A Vonderful Valse

Franz Lehár/arr. Paul Jennings

We bring you and your players this well-known waltz to help celebrate the 150th birthday of Franz Lehár on April 30, 2020. This famous Austro-Hungarian composer and violinist is probably best known for his operettas. This song, for instance is the title waltz for his operetta The Merry Widow (Die lustige Witwe). Only one other waltz of his is still performed as often – his "Gold And Silver Waltz."

We decided that the original title ("The Merry Widow Waltz") was a bit much for young players and might require explanations teachers were not quite prepared to go into. So we lightened it up a little with our own humorous title, "A Vonderful Valse."

As Lehár was planning his life's work, he was interested in studying composition. Many of his teachers and advisers pushed him to be practical by learning violin. Even though he did, every time he could get a new work performed and published, he would quit his practical job to write and produce the new music. Only when money got tight again did he go back, often acting as a director of a service ensemble or as a conductor.

We have arranged this waltz for three recorder parts and orchestra. There are two soprano parts, the top (recorder 1) is the harder, requiring low D, E, G, A, B, C, and D'. Recorder 2 is simpler and only requires D, G, A, B, and C. The alto recorder part is appropriate to beginning alto players three months or so into playing the instrument. It also uses only G, B, C, D, E, and G'. The piece is orchestrated so that it works with just soprano recorder 1 or 2, or any combination of two parts.

If you want to download the piano/ recorder score PDF to follow along, it is one of the downloadable extras available free to our subscribers at our web site.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.