Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina / Christian Pollack
Johann Strauss the Elder’s compositions of the mid-1840s are among his very finest. As ever they are saturated with his seemingly inexhaustible vitality and invention, qualities admired by dancers and critics alike. The Austrian Celebration March was written, in dashing military fashion, for the unveiling of a monument to Emperor Franz I. In Bohemian Girl Quadrille, Strauss uses themes from the Irish composer Michael William Balfe’s then wildly popular opera The Bohemian Girl to such dizzying effect that it was encored three times. Sounds of the Vltava, written following the devastating flood in the spring of 1845, was a gift to the citizens of Prague.