Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johann II [Junior] Strauss, Alfred Walter, Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra Kosice|
Strauss, Jr. : Famous Overtures
Listen to Samples
Operetta Overture Heaven
Carlos Avila | Hollywood | 09/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Johann Strauss Jr. "The Waltz King", composer of such brilliant waltzes as The Blue Danube, Tales From The Vienna Woods, and Vienna Blood, composed several operettas (short, comic operas) at the end of his life. Jacques Offenbach of Paris started the trend, but it was laterp picked up by Viennese opera lovers. It was definately opera, but it is the equivalent of a funny, romantic and sometimes fantastic or exotic sitcom. The characters were stereotypical (an arrogant playboy, an old prude, a jolly fat man) and the characters were often involve in romantic triangles and often stumbled into danger, but always the finale was a charming, happy ending. There would be a party or ballroom scene, where bubby champagne was always foaming. The operetta overtures contain the music for several key moments, arias, ensembles and no operetta would be complete without a polka or a waltz, of which Strauss was the master of. The first operetta he composed, and his most famous to this day, was Die Fledermaus, a terrific rendition played here by Alfred Walter and am east European orchestra. Upbeat, waltz-like, festive and romantically sentimental, Die Fledermaus paved the way for other operettas that are lesser known and not performed today. These include Cagliostro In Vienna, about a magician who eludes the authorities in brilliant escapades, A Night In Venice which deals with the romantic flings of a couple vacationing in Venice, The Queen's Lace Handkerchief about a secret affair in the Spanish court at the time of Don Quixote, Woodruff a spin-off of Die Fledermaus and finally, The Gypsy Baron, which was very successful at its premiere in the 1890's. The sounds of 19th century parties, with its many waltzes and dances and feel-good music, at times a cabaret atmosphere, will be sure to entrance you on this cd. I highly recommend it if you are 1: a Johann Strauss waltz fan and 2: operetta fan and 3: an afficionado of 19th century dance music. Enjoy!"