Marble Surface

Josef Strauss

Wiegenlieder, Walzer, Op. 18

Arr. CPE Strauss

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My orchestration from the Haslinger score of this waltz by Josef Strauss. The piece dates from 1856 and was written to celebrate the birth of the Archduchess Gisela to the Emperor and Empress.

This is one of my favourite waltzes from this period. I have a really good chamber recording of this and the complete edition recording is pretty good. However, I’ve persuaded myself that I have enough niggles with it that it was worth doing one of my own. It’s just a bit of self-indulgence really.

The points on the complete edition that I used as an excuse for it are –

Too much percussion. I can’t believe all those cymbals and drums are original. I’ve not seen a full score, but it doesn’t bear comparison with other waltzes by Josef and Johann of this period.

Waltz 1A is marked “Im langsamen Tempo” and waltz 1B “Im Walzer Tempo”. There’s no difference. I suspect because the tempo chosen for 1B is quite steady, that waltz 1A drags if you take it slower. My “standard” waltz tempo is a bit quicker so that 1A holds up a notch slower. The tempi are ok in general though, and there are even some places where it is quicker than me.

Strauss uses a dynamic range of between ppp and ff. There’s not that much difference on the recording.

I might have used too many horns though. I have used four and there may only be two on the recording. I enjoyed doing it, but I’ll get back to the dark corners of the repertoire at once.