ZIEHRER: Selected Dances and Marches, Vol. 3 (Christian Pollack/ Milos Betko/ Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra) (Marco Polo: 8.225172)
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Orchestral Works Volume 3
Freiherr von Schönfeld-Marsch, Op. 422 (Schönfeld March)
Ziehrers Freiherr von Schönfeld-Marsch has been an official regimental march of the Austrian Army since 1920 and is second in fame only to the Radetzky March of the older Johann Strauss. It often features as an encore in Austrian festival concerts and, like the Radetzky March, is accompanied by enthusiastic hand clapping from the audience. Almost every military band around the world has at some time or other included it in its repertoire. Ziehrer composed the march for Baron von Schönfeld, then Chief of the Austrian General Staff, almost as an afterthought. It seems that the Baron had submitted a request for a march to be dedicated to himself, as was often the case with eminent persons who wished to raise their self-esteem in this particular manner. When he enquired of Ziehrer after a prolonged silence what had become of the march, a colleague much later recollected that Ziehrer had exclaimed Lord, Ive completely forgotten about it. Sitting at his piano, it seems, in a stroke of inspiration, Ziehrer outlined the themes and asked him to go away and orchestrate the piece for military band - and that is how the march was born. It was practised in the barracks square by the Hoch-und Deutschmeister, and the first public performance took place in the Stahlehner in Vienna on 16th October 1890. It was probably this piece, and his spells as a military bandmaster that has misled some musicologists into labelling Ziehrer as primarily a composer of marches.
Auf hoher See, Op. 66 (On the High Seas Waltz)
The Auf hoher See Waltz is a good example of one of Ziehrers earliest waltzes composed just two years after his début, and was dedicated to an Austrian naval commander who had just won a major victory over the Italian Navy. The victory, however, was a hollow one, as Austria lost Venice. He introduced the waltz with his orchestra on 10th October 1866 at a grand summer concert at the Neue Welt which also featured other military bands.
Following an introduction reminiscent of the adagio from Mendelssohns Die Meeresstille (Calm Sea), the waltz introduces the rolling seas, rising to an appropriate climax. The present recording is the first to be made of this waltz. Descriptive waltz compositions of the sea were quite popular at the time, and examples include the younger Johann Strausss Wellen und Wogen, Op. 141, of 1853 and much later, his Nordseebilder Walz, Op. 390 (Marco Polo Johann Strauss Jr. Complete Orchestral Edition Volumes 6 and 7 respectively).
Cavallerie Polka française, Op. 454 (Cavalry French Polka)
The French polka Cavallerie was received with considerable enthusiasm at its première on 9th February 1893 at the famous Musikvereinsaal in Vienna, where Ziehrer, as bandmaster of the Hoch-und Deutschmeister Regiment, conducted a celebration concert for the Cavalry. The music clearly reflects the subject in this inevitably descriptive composition and was dedicated to the officer corps of the Austro-Hungarian Cavalry under the original title of Reiterei. The piece is introduced with the regimental call of Infantry Regiment No. 62. The first part of the trio is composed in a similar style to the Fehrbelliner Reitermarsch composed by Richard Henrion.
Ein Blick nach Ihr!, Op. 55, Polka schnell (A glance at her! Quick Polka)
During Ziehrers early years he was resident with his orchestra at the fabulous Horticultural Society Hall opened in 1865 in Vienna. At the inaugural concert he introduced his Blumegeister Waltz, Op. 33, (see O diese Husaren! waltz), where there were no less than four concert bands and three choirs. Ein Blick nach Ihr! was composed for a masked ball held on 8th February 1866, and revived eight years later at a concert sponsored by the Schiller Association, which depended heavily on Ziehrers orchestra, at the same magnificent venue. It is here offered in a recording for the first time.
Gebirgskinder Waltz, Op. 444 (Mountain Children Waltz)
The Gebirgskinder Waltz is one of Ziehrers better known waltzes, with a zither solo introduction that is reminiscent at first of Johann Strausss Tales from the Vienna Woods, Op. 325. These days in concert performances the harp usually replaces the zither to equal effect, as in this recording. In the 1800s the zither was a very popular instrument which had a popular following and Ziehrer himself was an Honorary member of the Zither Society that existed at the time. Many of his works were arranged for this instrument, often by the composer and arranger Franz Wagner, not to be confused with Josef Franz Wagner, the famous Austrian bandmaster and composer of the same period. Although first performed on 21st November 1892 at the Laxemburg Castle, the waltz was played in January 1893 in the Hofburg Palace at the wedding of Archduchess Margerethe Sophie to Duke Albert of Württemberg. It was one of the popular items that he included in his regular Academy concerts at the Ronacher. Gebirgskinder was also originally written for accompaniment by a humming male voice choir and includes a fine series of original waltz themes that rise to a rousing conclusion. It is not surprising that it has remained in Austrian waltz repertory.
Auf! Ins XX Jahrundert Marsch, Op. 501 (Into the Twentieth Century March)
The rousing Auf! Ins XX Jahrhundert Marsch was one of Ziehrers contributions to carnival in 1900 to mark the new century and was composed for the Concordia Ball on 19th February. It was first performed, however, as a vocal march at the Carnival Ball of the Vienna Male Voice Choir at the Sofiensaal on 23rd January. The verses, by Schier, were conveyed in pictorial form on the illustrated cover of the piano score and all related to technical progress that had been made. A balloon of the Vienna Airship Company, a train, and a plane are depicted. \Rapidly we move into the twentieth century, travel to Paris by balloon, there is affordable travel to China", and so on. The sketch, to a backdrop of the silhouette of Vienna, included telephone masts to demonstrate the advent of rapid communication. Although performed elsewhere, this first commercial recording has, appropriately, been made a hundred years later, as we enter the 21st Century. Among other composers who also contributed to the Concordia Ball were Josef Bayer, Karl Komzák, Wilhelm Wacek, and Eduard Strauss, the last of whom supplied his Klein Chronic, Op. 128, fast polka.
DKernmadln, Original Steierische Tänze op. 58 (DKernmadln Styrian Dance).
The description original Styrian dance comes from the ländler, the form from which the waltz was developed by Lanner and the older Johann Strauss. Early examples by Josef Lanner were his Steyrische Tänz, Op. 115, and s Hoamweh. Op. 202. These were inspired by the Styrian dances of singers from the Alps, who at that time wandered through the countryside. Lanner wrote some fifteen Ländler amongst his earlier compositions, and both Johann Strausses and Josef Strauss wrote many waltzes in ländler style. Ziehrer, wishing to establish his popularity quickly with the people of Vienna, was keen to compose a piece that would provide dancers with a regular pattern to dance to. D