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Waltzes, Overtures, and Polkas

Johann Strauss II by August Eisenmenger, 1888

By Antonio Cabrero

The great musicians of Johann Strauss Jr.’s time appreciated and enjoyed his music. Brahms, appearing with him in a rare photograph, above, was a personal friend and mentor. Wagner used to say he particularly loved his waltz, “Wine, Women, and Song,” but then again, that was the perfect subject for Wagner. Tchaikovsky, for instance, attended premieres to get new ideas for waltzes, incorporating many in his compositions. Johann Strauss, Jr. was a major influence in ballet music and operetta of the 19th century.

New Year’s Concert
San Miguel International Symphony Ensemble
“From Vienna with Love”
Sat, Jan 2, 7pm
Teatro Ángela Peralta

Richard Strauss, a later and unrelated composer, was so influenced by his “Der Rosenkavalier,” that he admitted, “How could I forget that smiling genius from Vienna?”

His harder critic and ironically his most fervent admirer, Eduard Hanslick, commented at Strauss’ funeral, “This is the end of the happy times for Vienna.”


The orchestra will open with Songs for Springtime (Die Frughlingstimmen), followed by “Polka for Anna” (Annen Polka). After the majestic “Kaizer Waltzer,” the first part comes to an end.

The second half of the concert opens with the overture to the Gypsy Baron (Der Zigeunerbaron), followed by a climactic “An der Schoen blauen Donnau,” his immortal “Blue Danube Waltz,” when balloons will gently cascade down from the upper tiers.

It is hard to predict what encores may follow because that is literally in the hands of the audience. Tickets are available at Teatro Ángela Peralta, la Biblioteca, and la Conexión. VIP 350 pesos, general admission 200 pesos.


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