Classical Reissue Reviews
J. STRAUSS, JR: Melodien -Quadrille Nach Verdi, Op. 112; Banditen-Galopp, Op. 378; Leichtes-Blut, Op. 319; Kaiser-Walzer, Op. 437; Rosen aus den Suden, Op. 388; Annen-Polka, Op. 117; and more.
Published on May 19, 2005
Banditen-Galopp, Op. 378; Leichtes-Blut, Op. 319; Kaiser-Walzer, Op.
437; Rosen aus den Suden, Op. 388; Annen-Polka, Op. 117;
Tristsch-Tratsch Polka, Op. 214; Overture to Die Fledermaus; Unter
Donner und Blitz Polka, Op. 324; Romanze for Cello and Orchestra No. 1;
Pizzicato Polka; Vergnuegunszug Polka, Op. 281; An Der Schoenen Blauen
Donau, OP. 314; Perpetuum mobile, Op. 257
Peter Maag conducts RAI Rome Orchestra and RAI Turin Orchestra (Op. 117; Op. 324; Die Fldermaus Overture)
Arts Archives 43036-2 79:22 (Distrib. Albany)****:
conductor Peter Maag (1919-2001) is captured in the music of his
beloved Johann Strauss, a composer the under-rated musician esteemed
butdid not have the pleasure of directing in an Austrian venue, as had
his idols in this music, Bruno Walter, Wilhelm Furtwaengler, and
Clemens Krauss. Recorded in live stereo sound in 1975 Turin and 1993
Rome, Maag brings the requisite lilt and blithe sentiment to the
waltzes and polkas, inserting among the more familiar pieces the
occasional, rare find, like the lovely Cello Romance (one of three
Strauss wrote), which makes us wonder if there were a full-fledged
concerto only awaiting an opportunity for its inception.
The Kaiser Waltzes have not the tragic melancholy Furtwaengler brought
to them, but they have an airy nobility of line, along with some
winning flute solos. The Southern Roses Waltzes enjoy a grand leisure
of exposition and recapitulation. The Verdi Quadrille has bits from La
Traviata, Il Trovatore, and Rigoletto tossed in a lithe broth.
Occasionally, an errant note intrudes into the radio orchestras, but
the quick tempos of the polkas and broad flair of the Fledermaus
Overture have a definitive sanguine temperament and infectious spirit.
For the ever-bubbling Perpetuum Mobile, we can hear a vivid “Etcetera”
from Maag – a close we well know who recall George Szell’s “And so on”
from earlier days. A sleeper disc that is simultaneously a wake-up call
for an enchanting 80 minutes of music.
- Gary Lemco