Though its opus number would suggest a later work, this waltz is a relatively early effort in the career of the prolific Johann Strauss II. He would eventually produce over 500 works, including 17 operettas. Man lebt nur einmal!, despite its relatively early appearance, exhibits the composer's already seasoned ability to create attractive melodies housed in well-crafted structures and clothed in colorful and imaginative instrumentation. The work opens with a brief but stirring introduction, then presents a rather debonair waltz tune punctuated at the ends of phrases by cymbal crashes. The secondary material is playful but divulges much the same elegance of expression. A folk-like manner seizes the expressive reins about midway through and seems to depict a sort of yodeling effect. The seeds of this music were first heard in the introductory material. The mood turns quite vigorous and colorful in the latter half, and the main theme also takes on a more robust manner. The yodeling music reappears, too, though its more rhythmic manner mostly dispels folkish elements. The ending to this approximately six-minute waltz is colorful, but relatively subdued.
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Description by Robert Cummings
|2002||Dutton Vocalion / Vocalion||4121|
|1998||St. Clair / Premium Music||6077|
|1995||Art of Classics||885918|