program notes by composition > O > Overture to "Die Fledermaus"

Overture to Die Fledermaus

Johann Strauss II

The title of this operetta refers to an event which precedes the curtain: Dr. Falke had gone to a costume ball dressed as a bat. He drank too much, passed out, was laid on the sidewalk, and awoke in full costume to the derisive shouts of school children. The plot pivots on his wish to get even with the perpetrator of the joke. The Viennese masked ball offers farcically confused identities. This overture gives a sample of all the tunes to come.

Johann Strauss II (1825–1899), aka Junior, The Younger, and The Son, was an Austrian composer of light music. He remains the most admired today of a dynasty of composers that includes his father and his brothers Josef and Eduard. He composed over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas and a ballet. In his lifetime, he was known as "The Waltz King," and was largely responsible for the popularity of the waltz in Vienna during the 19th century.

Last updated on November 17, 2017 by Palatine Concert Band