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

Franz Liszt - Introduction

The recording techniques were unfortunately not invented when Franz Liszt conquered Europe with his fascinating pianistic performances. Thus his juggling interpretations enjoyed only the ephemeral and we are limited to the written testimonies, which describe him as a pianist with unconventional virtuosic gifts. His recitals amounted to a performance that provoked furious excitement and exaggerated manifestations of worship.

His emphasis on virtuosity and the long-term focus of his creative disposition on the pianistic compositions of "demonstration" but also on the transcriptions - for piano of course - of works by other composers, prevented his immediate acceptance as an inspired composer.

However, no careful observer of evolution and researcher of his contribution can question the incisions he caused in the musical expression of his time. His symphonic poems herald new forms of the art of sounds, his instrumentals paving the way for the musical commandments of Wagner, Mahler, Richard Strauss, in the bold harmonys of his mature pianistic works eavesdropping on Debussy's impressionism.

Liszt loved music with passion, just as he loved women. The first was the means to conquer the latter, which could hardly resist its charm. But he was not seduced by all his successes. He remained until the end of his life benevolent and generous, willing to benefit with his knowledge and skills the music, but also his fellow human beings.