Josef Strauss - Dynamiden-Walzer, Op. 173




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Published on Jun 1, 2011

The Geheime Anziehungskrafte (Dynamiden) Waltz, which Josef Strauss wrote for the 1865 Industrialists' Ball and which was played for the first time on 30 January at the Redoutensaal at the Imperial Palace, ventured into realms not explored as a rule by dance music. Perhaps it was the title, suggested by the composer, that was to extend the traditional waltz form to the boundaries of symphonic music: Geheime Anziehungskrafte, which he also called Dynamiden, following a suggestion by mechanical engineer J.F. Redtenbach. Obviously, swirling atoms were on his mind when he penned this work. Josef Strauss perceived in this composition downright uncanny, supernatural forces, which wish to hide behind what appears to be reality. Accordingly, even the introduction to the waltz builds to a dream-like effect: a soft call awakens a feeling of longing, a powerful escalation turns it into a complete display of emotion. Then a cautious, controlled passage leads into the waltz, which does so nevertheless very softly, as if sounded from afar: finally the intense main motif of the waltz begins, only to subside again immediately, and is only carried forward by the marked rhythm of the accompaniment; it modulates into a minor key, but lifts itself out of melancholy right away, building to a shining triumph!

A masterpiece! It is certainly no coincidence that Josef Strauss' Dynamiden waltz is unmistakably echoed in Richard Strauss' Rosenkavalier-Walzer.

A few days after the premiere of the Geheime Anziehungskrafte (Dynamiden) waltz, Josef Strauss lost consciousness at his home. A new attack of his persistent illness warned the composer that he would face an early death.


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