Willi Boskovsky

The Strauss Family [Box Set]

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AllMusic Review by

Willi Boskovsky, the former concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic turned conductor, made a good living performing and recording the music of the Strauss family. Indeed, he was so successful at it that not one but two companies have released six-disc sets of Boskovsky conducting music of the Strauss family. The older set, entitled The Strauss Family -- Waltzes, Polkas and Marches on Decca, had Boskovsky conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in recordings from the '60s. The newer set, entitled The Strauss Family -- Waltzes, Polkas and Overtures on EMI, had Boskovsky conducting the Vienna Johann-Strauss Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony, and the Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra in recordings from the '70s and '80s. Both sets feature the usual suspects, including On the Blue Danube, Tales From the Vienna Woods, Wein, Women and Song, and so on. Both sets have the usual gemutlich interpretations from Boskovsky featuring infectious rhythms and an instinctive sense of tempo rubato. But while both sets have good sound, Decca's less recent stereo sound is warmer and rounder and more "real," while EMI's more recent stereo and digital sound is cleaner but harder and less vivid. And while both sets are well-played, Decca's has the unsurpassed Vienna Philharmonic, while the EMI set is the very fine but not quite in the same league as Vienna Symphony and Vienna Johann-Strauss Orchestra. For those who love the music of the Strauss family without reservation, either set will satisfy. But for those forced to choose, choose the Decca.

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:52
2
2:34
3
2:36
4
3:03
5
2:59
6
3:44
7
2:16
8
2:53
9
3:30
10
2:13
11
4:52
12
2:20
13
3:31
14
5:44
15
8:15
16
6:26
Blindekuh (The Blind Cow), operetta (RV 507)
17
9:06

Track Listing - Disc 6

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:51
2
2:46
3
2:26
4
3:58
5
3:44
6
2:11
7
2:08
8
2:01
9
2:57
10
3:13
11
2:57
12
1:52
13
2:44
14
2:05
15
2:21
16
2:10
17
2:03
18
2:12
19
3:20
20
3:25
21
2:11
22
3:05
23
2:24
24
2:07
blue highlight denotes track pick