Wiener Bonbons

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Wiener Bonbons (Vienna Sweets) op. 307 is a waltz by Johann Strauss II written in 1866. It was first performed on 28 January 1866 at the ball of the Association of Industrial Societies held in the Redoutensaal and was dedicated to the influential Princess Pauline Metternich-Winneburg the wife of then Austrian ambassador to Paris.

The festivity was meant to raise funds to be donated to the construction of German hospitals in Paris and Strauss' younger brother Josef was initially supposed to be conducting music at the ball without his brother Johann's anticipated presence. Johann himself was happy to draw back from conducting at such occasions in addition to allowing Josef to compose a dedication piece for the event although at the last minute, the elder brother opted to contribute a waltz of his own to glorify the event. The result was the waltz 'Wiener Bonbons' combining Viennese waltz with Parisian flair. The title also cheekly unites both nationalities via its title and even the title page shows the work's name in twisted bonbon wrappers.

The waltz's Introduction starts with clarinet and pizzicato strings in a relatively tense mood. Shortly, the first waltz theme makes a bold entry, long chords with a strong first beat in 3/4 time. Later sections are cheeky and flamboyant, contrasted in between with gentle and reflective melodies. After a short coda, the first waltz theme reappears before accelerating into its rousing finish, complete with a brass flourish underlined by a snare drumroll.

References[edit]

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