Wo die Citronen blüh'n

Johann Strauss II

Wo die Citronen blüh'n

Op. 364 • “Where the Lemon Trees Bloom”

About this work

Wo die Zitronen blüh'n (Where Lemons Bloom), Op. 364, is an excellent example of a waltz composed during Strauss' maturity as a composer. Repeats of sections are not always literal and occasionally sound developmental. Waltz melodies that begin on the first beat of the measure are juxtaposed with ones that begin on the second or third, while orchestrational nuances and rhythmic variety create vast contrast in a work that, as a whole, is homogeneous. As he does in the Kaiser-Walzer, Op. 437, Strauss unifies the piece by returning to earlier sections where one expects new material.

The introduction to Wo die Zitronen blüh'n is in the style of a mood painting, evoking the Viennese countryside through woodwind trills and a solo violin tune. The first waltz features the traditional internal repetition of its two parts, the first of which focuses on a single pitch while the second is built around a rapidly rising figure in the violins. The repeat of the first part is varied after only the opening two measures. A short bridge passage introduces the second waltz pair, the first half of which is significantly extend and developed upon repetition. Waltz No. 3 picks up right on the heels of No. 2, maintaining a similar rhythm but applying it to a rising, stepwise melody instead of a leaping one. After a brief bridge Strauss surprises us by returning to the first half of No. 3, complete with repeat. A very lengthy bridge passage introduces the return of the first half of Waltz No. 2, including its developmental repeat, which gives way to a new, rapid string melody, constituting the second half of Waltz No. 4. As much an economist as a melodist, Strauss fills the traditional fifth spot with a complete reprise of the first waltz, closing the piece with a coda that is, in fact, a repeat of the introduction. One of the marks of a great composer is knowing how to re-use material.

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