Vienna Première, Vol. 1

Author: 
Andrew Lamb

Vienna Première, Vol. 1

  • (Die) Sieben Schwaben-Marsch
  • Jonathan-Marsch
  • Konkurrenzen, 'Rivalry'
  • (L')Inconnue, 'Unknown one'
  • Neuer Csárdás
  • Hoch Õsterreich
  • Alexandrinen
  • Knall und Fall
  • Leuchtäferln, 'Glow-worms'
  • Hectograph
  • Frohes Leben, 'Happy Life'
  • Vorwärts!, 'Forward!'
  • Nachtschatten, 'Nightshades'
  • Elfen, 'Elves'

What a marvellous record this is! Receiving it now in CD format provides the chance to enjoy afresh the spirited and yet highly-cultured playing that Jack Rothstein manages to conjour up from this orchestra throughout this collection, and to savour again some truly delightful music. If ever there was a demonstration that unfamiliar Strauss compositions can be just as fine as more familiar ones, it is provided by this record. Perhaps Eduard's Leuchtkaferln remains earthbound by comparison with the two waltzes of his elder brothers; but those, to be sure, take flight to glorious effect. Eduard for his part, is typically heard at his best in the two quick polkas, and there are other riches a-plenty in this record's generous 64 minutes of music.
It is, moreover, in just such a collection as this that the virtues of a CD player can be seen to particular advantage—not so much in the undoubted improvement in sound quality and blissful absence of surface noise, but for the ability to select tracks with ease and precision. I played Josef's Frohes Leben, repeated it at once, and then had its most insistent melody running through my head for hours afterwards. It's that sort of music and that sort of record. I would unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone with an interest in this kind of music and urge anyone with the option to lay out the extra for the superior sound and resistance to wear provided by the Compact Disc.'

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