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

Gershwin - Three Preludes for Piano

Gershwin's Three Preludes for Piano form a satisfying set: two fairly short and vivid parts on each side of a more extensive, slow center piece.

- Allegro ben ritmato e deciso

The first prelude has a playful lyrical rhythm and an appealing melody, which hints at Latin American rhythms such as the rumba and their close relationship with those of jazz.

- Andante con moto e poco rubato

The second prelude is the best known of the three. It is an other example of Gershwin's special way of editing the blues, with the slow, sluggish melody sounding over a canvas of repetitive chords for the left hand. A central part changes from minor to major and also transfers the melody to the left hand or bass line.

- Allegro ben ritmato e deciso

The rhythm of the final prelude takes us to the living world of dance, inspired from jazz.