The Violin Sonata in G minor, Bg.5, also called Tartini's Dream or Devil's Trill Sonata(Italian: Il trillo del diavolo), is a solo violin sonata created by Giuseppe Tartini (8 April 1692 – 26 February 1770), an Italian Baroque composer and violinist.
According to the legend, Tartini was inspired to write the sonata by a dream in which the Devil had played.
Tartini allegedly told the French astronomer Jérôme Lalande that he had dreamed that the devil had appeared to him and had asked to be Tartini's servant and teacher. At the end of the music lesson, Tartini handed the devil his violin to test his skill, which the devil began to play with virtuosity; delivering an intense and magnificent performance. So singularly beautiful and executed with such superior taste and precision, that the composer felt his breath taken away.The complete story is told by Tartini himself in Lalande's Voyage d'un François en Italie:
Mesmerized by the devil’s brilliant and awe-inspiring playing, Tartini attempted to recreate what he had heard. However, despite having said that the sonata was his favorite, Tartini later wrote that it was "so inferior to what I had heard, that if I could have subsisted on other means, I would have broken my violin and abandoned music forever."
The sonata, written for violin with basso continuo (figured bass), is written in four movements:
1. Larghetto affettuoso
2. Allegro moderato
4. Allegro assai — Andante — Allegro assai
The first movement, begins gently and reflectively, with languid double stops and a flowing violin melody line filled with tasteful embellishments. The melody, which moves from the tonic to the mediant key in the middle of the movement includes several deceptive cadences, before returning once again to a tonic theme similar to the beginning. A crisp, quick, highly decorated bravura follows, preceding a brief cantabile slow movement, said to signify Tartini's dream state.
The last movement, technically difficult, begins fast, before dissolving into repeated, modular violin melody over an intensifying accompaniment. This leads to a slow chromatic theme, followed by more sequences of the two themes. The source of the sonata's nickname is a passage where the violinist trills while simultaneously playing arpeggiated triads. The bravura cadenza that is frequently played was composed by Fritz Kreisler. The accompaniment joins the violin again for the last few dramatic measures. The trill in the last movement is one of the earliest examples of a trill illustrating a musical theme.
While Tartini claimed he composed the sonata in 1713, scholars think it was likely composed as late as the 1740s, due to its stylistic maturity. It was not published until 1798 or 1799, almost thirty years after the composer's death.
The sonata is Tartini's most famous composition. It is notable for its technically difficult passages that requires a number of technically demanding double stop trills and is difficult even by modern standards.
It would become the basis for Cesare Pugni's 1849 ballet Le Violon du diable, as well as Chopin's Prelude No. 27.
Giuseppe Tartini was born in Piran, a town on the peninsula of Istria, in the Republic of Venice (now in Slovenia).
It appears Tartini's parents intended him to become a Franciscan friar and, in this way, he received basic musical training. He studied law at the University of Padua, where he became skilled at fencing. After his father's death in 1710, he married Elisabetta Premazore, a favorite of the powerful Cardinal Giorgio Cornaro, who promptly charged Tartini with abduction. Tartini fled Padua to go to the monastery of St. Francis in Assisi, where he could escape prosecution. While there, Tartini took up playing the violin.
Legend says when Tartini heard Francesco Maria Veracini's playing in 1716, he was impressed by it and dissatisfied with his own skill. He fled to Ancona and locked himself away in a room to practise, according to Charles Burney, "in order to study the use of the bow in more tranquility, and with more convenience than at Venice, as he had a place assigned him in the opera orchestra of that city".
Tartini's skill improved tremendously and, in 1721, he was appointed Maestro di Cappella at the Basilica di Sant'Antonio in Padua.
Giuseppe Tartini was the first known owner of a violin made by Antonio Stradivari in 1715, which Tartini bestowed upon his student Salvini, who in turn gave it to the Polish composer and virtuoso violinist Karol Lipiński upon hearing him perform: the instrument is thus known as the Lipinski Stradivarius.
The Fantasia in F minor for piano four-hands D.940 (Op. posth. 103) by Franz Peter Schubert ( 31 January 1797 – 19 November 1828), an Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras.
Franz Schubert began writing the Fantasia in January 1828 in Vienna, the last year of his life, and dedicated it to his pupil Caroline Esterházy. The work was completed in March of that year, and first performed in May.
It is one of Schubert's most important works for more than one pianist and one of his most important piano works altogether.
The Fantasia is divided into four movements, that are interconnected and played without pause. A typical performance lasts about 20 minutes.
1. Allegro molto moderato
3. Scherzo. Allegro vivace
4. Finale. Allegro molto moderato
The basic idea of a fantasia with four connected movements also appears in Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy, and represents a stylistic bridge between the traditional sonata form and the essentially free-form tone poem. The basic structure of the two fantasies is essentially the same: allegro, slow movement, scherzo, allegro with fugue. The form of this work, with its relatively tight structure (more so than the fantasias of Beethoven and Mozart), was influential on the work of Franz Liszt, who arranged the Wanderer Fantasy as a piano concerto, among other transcriptions he made of Schubert's music.
Musicologist Christopher Gibbs has described the work as "among not only his greatest but his most original" compositions for piano duet.
Born in the Himmelpfortgrund suburb of Vienna, Franz Schubert's uncommon gifts for music were evident from an early age. His father gave him his first violin lessons and his older brother gave him piano lessons, but Schubert soon exceeded their abilities.
In 1808, at the age of eleven, he became a pupil at the Stadtkonvikt school, where he became acquainted with the orchestral music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. He left the Stadtkonvikt at the end of 1813, and returned home to live with his father, where he began studying to become a schoolteacher; despite this, he continued his studies in composition with Antonio Salieri and still composed prolifically.
In 1821, Schubert was granted admission to the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde as a performing member, which helped establish his name among the Viennese citizenry. He gave a concert of his own works to critical acclaim in March 1828, the only time he did so in his career. He died eight months later at the age of 31, the cause officially attributed to typhoid fever, but believed by some historians to be syphilis.
Despite his short lifetime, Schubert left behind a vast oeuvre, including more than 600 secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of piano and chamber music. His major works include the Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667 (Trout Quintet), the Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 (Unfinished Symphony), the three last piano sonatas (D. 958–960), the opera Fierrabras (D. 796), the incidental music to the play Rosamunde (D. 797), and the song cycles Die schöne Müllerin (D. 795) and Winterreise (D. 911).
Appreciation of Schubert's music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades following his death. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and other 19th-century composers discovered and championed his works. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the 19th century, and his music continues to be popular.
Originally written for violin and piano in 1878 and premiered the same year in Leipzig in Germany, later written with another version for violin and orchestra, Zigeunerweisen is perhaps the best known music composition of Pablo de Sarasate( full name: Martín Melitón Pablo de Sarasate y Navascués, 10 March 1844 – 20 September 1908), Spanish violinist and composer of the Romantic period.
The theme is based on theme of Gypsies (or Romani people as they are categorized ethically), thus the name Gypsy air. In the last section, the Hungarian dance theme La csárdás is the same as that of the last part of Franz List's Hungarian Rhapsody 13 composed in 1847.
Zigeunerweisen is in one movement but can be divided into four sections, the first three in the key of C minor and the last in A minor, based on the tempi:
Moderato – An imposing, virtuosic introduction with slow majestic energy by the orchestra, then a little softer by the violin itself.
Lento – The violin plays in lugubrious lento 4/4. This section has an improvisational quality; the melody, which essentially consists of pairs of 4-bar phrases, is punctuated with difficult runs and other technically demanding figures, including flying spiccato and ricochet bowings.
Un poco più lento – The muted soloist plays a melancholic melody with the so-called reverse-applied dotted note (1/16 + dotted 1/8 rhythm: sixteenth noteeighth note.), akin to the "Mannheim sigh" of the classical era; in 2/4 time.
Allegro molto vivace – At this point, the piece becomes extremely rapid. The challenging solo part consists mainly of long spiccato runs, along with double stops, artificial harmonics and left-hand pizzicato; in 2/4 time.
Pablo de Sarasate was born in Pamplona, Navarre, the son of an artillery bandmaster. He began studying the violin with his father at the age of five and later took lessons from a local teacher. His musical talent became evident early on and he appeared in his first public concert in A Coruña at the age of eight.
His performance was well-received, and caught the attention of a wealthy patron who provided the funding for Sarasate to study under Manuel Rodríguez Saez in Madrid, where he gained the favor of Queen Isabella II. Later, as his abilities developed, he was sent to study under Jean-Delphin Alard at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of twelve.
There, at seventeen, Sarasate entered a competition for the Premier Prix and won his first prize, the Conservatoire's highest honour. (There was not another Spanish violinist to achieve this until Manuel Quiroga did so in 1911; Quiroga was frequently compared to Sarasate throughout his career.)
Over the course of his career, he toured many parts of the world, performing in Europe, North America, and South America. His artistic pre-eminence was due principally to the purity of his tone, which was free from any tendency towards the sentimental or rhapsodic, and to that impressive facility of execution that made him a virtuoso. In his early career, Sarasate performed mainly opera fantasies, most notably the Fantasía Carmen, and various other pieces that he had composed. The popularity of Sarasate's Spanish flavour in his compositions is reflected in the work of his contemporaries. For example, the influences of Spanish music can be heard in such notable works as Édouard Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole which was dedicated to Sarasate; Georges Bizet's Carmen; and Camille Saint-Saëns' Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso, written expressly for Sarasate and dedicated to him.
Of Sarasate's idiomatic writing for his instrument, the playwright and music critic George Bernard Shaw once declared that though there were many composers of music for the violin, there were but few composers of violin music. Of Sarasate's talents as performer and composer, Shaw said that he "left criticism gasping miles behind him".
Sarasate's own compositions are mainly show-pieces designed to demonstrate his exemplary technique. Probably his most performed encores are his two books of Spanish dances, brief pieces designed to please the listener's ear and show off the performer's talent. He also made arrangements of a number of other composers' work for violin, and composed sets of variations on "potpourris" drawn from operas familiar to his audiences, such as his Fantasia on La forza del destino (his Opus 1), his Souvenirs de Faust, or his variations on themes from Die Zauberflöte.
After his death in Biarritz, France on 20 September 1908 from chronic bronchitis, Sarasate bequeathed his violin, made by Antonio Stradivari in 1724, to the Musée de la Musique. The violin now bears his name as the Sarasate Stradivarius in his memory. His second Stradivari violin, the Boissier of 1713, is now owned by Real Conservatorio Superior de Música, Madrid. Among his violin pupils was Alfred de Sève.
The Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 in F major, Op. 50, is the second of two such compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven. It was written in 1798 but not published until 1805 (by which time Beethoven had completed the other work, Romance No. 1 in G major, Op. 40). The accompaniment is for flute and a pair each of oboes, bassoons and horns, with strings. The length is about eight minutes, Beethoven gives the tempo "Adagio Cantabile"
La romance en fa majeur, opus 50, maintenue dans une atmosphère plus lyrique et chantante, est équilibrée d'une manière semblable, construite sur un dialogue concertant. Il est vrai que le thème plein de sentiment est accompagné par l'orchestre dès l'entrée du soliste, et que, par la suite, la tenue plus sévère de la romance en fa majeur s'exprime nettement dans la conduite intimement coordonnée du dialogue. Le finale est caractéristique, semblant perdu comme dans un rêve. (Source : Deutsche Grammophon Gesellshaft)
Ludwig van Beethoven (baptised 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the classical and romantic eras in classical music, he remains one of the most recognized and influential musicians of this period, and is considered to be one of the greatest composers of all time.
Beethoven was born in Bonn, the capital of the Electorate of Cologne, and part of the Holy Roman Empire. He displayed his musical talents at an early age and was vigorously taught by his father Johann van Beethoven, and was later taught by composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe.
At age 21, he moved to Vienna and studied composition with Joseph Haydn. Beethoven then gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist, and was soon courted by Prince Lichnowsky for compositions, which resulted in Opus 1 in 1795. The piece was a great critical and commercial success, and was followed by Symphony No. 1 in 1800. This composition was distinguished for its frequent use of sforzandi, as well as sudden shifts in tonal centers that were uncommon for traditional symphonic form, and the prominent, more independent use of wind instruments. In 1801, he also gained notoriety for his six String Quartets and for the ballet The Creatures of Prometheus.
During this period, his hearing began to deteriorate, but he continued to conduct, premiering his third and fifth symphonies in 1804 and 1808, respectively. His condition worsened to almost complete deafness by 1811, and he then gave up performing and appearing in public.
During this period of self exile, Beethoven composed many of his most admired works; his seventh symphony premiered in 1813, with its second movement, Allegretto, achieving widespread critical acclaim.
His career is conventionally divided into early, middle, and late periods; the "early" period is typically seen to last until 1802, the "middle" period from 1802 to 1812, and the "late" period from 1812 to his death in 1827.
During his life, he composed nine symphonies; five piano concertos; one violin concerto; thirty-two piano sonatas; sixteen string quartets; two masses; and the opera, Fidelio. Other works, like Für Elise, were discovered after his death, and are also considered historical musical achievements.
Beethoven's legacy is characterized for his innovative compositions, namely through the combinations of vocals and instruments, and also for widening the scope of sonata, symphony, concerto, and quartet, while he is also noted for his troublesome relationship with his contemporaries.
Meditation is from Opera Thaïs by French composer Jules Massenet (12 May 1842 – 13 August 1912), it is the entr'acte for violin and orchestra played between the scenes of act 2.
Thaïs is an opera, a comédie lyrique in three acts and seven tableaux to a French libretto by Louis Gallet, based on the novel Thaïs by Anatole France. It was first performed at the Opéra Garnier in Paris on 16 March 1894, starring the American soprano Sibyl Sanderson, for whom Massenet had written the title role.
Thaïs takes place in Egypt under the rule of the Roman Empire, where a Cenobite monk, Athanaël, attempts to convert Thaïs, an Alexandrian courtesan and devotee of Venus, to Christianity, but discovers too late that his obsession with her is rooted in lust; while the courtesan's true purity of heart is revealed, so is the religious man's baser nature. The work is often described as bearing a sort of religious eroticism, and has had many controversial productions.
Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet (12 May 1842 – 13 August 1912) was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. The two most frequently staged are Manon (1884) and Werther (1892). He also composed oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces, songs and other music.
While still a schoolboy, Massenet was admitted to France's principal music college, the Paris Conservatoire. After winning the country's top musical prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1863, he composed prolifically in many genres, but quickly became best known for his operas. Between 1867 and his death forty-five years later he wrote more than forty stage works in a wide variety of styles, from opéra-comique to grand-scale depictions of classical myths, romantic comedies, lyric dramas, as well as oratorios, cantatas and ballets.
Massenet had a good sense of the theatre and of what would succeed with the Parisian public. Despite some miscalculations, he produced a series of successes that made him the leading composer of opera in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
But by the time of his death, Massenet was regarded by many critics as old-fashioned and unadventurous although his two best-known operas remained popular in France and abroad. After a few decades of neglect, his works began to be favourably reassessed during the mid-20th century, and many of them have since been staged and recorded.
Although critics do not rank him among the handful of outstanding operatic geniuses such as Mozart, Verdi and Wagner, his operas are now widely accepted as well-crafted and intelligent products of the Belle Époque.
Antonín Dvořák composed his cycle of four Romantic Pieces, Op. 75, B. 150, (Czech: Romantické kusy), for violin and piano in January 1887. These four pieces are arranged from his previous composition, a trio for two violins and viola, known as Miniatures, Op. 75a, B. 149 (Czech: Drobnosti).
Antonin Dvořák and his family was living in Prague with his mother-in-law who rented out a room to a young chemistry student, Josef Kruis, an amateur violinist who studied the violin with Jan Pelikán, a member of the orchestra of the National Theatre in Prague, and the two often played violin duets together in Dvořák's home.
Dvořák, a viola player himself, heard them and got the idea to compose a new chamber work for two violins and viola in order to play with them. The resulting composition was the Terzetto in C major, Op. 74, B. 148. It was, however, too difficult for Kruis, and Dvořák therefore composed another trio, considerably simpler. The second trio, Miniatures, was written in four movements, which he titled: "Cavatina", "Capriccio", "Romance" and "Elegy" ("Ballad").
In the letter dated 18 January 1887 to his German publisher Simrock, Dvořák stated: "I am writing little miniatures – just imagine – for two violins and viola, and I enjoy the work as much as if I were writing a large symphony – what do you say to that? Of course, they are meant rather for amateurs, but didn't Beethoven and Schumann also express themselves sometimes with quite simple means – and how?..."
Originally the set was untitled, but Dvořák called it Miniatures in the aforementioned letter to Simrock. Kruis added the titles to the individual movements, apparently in agreement with the composer. Dvořák completed the cycle of four unrelated short pieces with different themes, with apparent influence of Robert Schumann.
i. Cavatina (Moderato), B♭ major
ii. Capriccio (Poco allegro), D minor
iii. Romance (Allegro), B♭ major
iv. Elegy or Ballad (Larghetto), G minor
The first movement opens in the calm mood of the first violin; only in the middle part is the expression more passionate. The movement is accompanied with a rhythmical ostinato in the second violin and with a "bass" accompaniment in the viola. The second movement is written in an optimistic mood, with simple harmonic variations. It also contains some reminiscences of folk music, particularly at the end. The shape and mood of the third movement is rather dreamy. The melodic line of the first violin is accompanied by triplets in the second violin. The last movement is the most complicated; its elegic mood develops from short opening passage. The whole composition ends with a slow movement, which is rather atypical.
Though he was apparently satisfied with this version of the trio, Dvořák nevertheless immediately began to rearrange it for violin and piano. He left the musical content of the arrangement for violin and piano almost unchanged; he only slightly altered the harmonic foundations in the first movement (bars 30–36), and extended the end of the third movement with an additional four bars. He also renamed the second and third movements.
i. Allegro moderato, B♭ major
ii. Allegro maestoso, D minor
iii. Allegro appassionato, B♭ major
iv. Larghetto, G minor
He called the new version Romantic Pieces, Op. 75. and it was published in 1887 by the Berlin publishing house of Simrock.
The first performance of the Romantic Pieces took place on 30 March 1887 at the chamber concert at the Umělecká Beseda in Prague. The violin part was played by Karel Ondříček, at that time leader of the orchestra of the National Theatre, with Dvořák at the piano.
Dvořák later completely forgot about the existence of the trio he composed earlier, and years later in 1901 explained to Simrock that "...what is supposed to be a trio...cannot be the Romantic Pieces". Dvořák's original manuscript of the trio version was only rediscovered in 1938, and it was proven that he himself was mistaken.
The trio version was premiered by members of the Prague Quartet on 24 February 1938 at a concert of Dvořák's chamber music at the Prague City Library.
Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, is his last large orchestral work. It forms an important part of the violin repertoire and is one of the most popular and most frequently performed violin concertos in history. A typical performance lasts just under half an hour.
On 30 July 1838, Felix Mendelssohn wrote to his childhood friend violinist Ferdinand David, the then concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.: "I should like to write a violin concerto for you next winter. One in E minor runs through my head, the beginning of which gives me no peace." But it took him more than six years to finish the concerto until its premiere in 1845.
During this time, Mendelssohn maintained a regular correspondence with David, who gave him many technical and compositional advices. Indeed, this violin concerto was the first of many to have been composed with the input of a professional violinist, and would influence many future collaborations.
The work itself was one of the foremost violin concertos of the Romantic era and was influential on many other composers.
The concerto consists of three movements with the following tempo markings:
Allegro molto appassionato (E minor)
Andante (C major)
Allegretto non troppo – Allegro molto vivace (E major)
Although the concerto consists of three movements in a standard fast–slow–fast structure and each movement follows a traditional form, the concerto was innovative and included many novel features for its time. Distinctive aspects include the almost immediate entrance of the violin at the beginning of the work (rather than following an orchestral preview of the first movement's major themes, as was typical in Classical-era concertos) and the through-composed form of the concerto as a whole, in which the three movements are melodically and harmonically connected and played attacca (each movement immediately following the previous one without any pauses).
The autographed score is dated 16 September 1844, but Mendelssohn was still seeking advice from David until its premiere. The concerto was first performed in Leipzig on 13 March 1845 with Ferdinand David as soloist. Mendelssohn was unable to conduct due to illness and the premiere was conducted by the Danish composer Niels Gade. Mendelssohn first conducted the concerto on 23 October 1845 again with Ferdinand David as soloist.
The concerto was well received and soon became regarded as one of the greatest violin concertos of all time. The concerto remains popular to this day and has developed a reputation as an essential concerto for all aspiring concert violinists to master, and usually one of the first Romantic era concertos they learn. Many professional violinists have recorded the concerto and the work is regularly performed in concerts and classical music competitions.
Concerto for Viola, strings and continuo in G major, TWV 51:G9 by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Georg Philipp Telemann (24 March [O.S. 14 March] 1681 – 25 June 1767) was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family's wishes. After studying in Magdeburg, Zellerfeld, and Hildesheim, Telemann entered the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually settled on a career in music. He held important positions in Leipzig, Sorau, Eisenach, and Frankfurt before settling in Hamburg in 1721, where he became musical director of that city's five main churches. While Telemann's career prospered, his personal life was always troubled: his first wife died only a few months after their marriage, and his second wife had extramarital affairs and accumulated a large gambling debt before leaving him.
Telemann is one of the most prolific composers in history (at least in terms of surviving oeuvre) and was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the leading German composers of the time—he was compared favourably both to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach, who made Telemann the godfather and namesake of his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, and to George Frideric Handel, whom Telemann also knew personally. As part of his duties, he wrote a considerable amount of music for educating organists under his direction. This includes 48 chorale preludes and 20 small fugues (modal fugues) to accompany his chorale harmonizations for 500 hymns. His music incorporates French, Italian, and German national styles, and he was at times even influenced by Polish popular music. He remained at the forefront of all new musical tendencies, and his music stands as an important link between the late Baroque and early Classical styles. The Telemann Museum in Hamburg is dedicated to him.
Of Georg Philipp Telemann's surviving concertos, his Viola Concerto in G major, TWV 51:G9 is among his most famous, and still regularly performed today. It is the first known concerto for viola and was written circa 1716–1721. It consists of four movements:
Largo: A mellow movement with long notes. Written in 3/2, with many dotted quarter and eighth note slurs, and is in the key of G. Usually is played with vibrato. Some performers choose to add significant ornamentation to this very simple movement.
Allegro: Most played movement. Written in 4/4 and in the key of G. The melody begins with a distinctive syncopated figure which is also used independently later in the movement.
Andante: A slow, mellow movement in the relative minor and largely on the upper strings of the instrument.
Presto: A fast, exciting movement in the tonic key.
The fast movements contain very few slurs, and many performers editions include slurring suggestions, often indistinguishable from markings contained in the original. The performer is encouraged to invent a varied pattern of slurs which fits the shape of each phrase.
The slow movements both give the option of a cadenza.
A typical performance lasts about 14 minutes.
Salut d'Amour (Liebesgruß), Op. 12, is a musical work composed by English composer Edward Elgar(2 June 1857 – 23 February 1934) in 1888, originally written for violin and piano.
Edward Elgar wrote the piece in July 1888, and gave his pupil and fiancé Caroline Alice Roberts as an engagement present. Because Miss Roberts is fluent in German, Elgar called it Liebesgruss ('Love's Greeting').
The dedication to Miss Roberts was in French: "à Carice". "Carice" was a contraction of her name Caroline and Alice, and would be the name given to their daughter born two years later.
Liebesgruss was published by Schott & Co., a German publisher a year later, and became much more popular after Schott changed the title to Salut d'Amour with Liebesgruss as a sub-title, and the composer's name as 'Ed. Elgar'. It seemed the French title had helped the work being sold all over Europe.
The first public performance was of the orchestral version of the piece, at a Crystal Palace concert on 11 November 1889.
Although Edward Elgar is often regarded as a typically English composer, most of his musical influences were not from England but from continental Europe. He felt himself to be an outsider, not only musically, but socially.
In 1899, At the age of forty-two, Elgar produced the Enigma Variations, which achieved immediate success. According to the composer: "I have sketched a set of Variations on an original theme. The Variations have amused me because I've labelled them with the nicknames of my particular friends ... that is to say I've written the variations each one to represent the mood of the 'party' ... and have written what I think they would have written – if they were asses enough to compose".
Probably the best known variation is "Nimrod", depicting August Jaeger, Elgar's publisher and friend.
Apart from the Enigma Variations, some of his best-known compositions are the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies, choral works like The Dream of Gerontius, short pieces like Salut d'Amour, Chanson de Matin, etc.
Johann Strauss II, (born October 25, 1825, Vienna, Austria—died June 3, 1899, Vienna), is an Austrian composer famous for his Viennese waltzes and operettas.
Strauss was the eldest son of the composer Johann Strauss I. Because his father wished him to follow a nonmusical profession, he started his career as a bank clerk. He studied the violin without his father’s knowledge, however, and in 1844 conducted his own dance band at a Viennese restaurant. In 1849, when the elder Strauss died, Johann combined his orchestra with his father’s and went on a tour that included Russia (1865–66) and England (1869), winning great popularity. In 1870 he relinquished leadership of his orchestra to his brothers, Josef and Eduard, in order to spend his time writing music. In 1872 he conducted concerts in New York City and Boston.
Strauss’s most famous single composition is An der schönen blauen Donau (1867; The Blue Danube), the main theme of which became one of the best-known tunes in 19th-century music. His many other melodious and successful waltzes include Morgenblätter (1864; Morning Papers), Künstlerleben (1867; Artist’s Life), Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald (1868; Tales from the Vienna Woods), Wein, Weib und Gesang (1869; Wine, Women and Song), Wiener Blut (1871; Vienna Blood), and Kaiserwaltzer (1888). Of his nearly 500 dance pieces, more than 150 were waltzes, and he was thus called "the Waltz King."
In the winter of 1882/83 Johann Strauss was invited to compose a vocal waltz for the Heidelberg-born coloratura soprano, Bianca Bianchi (1855-1947, whose real name was Bertha Schwarz), an acclaimed member of the Wiener Hofoperntheater (Vienna Court Opera Theatre) at that time.
The waltz was to be given its first performance on 1 March 1883 at a grand matinée charity performance at the Theater an der Wien in aid of the Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth Foundation for Indigent Austro-Hungarian Subjects in Leipzig'.
Strauss, after his success with choral waltzes, was excited by the challenge of writing a waltz for solo voice. The librettist, Richard Genée, with whom the composer was at that time collaborating on the operetta Eine Nacht in Venedig (1883), signified his willingness to provide the text to the waltz. In the event he was responsible also for the vocal setting of the new work.
Late autumn 1882 saw Johann Strauss in Budapest, Vienna's sister city on the River Danube, for the first performance there of his operetta Der lustige Krieg (The Merry War, 1881). He was accompanied for the first time by Adèle Strauss (née Deutsch), a young widow who was to become his third wife.
According to contemporary reports, it was at one of the private soirées given in his honour during this visit that Johann gave an impromptu concert and played piano duets with another of the guests, Franz Liszt. The two men had known each other well for more than thirty years (Strauss had dedicated his waltz Abschieds-Rufe op. 179 to Liszt in January 1856) and had met on a number of occasions. It seerns highly probable that it was this visit which provided the impetus for writing the waltz Frühlingsstimmen, a work which is by no means a typical 'Violin waltz' but rather a waltz for the piano.
The following February Strauss returned to Budapest to conduct another performance of Der lustige Krieg and, on 4 February , met Liszt again when the two men were among the guests at a soirée hosted by the Hungarian writer Gustav Tarnoczy.
The Fremdenblatt (7.02.1883) was one of several Viennese newspapers which carried a report, reprinted frorn the Hungarian press, of the improvised concert which took place on this evening. The entertainment began with Weber's Jubel Overture, played as a piano duet by Liszt and the lady of the house. "Strauss turned the pages. After this Strauss sat down at the piano and played his latest, as yet unpublished, compositions. After the concert there was a whist party, at which Liszt and Strauss sat opposite Messrs Moriz Wahlmann and Ignaz Brüll; as always, here also luck smiled on the Piano King Liszt. The soirée ended with dancing, for the commencernent of which Strauss himself gave the signal by sitting at the piano and playing several of his waltzes. After that a gypsy band played until four o'clock in the morning. "
Johann was justifiably pleased with his Frühlingsstimmen Walzer and in February he notified interested parties of its publication by Cranz. He even sent a copy to a member of the Austrian Imperial Household, the Archduke Wilhelm Franz Karl who, on 17 February, replied to "Dear Strauss!", thanking him for his "exquisitely successful concert waltz". He continued: "Yesterday evening I couldn't get enough of playing these capitivating melodies and had to begin again and again da capo. Please number among the most ardent and oldest adherents of your musical creations your grateful Archduke Wilhelm".
Johann Strauss himself conducted the theatre orchestra at the première of Frühlingsstimmen on 1 March in the Theater an der Wien, and the performance was so well received by the audience that Bianca Bianchi had to repeat it immediately.
In its purely orchestral version the Frühlingsstimmen Walzer was played for the first time on 18 March 1883 when the composer's brother, Eduard Strauss, conducted it with the Strauss Orchestra at one of his regular Sunday afternoon concerts in the Goldene Saal (Golden Hall) of the Musikverein building in Vienna. This première also met with great success and the waltz had to be encored.