The Virtuoso Johann Strauss
At the end of Johann Strauss' 1874 opereta Die Fledermaus, all of the characters drink a toast to the real culprit of the story - "Champagner hat's verschuldet" - a fitting conclusion to this most renowned and potent evocation of the carefree life of post-revolution imperial Vienna. Strauss' sparkling score (never mind that the liberetto is an amalgam of German and French sources), infused with that most famous of Viennese dances, the waltz, lent eloquent expression to the transitory atmosphere of confidence and prosperity induced by the Hapsburg monarchs. "The Emperor Franz Joseph I," it would later be said "only reigned until the death of Johann Strauss."
And what could have provided more perfect source material than the music of Strauss, for the pastiche creations of the illustrious composer-pianists who roamed the world on the later 19th and early 20th centuries, forever seeking vehicles with which to exploit the possibilities of their instument and display their pianistic powers?
- Thomas Labé
Dorian Recordings & Dorian Discovery
are distributed in Australia by Rockian Trading