Theorien, Walzer, Op. 111
My transcription from a set of contemporary orchestra parts kindly provided by the Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain. This recording has previously appeared on its website.
It’s a typical mature Eduard Strauss waltz. The introduction is first rate and the rest of the waltz has nice tunes and is professionally orchestrated. I get frustrated with Eduard Strauss as he seems to have settled later in his career for being a professional composer, rather than one who is willing to try something different. That he was capable of something better is shown, for example, by his earlier waltz, Freie Gedanken, which I orchestrated some time ago. There’s nothing wrong with this waltz, but there’s nothing special either.
For example, I have orchestrated a waltz by Philipp Fahrbach I of about the same period, Feuerräder. On the face of it, Eduard Strauss has the better reputation. However, there were a few places in the Fahrbach where the harmonies made me sit up and take notice and one or two places where he plays with the rhythm to wrong foot the dancers. There’s none of that in the Strauss.