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Marble Surface

Johann Strauss I

Myrthen, Walzer, Op. 118

00:00 / 06:55

My performance from the full orchestral score of this waltz by Johann Strauss I. The piece dates from 1840

This has been recorded before as part of the Marco Polo complete edition, and that recording is not bad. It does lack a bit of zip though. Strauss’s waltzes are, in general, not as sophisticated as those of his contemporary Lanner. Lanner used more adventurous harmonies and harmonic progressions and is a better writer of sustained melodies. Strauss relies more on energy and rhythmic vitality. These completely disappear if the music is taken too slowly or played too heavily. It’s not just a question of tempo though – mine is not actually much quicker than the complete edition recording. If the music feels like it is in three beats to the bar instead of one (or one and a half), then it dies. The rhythms should be crisp and the dynamics properly observed. I think of Rossini when I’m studying these works. The music should run like a well oiled machine – although not in strict tempo, of course. Just my opinion, of course

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