Memories of Vienna

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RELEASE DATE: 27/09/2019
1 CD

Strauss waltzes and polkas in classic Decca 1950s recordings, led to the manner born by the Viennese conductor Josef Krips. 

Newly remastered from the original tapes – and in the case of two works the shellac discs – this compilation presents recordings made in London and Vienna by a conductor born and bred to the rhythms of the Strauss family. Josef Krips cut his teeth as a repetiteur at the Volksoper in Vienna, making his debut there in 1921, before graduating to the more prestigious Staatsoper in 1933.

Mozart was forever Krips’s musical god: ‘My maxim is that everything has to sound as though it were by Mozart, or it will be a bad performance. When you perform Mozart, everything has to be crystal clear, everything has to be in balance and everything has to have a relaxed sound.’ These are the qualities that mark out his conducting of these waltzes and polkas, which he continued to conduct wherever his career took him: to London in the late 1940s, becoming principal conductor of the LSO for three years in the early 50s, and thence to the US, such as a late-in-life post as musical director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, returning often however, to his spiritual home of Vienna.

The recordings here were made first of all with the ‘New’ Symphony Orchestra of London musicians in April 1948, then with the LSO in April 1950. The legendary Decca producer John Culshaw was behind the glass at the Sofiensaal for Vienna Philharmonic sessions in October 1956 and September 1957 that yielded the ‘Memories of Vienna’ LP which gives this album its title. He was joined by the soprano Hilde Gueden for the obbligato soprano parts in waltzes such as Voices of Spring; Gueden had been one of the most prominent members of the Vienna State Opera immediately after the war while Krips rebuilt and nurtured it from the ground up, and she too was blessed with an instinctive understanding of Viennese style as well as the kind of light lyric soprano voice that made her ideal for Josef Strauss’s Village Swallows waltz.


1 Wiener Blut, Op. 354

JOHANN STRAUSS I (1804–1849)

2 Piefke und Pufke – Polka française, Op. 235


3 Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, Op. 214

4 Wein, Weib und Gesang, Op. 333

5 Annen-Polka, Op. 117

6 Perpetuum mobile, Op. 257

7 An der schönen blauen Donau, Op. 314

8 Accelerationen, Op. 234

9 Kaiserwalzer, Op. 437

10 Rosen aus dem Süden, Op. 388

JOHANN STRAUSS II (1825–1899) & JOSEF STRAUSS (1827–1870)

11 Pizzicato-Polka

JOSEF STRAUSS (1827–1870)

12 Dorfschwalben aus Österreich, Op. 164

13 Frühlingsstimmen, Op. 410

Hilde Gueden, soprano (12, 13)

London Symphony Orchestra (1-4)

New Symphony Orchestra (5-6)

Wiener Philharmoniker (7-13)

Josef Krips

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