Johann Strauss II - Klug Gretelein - Walzer, op. 462
  • Classical music composed by Johann Strauss II In January 1895 Vienna's influential Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Society of the Friends of Music) celebrated the 25th anniversary of the opening of its new building on the picturesque bank of the River Wien. The splendid red and yellow edifice, the Musikverein, today stands on the Karlsplatz (the river has been covered over and can no longer be seen) and was designed by the Danish architect Theophil Hansen (1813-91), who was responsible also for the Vienna Parliament and Stock Exchange buildings. The silver jubilee celebrations for the house included, albeit belatedly, a festive evening on 18 April 1895 in the 'Golden Hall' of the Musikverein building (since 1939 the venue of the annual New Year's Day Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic). The Strauss Orchestra, under Eduard Strauss, performed the varied programme with several soloists and also provided the music for the 'Jubilee Ball' which followed. The concert itself closed with the première of a vocal waltz which Johann Strauss had composed for the occasion, and for which the librettist AM Willner (with whom Strauss later wrote the rather unsuccessful operetta Die Göttin der Vernunft, 1897) had provided a text in the nature of a (somewhat risqué!) fairy tale. At the very last moment the soprano Paula Mark, a soloist at the Vienna Court Opera, was taken ill and her place was taken by the concert singer Olga Türk-Rohn. The richly tuneful and haunting work was conducted by Johann Strauss himself, and attracted the ...

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