David Whitwell

Symphony Nr. 1, “The Viennese Legacy”

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The “dark side” of the Viennese waltz. The two movements are a continuous development of a single theme.

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Product Description

Sym­pho­ny Nr. 1, “The Vien­nese Lega­cy”
David Whitwell (1937–)

Date: 1987
Instru­men­ta­tion: Con­cert Band
Dura­tion: 11:30
Lev­el: 5

Notes

When I was serv­ing as Asso­ciate First Horn in the US Air Force Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra and Band, in Wash­ing­ton, DC, I fre­quent­ly had the occa­sion to per­form authen­tic back­ground music in one or oth­er of the famous hotels where polit­i­cal din­ners were held. It could be quite inter­est­ing, as on one occa­sion when I was able to observe a vibrant con­ver­sa­tion between Har­ry S. Tru­man and John F. Kennedy, but at the same time I nev­er for­got that I was not a guest but rather an anony­mous, unseen musi­cian in the bal­cony. And against this igno­min­ious sta­tus the per­for­mance often required con­sid­er­able skill, as per­form­ing quan­ti­ties of Strauss Waltzes I had nev­er heard with no rehearsal.

All this came to mind one bit­ter­ly cold day in Vien­na when, late at night, I saw
a soli­tary horn play­er, poor­ly dressed for the weath­er, strug­gling in the face of the strong wind with his horn case on his back. This poor musi­cian had no doubt been per­form­ing some fes­tive music at the Hof­burg, help­ing pro­vide enter­tain­ment mu- sic for the aris­to­crats of Vien­na who were now rid­ing home in their chauf­feured lim­ou­sines. It was think­ing of him that brought this music to the sur­face; the “dark side” of the Vien­nese waltz. The two move­ments are a con­tin­u­ous devel­op­ment of a sin­gle theme.

David Whitwell