Frühlingsstimmen

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"Frühlingsstimmen" ("Voices of Spring"), Op. 410, is a waltz by Johann Strauss II, written in 1882, for orchestra and solo soprano voice.

History[edit]

Strauss dedicated the work to the pianist and composer Alfred Grünfeld.[1] The famous coloratura soprano Bertha Schwarz (stage name Bianca Bianchi) sang this concert aria at a grand matinée charity performance at the Theater an der Wien in aid of the "Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elisabeth Foundation for Indigent Austro-Hungarian subjects in Leipzig". The waltz was not a great success at its premiere, but was more successful when performed on Strauss' tour of Russia in 1886. A piano arrangement by the composer contributed much to its success beyond Vienna.[2]

Bianca Bianchi was then a famous member of the Vienna Court Opera Theatre and Strauss was sufficiently inspired to compose a new work, a waltz for solo voice, for the acclaimed singer.[3] The result was his world-renowned "Frühlingsstimmen" waltz which celebrated spring and remained one of the classical repertoire's most famous waltzes. The piece is sometimes used as an insertion aria in the act 2 ball scene of Strauss' operetta Die Fledermaus.

Music[edit]

Piano version played by Alfred Grünfeld (1852–1924)

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The waltz makes a grand entry in the key of B-flat major with loud chords preceded with the waltz's three beats to the bar ushering the first waltz's gentle and swirling melody. The second waltz section invokes the joys of spring with the flute imitating birdsong and a pastoral scene. The plaintive and dramatic third section in F minor probably suggests spring showers whereas the fourth section that follows breaks out from the pensive mood with another cheerful melody in A-flat major. Without a coda, the familiar first waltz melody makes a grand entrance before its breathless finish, strong chords and the usual timpani drumroll and warm brass flourish. A performance lasts between seven and nine minutes.

Lyrics[edit]

The lyrics were created by Richard Genée (1823–1895).

Die Lerche in blaue Höh entschwebt,
der Tauwind weht so lau;
sein wonniger milder Hauch belebt
und küßt das Feld, die Au.
Der Frühling in holder Pracht erwacht,
ah alle Pein zu End mag sein,
alles Leid, entflohn ist es weit!
Schmerz wird milder, frohe Bilder,
Glaub an Glück kehrt zuruck;
Sonnenschein, ah dringt nun ein,
ah, alles lacht, ach, ach, erwacht!

Da strömt auch der Liederquell,
der zu lang schon schien zu schweigen;
klingen hört dort wieder rein und hell
süße Stimmen aus den Zweigen!
Ah leis' läßt die Nachtigall
schon die ersten Töne horen,
um die Kön'gin nicht zu stören,
schweigt, ihr Sänger all!
Voller schon klingt bald ihr süßer Ton.
Ach ja bald, ah, ah ja bald!
Ah, ah, ah, ah!

O Sang der Nachtigall, holder Klang, ah ja!
Liebe durchglüht, ah, ah, ah,
tönet das Lied, ah und der Laut,
süß und traut, scheint auch Klagen zu tragen,
ah ah wiegt das Herz in süße Traumerein,
ah, ah, ah, ah, leise ein!
Sehnsucht und Lust
ah ah ah wohnt in der Brust,
ah, wenn ihr Sang lockt so bang,
funkelnd ferne wie Sterne,
ah ah zauberschimmernd wie des Mondes Strahl,
ah ah ah ah wallt durchs Tal!
Kaum will entschwinden die Nacht,
Lerchensang frisch erwacht,
ah, Licht kommt sie kunden,
Schatten entschwinden! ah!

Ah des Frühlings Stimmen klingen traut,
ah ja, ah ja ah o süßer Laut,
ah ah ah ah ach ja!

The lark rises into the blue,
the mellow wind mildly blowing;
his lovely mild breath revives
and kisses the field, the meadow.
Spring in all its splendour rises,
ah all hardship is over,
sorrow becomes milder,
good expectations,
the belief in happiness returns;
sunshine, you warm us,
ah, all is laughing, oh,oh awakes!

A fountain of songs is rising,
who has been silent for too long;
from the brush sounds clear and light
the sweet voice again!
Ah, gently the nightingale lets
stream the first notes,
so as not to disturb the queen;
hush, all you other singers!
More powerful soon chimes her sweet voice.
Oh, soon, oh, oh soon!
Ah........

Oh, song of the nightingale, sweet sound, ah yes!
Glowing with love, ah, ah, ah,
sounds the song, ah and the sound,
sweet and cosy, seems to carry a plaintive note,
ah, ah rocks the heart to sweet dreams,
ah, ah, ah, ah, most gently!
Longing and desire
ah, ah, ah lives in my breast,
ah, if the song anxiously calls for me,
from afar the stars twinkle,
ah, ah in shimmering magic like the moons beam,
ah, ah, ah, ah wavers trough the valley!
As haltingly vanishes the night,
the lark starts to sing,
ah, the light she promises,
shadows recede! Ah!

Ah springs voices sound like home,
Ah yes, ah yes oh sweet sound,
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah yes.

Frühlingsstimmen in popular culture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Frühlingsstimmen-Walzer" at Klassika.info
  2. ^ Palmer, John. "Frühlingsstimmen", Op. 410 at AllMusic
  3. ^ C. M. Gruber: "Bertha Schwarz". In: Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Vol. 11, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-7001-2803-7, p. 426 f. (Direct links to "p. 426", "p. 427")
  4. ^ Frühlingsstimmen (1933) at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ Frühlingsstimmen (Voices of Spring) (1952) at the Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037319/

Based on original text by Peter Kemp, The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain. Used with permission.

External links[edit]