Light orchestral music performed with unique authority

Robert Stolz conducts Waltzes, Marches, Polkas, etc.

Berliner Symphoniker & Wiener Symphoniker, Robert Stolz (conductor)

Costing less than £30 (for 12 CDs) this reissue, from RCA, of of waltzes, marches, polkas and other dances by Johann Strauss I and II, Joseph Lanner, Carl Michael Ziehrer and others is our Bargain Choice for January 2018.

Robert Stolz was an Austrian songwriter and conductor as well as a composer of operettas and film music. Following Hitler’s annexation of Austria Stolz sought refuge in the USA in 1940. Once in America Stolz soon achieved fame with his concerts of Viennese music, starting with A Night in Vienna at Carnegie Hall. He returned to Vienna in 1946, devoting himself to an unflagging schedule of composing, conducting and recording until his death in 1975. Late in his career Stolz used a baton, inherited from Franz Lehár, which had been originally owned by Johann Strauss and contained Strauss’s initials engraved in silver. Thus his credentials in this repertoire are very high!

These recordings date from the 1960s and 70s , some 70 years into Stolz’s career. Nonetheless the sound is good, even by modern standards, and listening to the performances one never feels one is listening to the conducting of an elderly man. Needless to say both orchestras play these works as if the music is in their blood. If you enjoy the New Year’s Day concerts from Vienna you will love this set as it includes all of the favourites and much more besides. Indeed these discs are highly recommended for anyone who enjoys Viennese Light Music.

iClassical rating: 

At this price it is unmissable. Buy it, currently on special offer, at Presto Classical – just don’t pay the exhorbitant £75.32 price of the flac download!

Stream on Qobuz.