A centuries-old legacy of great drama and even greater music continues in Dubai as one of Vienna’s most famous orchestras, the Original Wiener Strauss Capelle, makes its debut in the Middle East, says Tessy Koshy
On a cold October evening in 1844, 19-year-old Johann Strauss stood in the middle of the Dommayer Casino in Vienna’s Hietzing district. Looking at the audience in the packed hall, he trembled with trepidation – not only were all those expectant faces here to see him, the son of famous Austrian composer Johann Strauss senior, but he was holding this debut concert in stark opposition to his father’s wishes.
Knowing that the life of a musician was not an easy one, Johann Strauss senior would punish his son if he caught him practising the violin, and used his influence to ban local entertainment establishments from offering the younger man a contract. So the casino had made a brave move in allowing him to perform, and Strauss junior knew he couldn’t let them – or the audience – down.
With steely resolve, the young man held his head high, ready for his first public performance. What followed opened the gateway to a musical extravaganza – the fast polkas and slow waltzes he had composed mesmerised the audience, whipping them into a frenzy as they demanded one encore after another. Some pieces were played up to 19 times over and the next day’s newspapers were full of headlines about how Strauss senior had been overtaken over by his son.
It was the debut of a true musical genius and the passionate legacy of that first night lives on today in the Original Wiener Strauss Capelle, a Viennese orchestra that can trace its roots back to the original orchestras operated by theWaltz King, as Johann Strauss II came to be known.
Music lovers in the UAE can catch a glimpse of some of history’s most magnificent music for themselves as the orchestra makes its debut in the Middle East with a performance at the Emirates Golf Club lawns in Dubai next Saturday, January 18.
“The Strauss Capelle is the most traditional Strauss Orchestra in the world and this is a golden chance for music enthusiasts in Dubai to hear one of Vienna’s most renowned orchestras continue its centuries-old musical legacy,” says chief conductor Rainer Roos, who has been performing with the orchestra since 2004.
The Strauss legacy is one of both great music and great drama: having enjoyed such
the chief conductor