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Johann STRAUSS Senior (1804-1849)
Es ist nur ein Wien! (Walzer), op.22, Josephstädter-Tänze, op.23, Hietzinger Reunion (Walzer), op.24, Frohsinn im Gebirge (Walzer), op.26, Hirten-Galoppe, op.28, Wettrennen-Galoppe, op.29a, Wilhelm Tell-Galoppe, op.29b, Sperls-Feswalzer, op.30, Des Verfassers beste Laune, op.31, Einzugs-Galopp, op.35, 3 Ungarische Galoppe oder Frischka, op.36, Sperl-Galopp, op.42, Contredanses, Oeuvre 44
Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina/Ernst Märzendorfer
Recorded 21-26 June 2002 at the Fatra Concert Hall, Žilina

Johann Strauss I Edition: Vol. 3
MARCO POLO 8.225253 [54:14]


Born in Vienna in Austria in 1804 Johann Strauss Senior became one of the first great international pop-idols as a composer and conductor of popular waltz music. From humble origins Johann Strauss Snr. was a self-taught musician who initially took an apprenticeship in bookbinding. Distinguished music writer David Ewen states that Johann Strauss Snr. was, "In his own right a famous café-house conductor and composer of light music."

As Johann Strauss Snr.’s fame grew he toured extensively across Europe and was to conduct his orchestra at the celebrations in England for Queen Victoria’s coronation in 1838. In 1846 he obtained a prestigious position as Director of Music for the Emperor of Austria. Johann Strauss Snr. composed around three hundred works and lit-up the ballrooms of Europe with his unique brand of waltz. He is mainly remembered today for his famous ‘Radetzky March’ Op.228. However despite the celebrated credentials of Johann Strauss Senior it is his eldest son Johann Strauss II, known as the ‘The Waltz King’ who is best remembered out of the talented Strauss family.

On this the third volume of the Johann Strauss I Edition from the enterprising Marco Polo label the fifteen works date from his early to middle period between 1829 and 1831, a golden time when he was pre-eminent in the ballrooms of Vienna society. In the first two volumes two different orchestras were used both conducted by Christian Pollack. On this release the conductor is Salzburg-born Ernst Märzendorfer who has spent many successful years in opera and I believe recorded a cycle of the complete Haydn symphonies on the Oryx label some years ago to considerable acclaim. The experienced Ernst Märzendorfer conducts the Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina in impressive performances. Maestro Märzendorfer and his orchestra play with exuberance and splendid brio and with a musicianship that is both intelligent and perceptive. The Marco Polo engineers have provided a well-balanced and truthful sound quality.

This is music with brilliant orchestration overflowing with charm, fire, life and happiness. The Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina under Ernst Märzendorfer are in sparkling form. I have nothing but praise for this release and the music of Johann Strauss Senior cannot have been better served on disc.

Michael Cookson

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