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

Johann Strauss II - Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, Op. 214 in A major

Johann Strauss II composed "Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka"  in 1858 after a successful tour of Russia where he performed in the summer concert season at Pavlovsk, Saint Petersburg. It was first performed in a concert in Vienna on 24 November 1858.

The German word "trarch" means gossip, while the word "tritsch" has no meaning. The title is a sample of Johann Strauss II's habit of creating puns. In this case he wanted to imitate sonically the English expression "chit-chat" (drizzle, gossip).

The music is lively and Strauss hypothesized that many dancers could wait while chatting until a waltz is played. The composer wrote in his diary that at the time he was conducting a series of concerts in London, the audience asked for this polka 38 times! 

It is a lively, rhythmic work, in A major, which uses brilliant brass and percussion instruments and is widely decorated with trills and a multitude of musical ornaments. Interpretively it is a demanding work, but its unique cheerfulness makes it enjoyable to both play it and listen to it.