Reviews: J. Strauss II, Waldmeister

Updated: Feb 8

Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus | Naxos

Johann Strauss II’s operetta Waldmeister (‘Woodruff’) was staged for the first time in December 1895. The plotline—a case of mistaken identity somewhat reminiscent of Die Fledermaus—is lively, but the libretto itself proved to be less than satisfying. However, the vivacious and immaculately orchestrated music featuring several pieces that would go on to become famous, including the waltz Trau, schau, wem and the polka Klipp-Klapp-Galopp, earned Strauss immense admiration. Attending the opening night with Johannes Brahms was Vienna’s leading critic Eduard Hanslick who hailed the new work by asserting that ‘Mozart’s golden sound reigns in [Strauss’s] orchestra’.


Led by Dario Salvi, the performance is stylish and vibrant, with an energetic chorus and strong soloists

Joanne Sydney Lessner - Opera News

Dario Salvi's attention to detail and animated conducting serves the composer's intentions to the hilt and does justice to his luscious music.

Gerald Fenech, Classical Music Daily

Dario Salvi conducts with lively rhythmic directness. The momentum never sags and the woodwind-playing, in particular, has a real sparkle in its eye.

Richard Bratby, Gramophone

With this studio production Naxos presents the world premiere recording. This is astonishing, for the music is quite attractive and imaginative. This is already evident in the beautiful overture. In it Dario Salvi proves the quality he wants to give to this interpretation.

Remy Franck, Pizzicato (original in German)

And the great Artisan of the success of this Waldmeister is the “Meister”, precisely! Maestro Dario Salvi, whose attentive, refined, alternately restrained and fiery conducting marvellously serves the composer’s intentions and does justice to his beautiful music... The whole construction of Johann Strauss, who distils his musical findings instead of throwing them to the hungry listeners, is reconstructed step by step by Maestro Salvi, and with such precision and nuance that one would think he had been “briefed” by Johann Strauss himself!

Yonel Buldrini, Operetta Research Centre

Salvi, who again reconstructed and prepared the score and parts, handles the orchestra with his usual flair: never overly showy, but always in service to every nuance that Strauss’ score demands.

The Light Music Society

Musically Waldmeister is a skilfully written, often attractive piece, with impeccable orchestration and melodies from the impressive pot-pourri overture onwards that represent the composer near his best.

George Hall, BBC Music Magazine

The atmosphere is supreme. Conductor Dario Salvi gives momentum to the piece and he knows how to inspire the young cast to beautiful performances.

Maarten-Jan Dongelmans, de Gelderlander (original in Dutch)

It is indeed a commendable move to record this highly praised work. One will not tire of saying that the credit for this beautiful success goes to Maestro Salvi.

Khabar India 9 (original in Hindi)

Dario Salvi continues his laudable initiative of recording unknown Strauss operettas with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra. The choir and orchestra act at a good level, serving the music with a twist and whistle.

Online Merker (original in German)

Lively, catchy and impeccably orchestrated music.

Michel Dutrieue, Stretto (original in Dutch)

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