The Music – The Viennese operetta is the true child of that strange multilingual, multinational and multicultural society, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. If the operetta was born on the wrong side of the blanket, it survived such inauspicious beginnings as imitation Parisian opera to reach the heights of artistic and social acceptance. Originally influenced by French operas – especially those of Jacques Offenbach (he of Gaite Parisienne and “Can-Can” fame) – the Viennese operetta came into its own with Johann Strauss, Jr.’s still popular Die Fledermaus (1874). From then until the beginning of the First World War and the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Viennese operetta flourished – an elaborate and fascinating mixture of Hungarian czardas, Bohemian polkas, Austrian galops. Slovakian folktunes, Viennese waltzes, and Italian melodrama, both sentimental and grotesquely emphatic.
Label: Westminster Gold WGS-8159