Ohne Sorgen, Op. 271

Johann Strauss
Duration: '

This is a so-called polka schnell, or fast polka, and while its German title Ohne Sorgen can be translated as "Without worry," a less-respectful and more hip translation like "no sweat" actually better describes the music's carefree, fast-paced spirit. Josef Strauss was an often depressed fellow, more introverted than his well-known siblings, but nevertheless quite capable of writing joyous, festive music, as this madcap polka attests. It may not possess the debonair and often more subtle character of many of his waltzes and other dance music, but its thematic appeal and effervescent spirit still convey an infectious charm.

It opens with rousing tutti chords that seem to summon the main theme, a busy creation whose playful manner and lightness of expression convey both a sense of festivity and mischievousness. The middle section turns even more colorful and celebratory, Strauss using male voices to shout out their merriment in a sort of laughing manner. The main theme and secondary material return to close out this rollicking piece in colorful style. This is a short polka, generally lasting slightly under two minutes.