Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Marco Polo: Johann Strauss I (The Father) Edition

"Johann Strauss I is one of the most important composers of nineteenth century Viennese light music. While his son, Johann Jr., has rightly surpassed him in fame and stature, he must still be assessed as an important figure in the genre, not simply because of his influence on his sons and other composers, but because of the occasional high quality of his music. His melodies tend not to flow smoothly in their brevity or in their motif-like collage structure, and his harmonies are not particularly inventive. Still, he was able to fashion attractive music in the Viennese waltz genre owing to his understanding of its nature -- indeed, he was central to its evolution in the nineteenth century. Moreover, he possessed the ability to convey the best case for his works through his superior conducting skills. He had moments of genuine inspiration and created several memorable works, including the Loreley-Rhein-Klänge (1844) and Radetsky-Marsch (1848). In addition, he had a keen sense for employing popular themes from the works of other composers, as with his Walzer à la Paganini, Op. 11. " - AllMusic


This playlist includes all 22 albums released so far from Marco Polo's Johann Strauss I Edition, and a separate disk of his orchestral works. The series is in chronological order, and hasn't reached Op. 228 Radetzky March yet. I added two tracks of that piece and Op. 235 Piefke und Pufke Polka, from a Decca recording. They will be replaced with the Marco Polo recording once it's released.

Get this collection in one Spotify playlist: Marco Polo - Johann Strauss I Edition (249 tracks, total time: 26 hours). Ctrl (CMD) + G to browse in album view. See Naxos for album list and liner notes to every recording, and Presto for album overviews.

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