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

Ravel - Events in brief

Maurice Ravel conducting the orchester, probably at London's Queen's hall on April 14th, 1923.

1875  Maurice Ravel was born on March 7 in Cibourne, near the French-Spanish border.
1889  Became a student at the Conservatory of Paris.
1895  He writes the first major works, Habanera and Menuet antique (first published work).
1905  Fails for the fourth time to win the Grand Prize of Rome.
1909  Completes his first opera, "The Spanish Hour".
1912  Completes his first ballet, "Daphnis et Chloe".
1915  Enlisted as a guide in the French army.
1917  His mother dies.
1925  Completes the opera "The Child and the Spells".
1928  First tour of the United States, composes "Bolero".
1932  Car accident interrupts his synthetic activity.
1937  Dies on December 28 in Paris after brain surgery.

  • Because of Ravel's almost ideological attachment to the detail of the composition, Russian composer Igor Stravinsky called him "the most perfect of Swiss Watchmakers"
  • Ravel was at the center of a pioneering group of musicians and writers called Les Apaches. The name is due to a newspaperman who met the group on a Paris street and was surprised by their eccentric appearance.