Spirit of Vienna
Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899)
Reiche Mädchen Overture [8:33]; Fanny Elssler Overture [9:25] Johann STRAUSS III (1866-1936) from operetta"Katz
und Maus": Dragoner March [3:00]; Leonie
Waltz [9:17]; Comme il faut, French Polka [4:17] Siegfried TRANSLATEUR (1875-1944)
Traumveloren Waltz [8:07] Paul LINCKE (1866–1946)
from operetta "Casanova": Casanova March [2:44]; Casanova
Waltz [8:57] Alfons CZIBULKA (1842-1894) Von der Hochschule, Polka Mazurka [4:27] Edmund EYSLER (1874-1949) from the operetta "Schützenliesel": Schützenliesel
Waltz [8:14] Richard EILENBERG (1848-1925) J'y pense Gavotte [3:08] Joseph HELLMESBERGER (1855-1907) from operetta "Das Veilchenmädel": Veilchenmädel
Die Flotten Geister/Christian Pollack
rec. Brno, Czech Republic, 3-6 December 2005 JOHANN STRAUSS SOCIETY [79:35]
is filled with neglected overtures and dances in the Viennese
tradition. The Strauss family churned out a formidable amount
of music for the dances and balls they were employed to play.
The exposure brought their music into popularity. Their accomplished
style was picked up by other composers in Austria, Germany
and Denmark in the hope of winning lucrative returns. Some
of those obscure composers trying their luck at the Viennese
style are found on this disc, their compositions successfully
mimicking the Straussian idiom.
has been produced with a warm ambience and considerable clarity
for the sections of the orchestra. Professor Pollack generally
sets a sensible pace for the pieces and the players respond
superbly to his direction.
I very much
like the Dragoner march , with its Sousa feel.
It would make an ideal Monty Python Liberty Bell sound-a-like!
The operetta, Katz und Maus (Cat and Mouse) was the
only operetta written by Strauss III. It achieved a dismal
17 performances and a considerable loss of money. This is
one of three pieces rescued from the ill-fated score. Perhaps
the Leonie waltz is somewhat pedantic and too
long at over nine minutes with little change of thematic
content. Both this and the French polka, Comme il Faut (As
it should be)might have been taken at a much
faster pace by Pollack to make them less lethargic. In fact,
Czibulka’s Von der Hochschule polka nearly
grinds to a standstill at times and conveys little of the
vitality of a polka related in the title: ‘Of the High School’.
waltz is interesting for he is a composer largely
forgotten. Yet in the notes we are told that his waltzes
circulated worldwide. Perhaps the banning of his music
from 1934 by Hitler caused his name to be forgotten,
for I had not heard of him. I find that he is poorly
represented in the CD catalogue, so this track is particularly
for his Norddeutscher Lloyd Polka, Lincke was the
father of the Berlin school of operetta and left a string
of stage works that brought him popularity around the turn
of the century. Represented here are two numbers from his
operetta, Casanova. Of the two, the long waltz
(nine minutes) is the most inventive and uses the orchestra
in a modern way with endearing chirpy effects.
in English and German, make interesting reading yet there
are corners of information I would have liked to have known
more about as well as dates for the operettas. This is a
well-filled disc of premiere recordings. The Johann
Strauss Society is active in Britain and the Czech Republic
and with strong
links in Vienna. They have eleven sponsored CDs available
and their site is worth looking at. Raymond J Walker
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