Eduard Strauss is generally viewed as the lesser of the major Strauss family figures; still, like his brothers Johann II and Josef and his father Johann I, he produced some quite popular works. Eduard was particularly adept at writing polkas, but less effective than his brothers in the other dance forms. One of his more widely performed efforts -- in fact, probably his most popular piece -- is this one, Bahn frei!, also known as the Clear Track Polka or simply Track Clear. It is a vibrant, colorful work filled with playfulness and joy and exhibiting the brighter orchestral characteristics of Johann II, rather than the sometimes darker manner of Josef. The main theme gallops along with almost ecstatic high spirits in a radiant world that has no need for Prozac or pills, only a need for festive celebration. The music effervesces both in its arch-shaped main theme and mostly descending second subject. The brief middle section, too, comprised of variants on the main material, is also vivacious and full of cheer. The opening theme returns to close out this joyous piece with a rousing finish. Lasting slightly over two minutes, this delightful work will appeal to most listeners interested in light classics.
|• Wind Band