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Invitation to the Dance / Alt-Wiener Strauss Ensemble


Release Date: 08/30/2005 
Label:  Edition Hera   Catalog #: 2008   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Josef LannerJohann Strauss Jr.Franz LehárEduard Strauss,   ... 
Performer:  Maria Theresa Ullrich
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The name of this fine ensemble...is Alt-Wiener Strauss-Ensemble. The band specializes in the music of Vienna, but its actual home is Stuttgart. Violinist-conductor-arranger Arthur Kulling founded the group of 12 players in 1972, approximating the size and sound of the elder Johann Strauss’s Viennese dance band. In 2001, Arthur’s son Ralph, also a violinist and conductor, became leader. The instruments consist of three violins, two horns, and one each of viola, cello, double bass, flute (or piccolo), oboe, clarinet, and bassoon. Edition Hera is the band’s proprietary label...

“Invitation to the Dance” presents us with a...diverse program. We have works by eight composers: Johann Strauss I and his three sons, plus four composers
Read more whose lives collectively span almost 160 years, yet belonged to the epoch of European Romantic music in which the Strauss family flourished. The players of the Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble are also involved with the Stuttgart State Opera, where the mezzo-soprano Maria Theresa Ullrich sings. Her rich and supple voice makes her four contributions high points of this fine recording. The Csárdás from Fledermaus is not the familiar one, but a second setting composed late in life by Johann II to oblige the mezzo Marie Renard.

The other selections may also be unfamiliar to many listeners. That being the case, Hera should have printed texts and short synopses. Indeed, Hera identifies the aria from Cenerentola simply as “aria of Cenerentola.” “I was born to anguish and tears” is in the final scene, when anguish and tears are firmly in the past. But Cenerentola reflects briefly on her miserable years before rejoicing in her good fortune and—I was astonished by this when I first encountered the opera—she insists on forgiving her step-sisters and step-father and drawing them into her new royal family. The torchy ballad from Franz Lehar’s Giuditta, “My lips they kiss so passionately,” also begs for explanation. Giuditta is no ordinary operetta, but rather a bittersweet love story in which the primary lovers are losers. The musical language is that of late 19th-century Viennese musical theater, but the length and complexity of the work place it closer to the world of grand opera in its verismo phase. Finally, “Cruda sorte!” (“Cruel fate!”) is Isabella’s first aria in L’italiana in Algeri. She has just survived a shipwreck on the north coast of Africa, and observes the corsairs heading in her direction. This is a comic opera, but the Italian girl sings as if she does not yet know about the ultimate happy, if implausible, ending. Notes.... are ample and informative. Highly recommended.

Robert McColley, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Abendsterne Waltz, Op. 180 by Josef Lanner
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 8 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Notes: Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang (10/18/2004 - 10/20/2004) 
2.
Die Fledermaus: Klänge der Heimat "Czardas" by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/18/2004 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 3 Minutes 54 Secs. 
3.
Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, Op. 214 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1858; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Notes: Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang (10/18/2004 - 10/20/2004) 
4.
Giuditta: Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss by Franz Lehár
Performer:  Maria Theresa Ullrich (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1934; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 3 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang (10/18/2004 - 10/20/2004) 
5.
Mit Chic, Op. 221 by Eduard Strauss
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 1 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Notes: Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang (10/18/2004 - 10/20/2004) 
6.
Doktrinen, Op. 79 by Eduard Strauss
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 8 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Notes: Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang (10/18/2004 - 10/20/2004) 
7.
Die Libelle, Op. 204 by Josef Strauss
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 4 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Notes: Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang (10/18/2004 - 10/20/2004) 
8.
Hab'ns a Idee, Op. 43 by Carl Michael Ziehrer
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; Austria 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Notes: Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang (10/18/2004 - 10/20/2004) 
9.
Die Fledermaus: Overture by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 8 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang (10/18/2004 - 10/20/2004) 
10.
Vorwärts, Op. 127 by Josef Strauss
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Notes: Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang (10/18/2004 - 10/20/2004) 
11.
Wein, Weib und Gesang, Op. 333 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 10 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang (10/18/2004 - 10/20/2004) 
12.
La Cenerentola: Una volta c'era un re by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Maria Theresa Ullrich (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Italy 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 7 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang (10/18/2004 - 10/20/2004) 
13.
L'italiana in Algeri: Cruda sorte! Amor tiranno! by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Maria Theresa Ullrich (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1813; Italy 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 4 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang (10/18/2004 - 10/20/2004) 
14.
Invitation to the Dance, in D flat major J 260/Op. 65 by Carl Maria von Weber
Conductor:  Ralph Kulling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Old Vienna Strauss Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819; Dresden, Germany 
Venue:  Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang 
Length: 8 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Notes: Liederkranzhalle, Stuttgart-Botnang (10/18/2004 - 10/20/2004) 

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