Johann Strauss II - Kaiser-Walzer (Emperor Waltz), Op. 437

Strauss often played in the glittering Imperial balls, conducting the orchestra and playing the first violin at the same time.   The majestic launch of this fascinating waltz presents the backdrop of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the hegemony of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph in 1888. Johann Strauss II was Music Director of the Dance Hesperides of the Imperial Court from 1863 to 1872 and composed on occasion for the celebration of an imperial anniversary. The ingenuity of the melody of the Emperor Waltz, which was originally orchestrated for a full orchestra, is such that it was easily adapted for the four or five instruments of a chamber ensemble by the Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg in 1925. This waltz is a tender and somewhat melancholic work, which at times turns its gaze nostalgically to the old Vienna. The waltz praises the majesty and dignity of the old monarch, who was fully devoted to his people. It begins with a majestic, magnificent march, which soon re

Georges Bizet - Carmen Suite No. 1

Carmen is not only Georges Bizet's mastercpiece, but also one of the most important operas of the 19th century. It takes place in Spain and it tells the story of a fiery young gypsy who falls in love with a young soldier. But as soon as he abandons everything for her, she abandons him, with tragic consequences. The orchestration of the suite does not betray the fascinating atmosphere of the original opera.

Carmen Suite No. 1 was published in 1882.

- Overture (Prelude)

The Prelude of the suite begins with a theme from the cello wich is introduced from the background of the fibrillation of the violins above and the splash of strings below. So the atmosphere of the history is directly presented - its tensions, drama and passions.

- Aragonaise

The next part, Aragonaise, is a sound scene from the sunny world of southern Spain, where the drama is placed. The brass instruments convey the lively rhythm with slump. Only towards the end does the music darken momentarily, as strings, clarinets and bassons hint at the upcoming tragedy, before returning to the wavy Mauritanian rhythm.

- Intermezzo

Intermezzo is an unforgettable melody of great beauty. It begins with a flute solo with harp accompaniment. Flute joins with the clarinet, then with the horns and strings. Everything adds warmth and richness, without disturbing the absolute tranquility of this wonderful part.

- Seguidilla

Then there's Seguidilla, a traditional Spanish dance, where the flute introduces the melody and then flirts briefly with the wood and brass instruments, before the rest of the orchestra joins in Carmen's famous and seductive dance.

Les Dragons d' Alcala 

The Dragons of Alcala begin with the bassons, but the clarinet quickly takes the lead. Parts of the theme are adopted by the wood instruments, but essentially this march is a witty dialogue between the clarinet and the bassons.

- Les Toreadors 

The Toreadors (Matadors) begin with a gypsy dance where brass and cymbals play a major role. The dance ceases as a repetitive chord announces the entrance of the matador. It is represented by a rugged and virtuous melody - suited to the hero of the arena. Soon, however, the music returns to the vortex of gypsy dance, as Carmen charms the matador with her beauty.