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Romantic Overtures - Vol. 4: Overtures of Old Vienna
During the 1950s, 60s and 70s, Decca recorded a number of albums with some of its key conductors of Overtures. Many of these were singled out by the press for their terrific sound quality (the fabled ‘Decca Sound’) and for their often adventurous programming. Some of them also included entr’actes and intermezzi. Prized as collectors’ items, many of the original LPs exchange hands at high prices. And most of these reissues, in Decca Eloquence’s ‘Romantic Overtures’ series appear in CD, in part or whole, for the first time.
Romantic Overtures – Volume 4 is a Viennese celebration with a violinist / conductor synonymous with the waltz and everything that was echt-nineteenth century Vienna: Willi Boskovsky. Boskovsky had a lengthy association with Decca, conducting for them not only a volley of ‘New Year’ recordings of waltzes, polkas and marches by the Strauss Dynasty, but also the music of Mozart, and much chamber music too, with the Vienna Octet. At the centre of this collection is his fabled LP ‘Overtures of Old Vienna’, and it goes on to include other overtures recorded as part of his New Year albums, all of it extremely stylish and ‘of the age’, as it were.
“This is an enchanting record … performed by musicians who have loved this music almost from birth. […] Boskovsky loses nothing in dramatic momentum [in Donna Diana] – the big tune surges superbly – and gains much in rhythmic lift on the triplet rhythms and unexpected syncopations. […] The recording quality of this disc, made of course in the Sofiensaal, is nothing less than breathtaking … and one is astounded still more by the Decca engineers’ combination of clarity, richness and immediacy even in the biggest ensembles.” Gramophone Magazine (Donna Diana, Prinz Methusalem, Opernball, Lustigen Weiber)
“This record is an absolute “must” for all lovers of the authentic operetta and dance music of Vienna” Gramophone Magazine (Cagliostro, Spitzentuch)
“Vivid performances given a spectacular recording” Penguin Guide (Donna Diana, Prinz Methusalem, Opernball, Lustigen Weiber)
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Johann Strauss II: 100 Most Famous Waltzes Vol. 5
Strauss, J, II:
Prinz Methusalem Overture
Accelerationen, Op. 234
Leichtes Blut, polka schnell, Op. 319
Freut euch des Lebens Waltz, Op. 340
Auf der Jagd, Op. 373
Donauweibchen Waltz, Op. 427
Bitte Schon, Polka, Op. 372
Wein, Weib und Gesang, Op. 333
Lob der Frauen Polka mazurka Op. 315
Napoleon-Marsch, Op. 156 (1854)
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Johann Strauss II Edition, Volume 48
Complete Overtures Vol. 1