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Emperor Waltz (Kaiser-Walzer), Op. 437

(Johann Strauss Jr.)

This piece of music is a waltz written by the composer Johann Strauss Jr. in 1889.  It was first given the title “Hand in Hand” to be seen as a toast of friendship to the German Kaiser Wilhelm II when he visited Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria.

After the work was seen by its German music publisher Fritz Simrock he made the suggestion to Strauss that it be renamed the Kaiser-Walzer (The Emperor Waltz) as it  would then not single out either of the rulers and they would both be looked at equally.

The piece was premiered in Berlin, Germany at the Konigsbau concert hall in October 1889 with the start being a quiet march which leads into the waltz.  Played by the whole orchestra, it features a cello solo, trumpet fanfare, a flourish of brass instruments and a timpani drumroll.

It has been performed and recorded numerous times with recordings by artists and orchestras that include the Arditti Quartet, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Bing Crosby, Andre Kostelanetz, the Halle Orchestra, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the King’s Singers, London Phiharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Mantovani, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philharmonia, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Andre Rieu, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Boys Choir, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and many others.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra recordings
Erato 2292-45998 (CD: Johann Strauss Jr.: Waltzes and Polkas)
ConductorDaniel Barenboim

London Philharmonic Orchestra recordings,
EMI 69838 (CD: Johann Strauss Jr.: Waltzes & Overtures)
Conductor – Franz Welser-Most

Vienna Philharmonic recordings
London 417 706-2 (Johann Strauss Jr.: Famous Waltzes)
Conductor – Willi Boskovsky