproduced, or kept in any form of data storage system. Permission for use will generally be granted on application, free of charge subject to the conditions that (a) the author is duly credited, and (b) a donation is made to a charity of the author's choice.

Return to: Music on the Web