Johann Strauss II - Frühlingsstimmen Op.410 (Voices of Spring Waltz)
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Johann Strauss II – Frühlingsstimmen Op.410 (Voices of Spring Waltz)
“Frühlingsstimmen”, Op. 410 (“Spring’s Voices,” or commonly “Voices of Spring”) is an orchestral waltz, with optional solo soprano voice, written in 1882 by Johann Strauss II.
The waltz was not a great success at its premiere, but was more successful when performed on Strauss’ tour of Russia in 1886. A piano arrangement by the composer contributed much to its success beyond Vienna. Grünfeld, the work’s dedicatee and a pianist and composer in his own right, also wrote and recorded his own concert transcription of the work for solo piano.
Bianca Bianchi was then a famous member of the Vienna Court Opera Theatre and Strauss was sufficiently inspired to compose a new work, a waltz for solo voice, for the acclaimed singer.The result was his world-renowned “Frühlingsstimmen” waltz which celebrated spring and remained one of the classical repertoire’s most famous waltzes. The piece is sometimes used as an insertion aria in the act 2 ball scene of Strauss’ operetta Die Fledermaus.
The waltz makes a grand entry in the key of B-flat major with loud chords preceded with the waltz’s three beats to the bar ushering the first waltz’s gentle and swirling melody. The second waltz section, in E-flat major invokes the joys of spring with the flute imitating birdsong and a pastoral scene. The plaintive and dramatic third section in A-flat major and later in C minor probably suggests spring showers whereas the fourth section that follows breaks out from the pensive mood with another cheerful melody in A-flat major. Without a coda, the familiar first waltz melody makes a grand entrance before its breathless finish, strong chords and the usual timpani drumroll and warm brass flourish. A performance lasts between seven and nine minutes.