Among operetta fans, “Reuss-Schleiz-Greiz” is inextricably linked with a philandering tenor and a jolly minister in “Viennese Blood” by Johann Strauss the Younger, ﬁrst performed posthumously in 1899. The Thuringian states governed by the old House of Reuss were
He knew Brahms’ friend Strauss and held him in high regard. He apparently did not care about the satirical stage life of the diplomats of his dynasty. While this
During his life, he was considered one of the recognized members of the Brahms circle – even Max Reger admired the technically perfect compositions by the prince. Yet who today knows his 6 symphonies and 4 string quartets? TheViola Sonata G Major op. 22 from 1904 throughout large parts seems like a perfect style copy, because of the “Brahmsian” and interwoven motifs. However, this says nothing about the objective value of the music that is in its every measure honest, cleverly designed and emotionally rich.
The charming work is moreover thankful for both instruments, yet restrained in its virtuosity, making it interesting also for pleasant performances at home. The introductory Allegro paints a sentimental atmosphere of basically cheerful character. The composer spins along in such a fresh manner that another of Brahms’ friends, the Bohemian master Antonín Dvořák, peeks around the corner in some of the phrases. The middle movement, Andante sostenuto e maestoso, strikes up a more serious tone; it is obvious here that Prince Henry had eagerly studied the moderate strictness of his idol, as well.
Adagio parts lead to a ﬁnal movement in composed melancholy. The ﬁnal