Schatz-Walzer (Treasure Waltz) op. 418 is a Viennese Waltz by Johann Strauss II composed in 1885. The melodies from this waltz were drawn from Strauss' operetta Der Zigeunerbaron which premiered to critical acclaim on 24 October 1885.
The practice of composing new and independent orchestral works drawn from Strauss' music for the operettas has been prominent since the days of Jacques Offenbach, another operetta composer who frequently whetted his audiences' appetite by writing and subsequently performing his overtures before the premiere of a new stage work, so that the music can be appraised by a wider public and meant that more individual piano edition transcriptions could be sold by music publishers to the public who would easily tend to recall independent pieces.
Strauss' Der Zigeunerbaron, a Hungarian-influenced work, remained his next best-remembered operetta after Die Fledermaus and brims with memorable melodies taken from the stage work. The work's title was taken from Act 2 trio Ha, seht es winkt, es blinkt, es klingt when the character Sandor Barinkay locates an ancestral treasure in his estate and shares his jubilation with the other cast, Saffi and Czipra. However, the beauty of the waltz lies in the first waltz theme also found in the Act 2 Finale aria of the operetta titled So voll Fröhlichkeit.
The work begins in C major, in a march-like tune (Du kannst der Zigeuner ganz vertrau'n) before the So voll Fröhlichkeit first waltz section melodies enter. The 2nd waltz section 1st part is the trio (Ha, seht es winkt, es blinkt, es klingt) followed by the 2nd part (Nun will ich des Lebens mich freuen) in G major.
The tranquil 3rd waltz section follows (Nur keusch und rein) and the dramatically romantic 2nd part ensues (Ja, das Alles auf Ehr) in E flat major. A peaceful 4th waltz section in C is next (Doch, mehr als Gold und Geld) before the climax with cymbals in G (Das war' kein rechter Schiffersknecht), and punctuated throughout with trombones and French horns.
Anton Webern created an arrangement for string quartet, harmonium, and piano in 1921.
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Based on original text by Peter Kemp, The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain. Used with permission.