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Giv Cornfield
The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics, November 2008

If this is your cuppa, get it here, as you won't find this music anywhere else! During my career in radio, I was constantly on the lookout for off-the-beaten-track music to serve as 'Name the Composer' fodder - and this would have been perfect then...Veteran conductor Maerzendorfer and his Czech musicians sail through this fluff effortlessly, in a super hi-fi recording. Generic Viennese fare, for sure—but oh, so enjoyable!

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2008

We have reached the years 1839 and 1840, and recently recovered from an illness brought about by his hectic tours, Johann Strauss was again plunged into the demand for an endless flow of waltzes.

The father of the Strauss dynasty was at the height of his fame, his status such that the much anticipated opening of converted rooms at the famous Vienna dance hall, the Sperl, was delayed until he could direct his orchestra there. Among the works played for the first time that evening was the joyful, Taglioni Waltzes, and it was also at the Sperl  that a few months later he gave the first performance of Londoner-Saison-Walzer (London Season Waltzes), marking the visit he had made to England. Strauss’s illness allowed rivals to make inroads into his music empire, but he was to fight back, and the account of the 1839 ball he arranged at Donmayer’s Casino wrote of the lavish spectacle, Strauss offering a delightful new waltz, Rosenblatter (Rose Petals), for the event. The vivacious Wiener Gemuths Walzer (Waltzes after the Viennese Temperament) came at the end of the season and before thoughts returned to England for the wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. In their honour Myrthen Walzer waspremiered the following day, its name taken from the evergreen plant that is a symbol of undying love. Strauss had been so successfully in introducing Vienna to the French Quadrille, that he was soon unable to meet the demand for new works, Mode Quadrille (Fashionable Quadrille), being one of his effervescent pieces. The performances are in the safe hands of the veteran conductor, Ernst Marzendorfer, whose first major appointment as first conductor of the Graz Opera was way back in 1945. He instinctively feels the tempo and flow of each work and draws idiomatic playing from the Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina. Very good sound quality.

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