Vienna Première, Vol. 2

Author: 
Andrew Lamb

Vienna Première, Vol. 2

  • For ever
  • Defilir, 'Parade'
  • Farewell!
  • Blüthenkranz Johann Strauss scher
  • Saat und Ernte
  • Weyprecht-Payer Marsch
  • (Die) Abonnenten
  • (Der) Lustige Krieg Quadrille, '(The) Merry War Qu
  • Pappacoda
  • Klug Gretelein
  • Mädchenlaune
  • Schlau-Schlau
  • For ever
  • Defilir, 'Parade'
  • Farewell!
  • Blüthenkranz Johann Strauss scher
  • Saat und Ernte
  • Weyprecht-Payer Marsch
  • (Die) Abonnenten
  • (Der) Lustige Krieg Quadrille, '(The) Merry War Qu
  • Pappacoda
  • Klug Gretelein
  • Mädchenlaune
  • Schlau-Schlau

By all accounts the original Chandos ''Vienna Premiere'' (LBRD009, 1/84; CD CHAN8381, 1/86) has been a tremendous success around the world, and I cannot see why this successor should be any less so. Some recent collections of previously unrecorded Strauss have given an impression that the bottom of the barrel was in sight; but I got little of that feeling here. Of course, with Strauss one may encounter some favourite melody even in supposed rarities. So it is here with the Pappacoda-Polka on themes from Eine Nacht in Venedig, and perhaps even more so in Eduard Strauss's sequence of his elder brother's waltzes compiled for the latter's golden-jubilee celebrations. Among the genuine rarities, too, there are real finds. As always anything by Josef Strauss has something a little special to offer, and his Farewell! polka is an especial delight. But Eduard's waltz Die Abonnenten also offers a degree of charm and inventiveness that were not always his; and the stirring quick-polka by his son Johann III shows that he had his father's particular talent for such pieces.
The success of the collection owes at least as much, though, to the playing of Jack Rothstein and the Johann Strauss Orchestra. They seem more at ease with the swing and grace of the music even than in the previous collection. Add an appealing contribution from that excellent soprano Marilyn Hill Smith and typically high-quality Chandos recording, and one has a real winner here.
Though the Philips collection consists mostly of arrangements by hands other than Strauss's, it shows a similarly commendable imaginativeness in programme compilation. I can't say that the Kaiser waltz benefits from having words added; but Max Schonherr's arrangement of the Liebeslieder waltz is a charmer, and the other items are well chosen. Eva Lind is a young soprano—still no more than 21, apparently—who was Adele in the Domingo Die Fledermaus (EMI EX270472-3, 2/87; CD CDS7 47480-8, 5/87), as well as making her mark in leading opera houses. When she sand in Die Zauberflote at Bern last year, Opera said that she sounded like a canary singer. If that is a drawback for the Queen of Night, however, it is just the job for Fruhlingsstimmen and Dorfschwalben aus Oesterreich. I find her voice sheer delight—fresh, crisp, clear, beautifully agile and with superb trills. Bauer-Theussl's sluggish beat is a burden; but Lind surmounts all. I haven't been so taken by a new voice for many a moon. Sheer delight!'

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