Johann (Sohn) Strauß: Schatzwalzer (arranged by: Anton Webern)

Johann (Sohn) Strauß Schatzwalzer

Johann (Sohn) Strauß: Schatzwalzer (arranged by: Anton Webern)

op. 418
Year of composition:
Scored for:
for salon ensemble
Johann (Sohn) Strauß
Anton Webern (1921)
Instrumentation details:
pno, harm and str quart
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Work introduction

Arnold Schönberg initiated the Society for Private Musical Performances in November 1918 for the purpose of “creating true and precise understanding of modern music for artists and friends of art:” The society continued its mission until December 1921.

It is the same today; contemporary music needs to be essayed thoroughly and with great expense of time so that new compositions can be presented in accordance with the scores’ demands – otherwise, there is no point at all in getting to know new music.

Lacking an orchestra, Schönberg’s society was obliged to perform arrangements of the works they chose, including the Johann Strauß waltzes which Schönberg and his pupils played on 27 May 1921, arranged for string quartet, piano and harmonium. Berg opted for Wine, Women and Song Op. 333, while Webern arranged the Schatz-Walzer (“Treasure Waltz”) Op. 418; the masters of the Second Viennese School plainly revelled in the music of one of their great predecessors. Listeners are transported to a tavern, the atmosphere is relaxed – yes, they are back in the heart of the Franz-Joseph era.

In 1921, when these arrangements were performed, three years had passed since the dissolution of the monarchy, a world war had been lost – no wonder, then, that the music exudes a tinge of nostalgia.

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