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 - Consolations in E Major and D flat Major

Franz List probably took this title from a poem by Lamartine (Une larme, ou Consolation). He composed six such works in 1848, immediately after his installation in Weimar. It was "The Year of the Revolutions" with the political movements that rocked the whole of Europe. Instead, these works are models of romantic tenderness.

In Paris Liszt had read poems by Lamartine with his pupil Caroline de Saint-Cricq, their early liaison interrupted by her parents, but remembered by Liszt over the years. His circle of friends and acquaintances in Paris in the earlier 1830s also included Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve and the year 1830 brought the latter’s publication of his Consolations, a further suggested source for Liszt’s choice of title, both writers reflecting Liszt’s literary interests and associations. Liszt later revised his six Consolations, publishing them in 1850.

Consolations in E Major and D flat Major

Both of these works have almost the same mood - they are quiet, thoughtful and full of romantic magic.The first in E Major, is happier while the second in Db Major is more free and emotional, like Chopin's Nocturnes. It has a similar to the "Liebestraum" accompaniment in the left hand and is also one of Liszt's most popular compositions for solo piano. Its theme is taken from a song by the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Liszt’s patron and at times his pupil.

Consolation in E Major (Andante con moto)

Consolation in D flat Major (Quasi adagio)