Ohne Sorgen Polka (2014)
Josef Strauss

Duration: approx. 2:00 

Josef Strauss

Josef Strauss (1828-70) 

Ohne Sorgen is a so-called ‘polka schnell’, or fast polka, and while its German title can be translated as "Without a care," in modern idiom it might translate as "No worries!" That certainly describes the music's brisk and carefree heart, anyhow.

More withdrawn than his well-known relations, the history books tell us that Josef Strauss was often depressed. It is surprising then that he must also have been quite accomplished at writing exuberant, joyful music, as this frolicsome number proves. 

Sample score page
Ohne Sorgen p1.pdf Ohne Sorgen p1.pdf
Size : 88.207 Kb
Type : pdf

 Computer generated track

Ohne Sorgen.mp3


The piece opens with three rousing full-band chords that beckon the main theme - a busy, happy and cheeky motif.  The middle section turns even more colourful and festive as Strauss uses voices to shout out laughter over the top of the music.  There's a return to the main theme and secondary material as the works closes out in sprint-style. 

This arrangement was made at the request of Dr Stephen Cobb for the UKSA's Territorial Youth Band course in February 2014. Stephen had seen the piece on television played by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at their annual New Year’s concert.  

My search for the source material turned up only a conductor’s short score edited by Max Schönherr (published by Krenn Ludwig GmbH), plus a concert band transcription by Glen D. Lienhart (published by Glen D. Lienhart (S0.9825). Thus my brass band arrangement has been assembled by referencing those two scores, but mainly by listening to various versions of the piece on the web. 

In my research I was interested to note differences between performances around the globe; not only in style and speed, but also notation - particularly in the percussion line. Having so much choice, I decided in the end to anchor my arrangement in a performance by the Vienna Philharmonic in 2011.  Partly because of the brilliant performance, but mainly because it was only 59p in iTunes.

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