Wein, Weib und Gesang

Orchestre d'Harmonie

Wein, Weib und Gesang

Walzer, op. 333
Wine, Women and Song (Waltz)
Vin, Femme et Chanson (Valse)

Pièce de concert, Valse de concert, Valse, Medley
Maison d'édition:
Partition + Parties
Numéro d'édition:
Date de publication:


For Johann Strauss II the year 1847 was of special bearing, as it allowed him to establish contacts with one of the most important musical institutions of Vienna, namely the Vienna Male Choir. In the course of time he wrote nine works for this choir; they comprise six waltzes, two polkas, and one march. These compositions included such immortal waltzes like „The Beautiful Blue Danube“, Op. 314 and „Wine, Women and Song“, Op. 333. The especial relationship between the waltz king and the Vienna Male Choir is underlined by a particular honor bestowed upon Strauss, as he was made honorary member of the Vienna Male Choir in 1868. Many of the compositions of Johann Strauss that are world-famous today owe their birth to his engagements as an artist or go back to individual commissions. The most import time of the year for such commissions was the annual carnival period in Vienna. Johann Strauss contributed only three pieces for the 1869 carnival season: a polka-mazurka „Fata Morgana“, Op. 330 and the waltzes „Illustrations“, Op. 331 as well as „Wine, Women and Song“, Op.333. The latter one was a choral piece written for an evening event staged by the Vienna Male Choir at the Dianasaal on February 2, 1869. It bears a dedication to Johann Herbeck, the Honorary Choir Master of the association. The attractiveness of the waltz with its 137-measure-introduction made the reviewer of the „Neues Wiener Tagblatt“ predict on February 4, 1869: „The waltz will forge ahead and become as popular as „The Beautiful Blue Danube“. It is probably only little known that Johannes Brahms who was on friendly terms with Johann Strauss, honored the waltz king by quoting strains of „Wine, Women and Song“ in his string quartet, Op. 51. Like the other great waltz for choir written for the Vienna Male Choir, namely „The Beautiful Blue Danube“, „Wine, Women and Song“ is but rarely performed in its original choral version. Even without choir, the complete introduction is only rarely performed. It is accepted performing practice to play a shortened instrumental version which also served as guideline for Siegfried Rundel when adapting the waltz to symphonic winds. Viktor Kehldorfer observed on the interpretation of the Vienna waltz: „ The rendering of the Strauss waltzes is at first sight childishly simple, and yet a book might be written on the way the composer and more especially his younger brother Eduard conducted them, down to the turn of the century.“ Without any doubt it must be regarded a happenstance that this authentic interpretation prevails until today, and that it found a most appropriate platform in the Vienna New Year’s Concerts. Waltzes should be adapted to wind music to reflect this very spirit, and to make their innate qualities develop, scintillate and shine.

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