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

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550

The shocking combination of musical insight and Mozart's delicately processed art widened the boundaries of all the musical forms he dealt with.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart possessed an extraordinary ability to distance himself from the outside world in the moments of his creative activity. This is evidenced by the tremendous speed with which he composed his last three symphonies and by the often optimistic nature of these great works.

It was during the composition of these symphonies, in the summer of 1788, that Mozart was in great despair - pressured by his deteriorating economic situation, living constantly in fear of the future. However, the music of Symphony No. 40 in G minor is joyful and serene - the work of a composer who resolutely refused to allow his problems to appear in his art.


Ι. Molto allegro

In the first part, the low, turbulent string accompaniment defines the mood of Molto Allegro. Initially, the violins lead, pushing the music into the lyrical second theme shared by woodwinds and strings. An isolated chord returns to a repetition of the music heard so far. Three dynamic chords format for the second time in the main theme. Now the melody is broadened by the entire orchestra and the high strings battle almost with the deep strings for the final dominance. But there is no winner. The music becomes more serene, paving the way for a final re-exhibition of the original theme.

ΙΙ. Andante

In the second part, the first melody of the tender and rather melancholic Andante, is based on repeated notes. A short, melodic section, played by the flute and the bassoon, presages some subtle pauses - emphasizing the importance of the music that will follow. This is highly edited, with neural, rhythmic phrases. We re-understand the original melody, which is now contrasted with decorative music phrases of the woodwinds. In the final half of the part the deep strings repeat the first theme - but lead the music to a strange new tone, as the mood becomes less serene.

ΙΙΙMenuetto Allegretto - trio

In the third part, the music of Menuetto Allegretto - trio is unstable, with Menuetto loud and dramatic. The trio is a kind of contrast, with serene melodic shapes scattered between the instruments. Towards the end of the part the horns take off with their own melodic contribution. Menuetto is back on the line.

IV. Allegro assai

The fourth part, Allegro assai, as the opening theme has an upward lift. The mood has returned to that of the first part. A gentle second melody is inserted from the strings and repeated by the clarinets. Later the original music is heard again. The second half of the part is announced by the strings which play a succession of loosely cations parts of the melody. As the mood becomes more and more restless, the issue of grabbing runs through the organs. After a pause the original music returns and completes the symphony.