J. Strauss, Jr.: In Krapfen’s Woods, French Polka, Opus 336


BORN: October 25, 1825. Vienna, Austria

DIED: June 3, 1899. Vienna


WORLD PREMIERE: September 6, 1869 in Pavlosk, Russia. The composer led his orchestra.

SFS PERFORMANCES: FIRST—December 1984. Kurt Wöss conducted as part of Night in Old Vienna concerts. MOST RECENT—December 2011. Michael Francis conducted in a New Year’s Eve concert

INSTRUMENTATION: Flutes and piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, percussion, and strings

DURATION: About 4 mins

Among the pieces Strauss unveiled during his Russian summer of 1869 was In the Pavlovsk Woods (Im Pawlowsk-Walde), a cheerful French polka—a polka of restrained, graceful character. It met with a triumphant reception in Russia, and he accordingly re-introduced it the next year back home in Austria, now with a new title—In Krapfen’s Woods (Im Krapfenwald’l)—alluding to the Krapfenwald, a section of the Vienna Woods. The parkland, whether in Russia or Austria, would have been atwitter with cuckoos and other birds, which get their moments in this charming composition.—James M. Keller