Marble Surface

Johann Strauss I

Döblinger Reunion Walzer, Op. 2

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My transcription from a copy of the autograph of this waltz by Johann Strauss I. I have used single instruments per part, apart from the strings, to give an approximation to Strauss’s orchestra of the period.

There is a Naxos recording of this which is very pretty, and with better orchestral sound than I could hope to achieve. However, to my ears it is completely excitement free and fails to capture the exhilaration of these early waltz performances. This was written by a 21 year old leader of a pub band. It’s meant to be thrilling. So, I’ve pumped the speed up to a real waltz tempo. I have no evidence to suggest that the waltz in the 1820’s was played slower than in the 1830’s, 1840’s etc.

Also, I have trusted Strauss’s dynamics. This band has five string players, 3 woodwind … and three trumpets and timpani (with the occasional appearance of two horns, played by two of the trumpeters). I have assumed that when Strauss wrote a forte for the trumpets that that was what he meant. He knew they’d be loud. There are places where the heavy mob is marked down a bit in relation to the strings and wind so I think he knew what he wanted. If you don’t make that assumption, some of the effects get completely lost.

Waltz 2B starts forte, has a diminuendo and then a subito forte. I can’t hear that at all in the Naxos recording. It works for me. Each to his own.