Josef Krips

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Strauss Waltzes

conducting the Vienna Symphony; Madacy, MKC 1825, cassette.

Conductor Josef Krips (1902-1974) was distinguished by his work in helping to rebuild the Vienna State Opera during the post-World War II years; he also made many recordings of the Central European repertoire-Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert etc. – that were released in this country, mostly on London and a few other labels. And they were consistently good.

Johann Strauss

The above cassette has a program of 13 Waltzes by the great Johann Strauss, Jr. (1825-1899), excluding the justly classic Blue Danube, Tales from the Vienna Woods and Emperor Waltz, but containing the charming Million Embraces, Lagoon Waltz, Where the Lemons Bloom, Thousand and One Nights, AND the intriguing title You Only Live Once, no relation to 007. The Vienna Symphony sounds smaller-scaled in number of players but handles the tricky rhythms of this music with ease.

Krips had quite the appetite for tasty food and was seen devouring a large bucket of fried chicken for lunch during a recording session. Google photos of his corpulent figure testify to this.

The records of his that stick out in my mind are the two different Brahms First Symphonies and the 4th, Schubert’s 6th, and all Beethoven nine Symphonies and five Piano Concertos, with Artur Rubinstein.

Jim Thompson quote: “What smells good in the store may stink in the stewpot.”


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