Karnevalsbotschafter

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Not to be confused with Carnevalsbilder.

Karnevalsbotschafter (Carnival's Ambassador) op. 270 is a waltz composed by Johann Strauss II in the autumn of 1862. Incidentally, it was also written during Strauss' honeymoon with his first wife Henrietta Treffz in Venice. It was first performed at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Vienna's Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Society of Friends of Music in Vienna) at the 'Sperl' dance hall on 11 November 1862 and also at a soirée there on 22 November. The title may be alluded to Strauss himself, as a 'carnival ambassador' to Venice having accomplished the year's Fasching festivity commitments in Vienna. Unsurprisingly for him in Venice, although his wife had intended the honeymoon as a complete rest for him, he found himself duly inspired to pen this lovely waltz in a period of great personal happiness.

The waltz is unique in that its Introduction is more like a fanfare rather than serving as a prelude for later melodies to come in the further five two-part waltz sections like many of Strauss' waltzes dating around that time and for many waltz compositions till the end of his life. The short fanfare-like Introduction probably harks back at Johann Strauss I's style of writing waltzes with only a rudimentary Introduction.

Trumpets announce the first bars, before a loud chord interrupts; signalling the waltz proper. Pizzicato strings support the first waltz theme although other instruments carry the main melody. Waltz 1B is punctuated by loud chords and is loud for the entire passage. Waltz 2A has triangles as accompaniment whereas waltz 2B is gentle and more romantic-sounding. Waltz 3A starts with a brief intrada and is decorated with trills whereas waltz 3B's principal melody is carried by cellos and double basses. Waltz 4A is livelier than the previous waltz part and waltz 4B is dominated by the flute. Waltz 5B has a timpani beat and waltz 5B reconciles the earlier cheerful sections. A brief coda is introduced and waltz 1B is repeated. Without halting nor slowing down for a moment, the exuberant first waltz theme makes an anticipated re-entry, before rising chords heralds its exciting close, complete with a snare-drumroll and brass flourish.

References[edit]

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