Definitions

Cagliostro

Cagliostro

[kal-yoh-stroh; It. kah-lyaws-traw]
Cagliostro, Alessandro, Conte di, 1743-95, Italian adventurer, magician, and alchemist, whose real name was Giuseppe Balsamo. After early misadventures in Italy he traveled in Greece, Arabia, Persia, and Egypt. While in Italy, he married Lorenza Feliciani, who became his assistant on his trips to the cities of Europe, where he posed as a physician, alchemist, mesmerist, necromancer, and Freemason. He claimed the secret of the philosopher's stone and of miraculous philters and potions. As the Grand Copt of the order of Egyptian Masonry he organized many lodges. His reputation was amazing, particularly at the court of French king Louis XVI. Implicated in the Affair of the Diamond Necklace, he was imprisoned, acquitted, and banished. Cagliostro returned to Rome in 1789, where the Inquisition charged him with heresy and sorcery. Imprisoned for life, he died in a dungeon. Cagliostro has fascinated later generations as well as his contemporaries, and he appears often in literary works.

See biographies by F. King (1929), W. R. H. Trowbridge (new ed. 1961), F. R. Dumas (tr. 1968), R. Gervaso (tr. 1974), R. Silva (1975), T. Freller (1997), and I. McCalman (2003); H. C. Schnur, Mystic Rebels (1949).

Cagliostro-Walzer op.370 is a waltz by Johann Strauss II composed in 1875 based on themes from his operetta, Cagliostro in Wien which premiered on 27 February 1875 at the famous Theater an der Wien.

The waltz principal melody was based on the waltz duet "Könnt' ich mit Ihnen fliegen durchs Leben" or 'Could I but fly with you through life' sung in Act 2 of the operetta. The operetta itself was a success at its first performance and Strauss long adopted the practice of opera composers to draft melodies from their successful stage works to be arranged as a new piece to boost sales of sheet music, thus he composed this 'Cagliostro-Walzer'.

The entire waltz consists of just 3 two-part waltz sections which is also a new Strauss development from the previous 5 two-part sections heard in his earlier works. The piece began with a loud march melody in the C major key before progressing into waltz time. The principal waltz theme in C major is also in the style of The Blue Danube, where three notes in rising melody starts off the waltz proper. Waltz 2A carries the principal key in C major as well but quickly interpolates with a more thoughtful passage in E-flat major. Waltz 3A starts off in F major in a hesitant mood, proceeding into a climax with cymbals. A brief coda enters and the entire Waltz 2B is repeated. After a short chorded passage, the swirling Waltz 1A recurs and Strauss signs off the waltz with a strong chord and long snare-drumroll.

References

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