Marble Surface

Johann Strauss II

Sträusschen, Walzer, Op. 15

Arr. CPE Strauss

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My orchestration from the Mechetti piano score of this waltz by Johann Strauss. I had a request to do another early Johann Strauss II after my attempt at Sinngedichte for an orchestra about the size of the one Strauss had early in his career.

I have used the same small orchestra as for Sinngedichte with the addition of a trombone, a few bars of piccolo to be played by the flautist and some notes for cymbals and bass drum to be played by the timpanist when not otherwise occupied, although I have beefed up the strings a bit as the sound was a bit thin. I’ve also used valved brass instruments. I think I was wrong to use natural brass in Sinngedichte.

The complete edition version is scored for a full orchestra. Nothing wrong with that, but I think it is worth listening to on the approximate orchestra Strauss had available. One has to approach the instrumentation in a completely different way when one only has a few instruments to play with. Strauss must have done the same. Apart from that, the complete edition has some misplaced chords in the introduction, some missing chords in the coda and some repeats that are not in the score. Some dynamics are not as in the score I have either. Some directly contradict the printed ones. It could be that they had better sources than I have, although I have a good, contemporary piano score and what is printed does work, albeit to different effect. The tempo is a bit pedestrian too, and some of the phrasing and articulation is stodgy, and not as printed.

It’s not a bad waltz. The introduction is maybe a bit overdramatic, especially on a small orchestra, but once the waltz starts we are in familiar territory. It is at least interesting, and 3A easily stands comparison with his later work