Strausses (several & others), Waltz Transcriptions,
Berliner Soloisten, Leonskaja, Moll
Apex / Warner
À nos amours,
(Arrangements of Strauss, Wagner, Schubert et al.)
D.Henschel / Diabolicus
Perhaps that’s enough a curiosity to pique your interest. Or you just want to dip into these transcriptions at a budget price and you don’t mind the lack of presentation—in which case the Apex disc has its obvious attractions. Myself, I rather prefer the Berlin Classics recording of the Berliner Streichquartett which contains the same J.Strauss II hits—and a few more—and is played with a greater affinity for the musical region in which the sounds of the Waltz King and the Pantonalists merge and become one. The Berlin Soloists’ recording, in comparison, sounds much more like straight-forward Strauss, except with a Harmonium. If you like either of those discs or transcriptions in general, do also look for À nos amours, a disc on Ambroise by the chamber group Diabolicus (conducted by Dietrich Henschel). Rather than just going with J.Strauss II or his musical or actual relatives or his namesake, it adds Wagner, Schubert, Luigi Denza, and Ferruccio Busoni arrangements by Schoenberg (four by him—one by Berg, one by Erwin Stein, and the Siegfried-Idyll doesn’t need transcription) to the mix. And Diabolicus plays with the verve and edge that turns each bit from forgettable finger-food into an unforgettable amuse-gueule.