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

Robert Schumann - Introduction

In the case of Robert Schumann, the proximity of genius to madness is confirmed. From his father he had inherited a troubled psyche, which was extended by various unpleasant episodes of his life, culminating in his reckless act, after which he realized that he would never become the great virtuoso pianist he dreamed of. So he easily crossed the dividing line and dived into worlds where logic oscillated from existence to non-existence.

His youthful love for the piano filtered by his inspiration, came to fruition with some pianist masterpieces. By the time he was 30, only the piano enjoyed the favor of his fertile imagination.

When his love found a human bright object of desire, Clara Wieck wanted to sing his love for her. He composed beautiful song cycles, enriching with precious mosaics the art that Franz Schubert had brought out.

With the encouragement and support of his life partner, he tested his creative skills in other aspects of music, such as symphonic and chamber music. He completed works exquisitely in every kind of music he dealt with. His imagination, sometimes beseed by the calmness of Eusebius, sometimes by the romantic passion of Florestan, lured him into quests between dream and reality.

In music these quests yielded works full of lyricism, kindness, sensitivity but also passion, dynamism, vitality. In life they attributed the early passage to the infinity of eternity.

(George Monemvasitis)