Day: January 1, 2018

The “Other” Strauss: Music for a New Year’s Day

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ON WHAT HAS COME TO BE CALLED “NEW YEAR’S DAY”, it is traditional in Europe to listen to concerts of Viennese polkas and waltzes, mainly by Johann Strauss II (1825 – 1899). What many do not know is that at that time there was another Strauss in Vienna called Richard (pronounced Rickard, 1864 – 1949). Richard Strauss did admire Johann Strauss’s waltzes, but Richard’s music was in another dimension altogether — a heavenly one. Frankly, I would much rather listen to Richard’s music than Johann’s. I don’t mind the occasional waltz; but a whole concert of them, with encores? Nein danke! Waltzes don’t really go anywhere. They are for emotional dilettantes. One can never get to the real marrow of life (or death) in ¾ time. 😊

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