About this Recording
8.223223 - STRAUSS II, J.: Edition - Vol. 23
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The Johann Strauss Edition

Johann Strauss II, the most famous and enduringly successful of 19th-century light music composers, was born in Vienna on 25 October 1825. Building upon the firm musical foundations laid by his father, Johann Strauss I (1804-1849) and Joseph Lanner (1801-1843), the younger Johann (along with his brothers, Joseph and Eduard) achieved so high a development of the classical Viennese waltz that it became as much a feature of the concert hall as of the ballroom. For more than half a century Johann II captivated not only Vienna but also the whole of Europe and America with his abundantly tuneful waltzes, polkas, quadrilles and marches. The thrice-married 'Waltz King' later turned his attention to the composition of operetta, and completed 16 stage works besides more than 500 orchestral compositions – including the most famous of all waltzes, The Blue Danube (1867). Johann Strauss II died in Vienna on 3 June 1899.

The Marco Polo Strauss Edition is a milestone in recording history, presenting, for the first time ever, the entire orchestral output of the 'Waltz King'. Despite their supremely high standard of musical invention, the majority of the compositions have never before been commercially recorded and have been painstakingly assembled from archives around the world. All performances featured in this series are complete and, wherever possible, the works are played in their original instrumentation as conceived by the master orchestrator himself, Johann Strauss II.

Deutschmeister Jubiläums-Marsch (Deutschmeister Jubilee March) op. 470
The observation that many an Austrian military march is more suited to the dance floor than the parade ground should in no way be considered disparaging. Johann Strauss's Deutschmeister Jubiläums-Marsch is a fine example, and it would be a foot-weary soldier indeed who did not respond to such a buoyant composition with a spring in his step.

In 1525 the Margrave Albrecht von Brandenburg, 'Hochmeister' (Grand Master) of the German Order (or Order of German Knights) which had been founded in the Holy Land as a religious brotherhood in 1190, turned away from his Catholic beliefs. Five years later his superior 'Teutschmeister' (German Master) united the rest of the nobility into a military force under the title 'Hoch- und Teutschmeister'. In 1694 the 'Hoch- und Teutschmeister' (High and German Master) of the Order of German Knights, Franz Ludwig, Count Palatine bei Rhein, Duke of Neuburg, instigated the formation of a military unit called the 'Teutschmeistertruppe', whose patron, his brother Duke Wilhelm of Pfalz-Neuburg, as a German Elector, had been required by Kaiser Leopold I to raise a regiment. The first muster of the newly-formed troop, eventually to be called the 'Teutschmeister', took place on 3 June 1696 at Donauwörth, Bavaria. In 1781 Emperor Joseph II enforced conscription and created "recruiting districts", each of which was allocated its own infantry regiment. Thirteen Viennese suburbs comprised the 'Deutschmeister', which was renamed 'Infantry Regiment No. 4 Hoch- und Deutschmeister' – affectionately known by the Viennese locals as 'Uns're Edelknaben' (Our noble lads) – and became the Viennese Household Regiment.

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Hoch- und Deutschmeister Infantry Regiment, four days of official celebration were held in Vienna from 4-7 September 1896, with the actual regimental festival (Sunday 6 September) being designated 'Deutschmeister Day'. From Galicia, where he was attending manoeuvres, Emperor Franz Josef I sent a telegram of congratulations, columns of newspaper print were devoted to surveys of the regiment's history, theatres staged specially written productions (Die Deutschmeister, Wiener Edelknaben, Ein alter Deutschmeister etc.) in its honour, and among the numerous displays and festivities was an historical tableau in the Prater at which the uniforms from five periods of the Hoch- und Deutschmeister's history were presented. On 9 September, two days after the close of the 'official' festivities, Gabor Steiner's popular 'Summer Theatre' in the Prater, 'Venedig in Wien' (Venice in Vienna), hosted a final bicentenary celebration – a colourful 'Grand Viennese Festival', part of the proceeds of which it donated to regimental veterans. On 5 September the Neue Freie Presse had bluntly announced: "27 'Deutschmeister Marches' have been submitted to the committee of the Deutschmeister Festival, of which 24 proved to be of no use and were returned with polite letters of thanks. The remaining three are by Johann Strauss, Bayer and Hellmesberger". (Bayer and Hellmesberger, unlike Strauss, had both served with the Hoch- und Deutschmeister regiment, though never as bandmasters). It was the première of these three marches – Strauss's Deutschmeister Jubiläums-Marsch, Bayer's Deutschmeister Regiments-Marsch and Hellmesberger junior's Hoch - und Nieder-Marsch – which provided the musical highlight of the festival during a concert boasting four hundred musicians from eight regimental bands, and attended by some 18,000 visitors. The Fremdenblatt reported in its issue of 10 September: "Venedig in Wien. At Camp IV there was a Monster Concert in which seven [sic!] military bands participated. The concert opened with the National Anthem, then the massed bands, which totalled more than 350 players, in turn performed under the direction of the band masters [Gustav] Mahr, [Franz] Bém, [Wilhelm] Wacek, [Kaspar] Richter, Stern, [Franz] Sommer and [Hans] Pavlis. Johann Strauss, Josef Bayer and Josef Hellmesberger composed for the festival three dashing marches, which met with tempestuous applause and had to be repeated several times". The reporter for the Neue Freie Presse (10 September), however, was rather more specific, noting that "Bayer's composition, a piece of music kept in true Viennese style, went down the best".

Strauss's Deutschmeister Jubiläums-Marsch is played on this recording in accordance with the original orchestral performing material published by August Cranz in December 1896. It should be noted, however, that the composer's manuscript full score (now in the collection of the Wiener Stadt - und Landesbibliothek, Wienna) shows marked thematic differences in bars 5 to 16 – which the composer has headed "nicht benützt" ("not used") – and in bar20. These divergencies appear in none of the printed editions of the march, and one cannot say with certainty which version was used at the 1896 première. The work bears Johann's dedication "to the Imperial and Royal Infantry Regiment etc. Hoch - und Deutschmeister No. 4 on its 200 Years' Jubilee".

Rhadamantus-Klänge. Walzer (Echoes of Rhadamanthus. Waltz) op. 94
On 19 November 1850 Johann Strauss and his orchestra arrived back in Vienna from Warsaw after a month-long concert tour which was to have taken them through "all the Royal-Imperial conscripted crown lands, Prussia and Russo-Poland". His goal was reported to be Berlin. Because of political dissonance between Prussia and Austria at that time, however, the tour was subsequently restricted to Ratibor (= Racibórz), Breslau (= Wroclaw) and Kattowitz (= Katowice), all venues to be found in present-day Poland. Upon his return it was immediately reported by the Viennese press that he planned to give concerts with his orchestra at St. Petersburg during the following spring. In the event, Strauss was not to set foot on Russian soil until 1856.

Soon after returning to his native city, Johann began turning his attention to the various ball dedications he was expected to compose for the 1851 Vienna Carnival. Amongst these was the waltz Rhadamantus-Klänge, a title which suggests that the work was written for a festivity organised by the students of the law faculty at Vienna University. In Greek mythology, Rhadamantus was the son of Zeus and Europa, and brother of Minos, king of Crete, and Sarpedon, who was to fall in the Trojan war. According to later legends, Rhadamantus was one of the three judges of Hades – the others being Minos and Æacus – whose task was to interrogate newly arrived souls and decide upon their ultimate fate, directing spirits adjudged as overwhelmingly good to the Elysian Fields and condemning the evil to the fires of Tartarus. Strauss's perception of the Underworld finds expression in the suitably foreboding opening passage of the Introduction to Rhadamantus-Klänge. (Later that year Johann was to write another, and rather more successful, vision of Hell in three-quarter time: the waltz Mephistos Höllenrufe op. 101).

Curiously, the Viennese press of that time carried no reports either of the waltz's première or of any event organised by the law students, and the work's date and place of first performance must therefore remain in question. Given the general lack of interest generated by Rhadamantus-Klänge, it is particularly interesting to find that Eduard Strauss, the composer's youngest brother, later deemed its opening waltz number (Waltz 1A) sufficiently worthy of inclusion in the potpourri Blüthenkranz Johann Strauss'scher Walzer (Garlandof Johann Strauss Waltzes) op. 292, a 'Collection of the best loved waltzes from 1844 to the present', which he selected and arranged for performance by the Strauss Orchestra on 14 October 1894 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Johann's public debut as conductor and composer.

Marie Taglioni-Polka op.173
The celebrated Berlin-born ballerina, Marie Taglioni the younger (1833-91), enjoyed immense artistic success in Vienna during the years 1853 to 1856. Johann Strauss, then twenty-seven years old, was clearly captivated by her grace and vivaciousness, and as early as January 1853 paid homage to her in two of his dance pieces – the Satanella-Quadrille op. 123 (Volume 3) and the Satanella-Polka op. 124 (Volume 2) – both based on music from one of Taglioni's ballet successes, Satanella oder Metamorphosen. History does not relate whether Strauss may have harboured other than purely artistic intentions towards the young ballerina, but the existence of her omnipresent and highly-protective parents – and his reputation for profligacy (as a confidential police report was later to note) – would doubtless have conspired against any such liaison.

January 1856 saw the publication of a new dance composition from the pen of Johann Strauss – the Marie Taglioni-Polka. According to the separate claims of two noted authorities, V. Junk and Horst Koegler, Strauss's polka was again based on melodies from ballets in which the young dancer had appeared. This, however, seerns unlikely. On the afternoon of Sunday 16 December 1855, three days before Marie Taglioni departed Vienna for Berlin, the Volksgarten was the venue for a 'Grand Musical Soirée', given for the benefit of Johann Strauss himself. On this occasion the composer conducted the Strauss Orchestra in the first performance of two new works: Le Papillon, Polka-Mazurka (op. 174) and a somewhat anticipatory Silvester-Polka (New Year's Eve Polka). Both works were extremely well received and encored. On 19 December the Morgenpost carried an announcement for a Strauss benefit concert at Schwender's on the following day, specifically highlighting two compositions by Johann Strauss on the programme: Le Papillon, Polka-Mazurka and the Taglioni-Polka. The latter, as was to become clear, had already been heard at the 'Grand Musical Soirée' under its original title – Silvester-Polka – and Strauss's publisher, Carl Haslinger, had chosen to re-christen the capricious work as another tribute to Marie Taglioni. Haslinger's motives were not, however, solely guided by his admiration for the ballerina. As a commercially astute publisher, he had certainly recognised in the Silvester-Polka the limited sales potential for sheet music bearing such a seasonal title.

Wien, Mein Sinn! Walzer (Vienna, my soul! Waltz) op. 192
Composers of nineteenth-century dance music in Austria were no strangers to quoting from 'Wienerlieder' – popular songs of the day – particularly in their waltzes. The younger Johann Strauss was no exception: his waltz Studentenlust op. 285 (Volume 19) features in its Introduction a brief musical statement from the student song "Im kühlen Keller sitz' ich hier". It was a reciprocal process, and many were the street-singers of the day who sought, by the addition of lyrics, to transform contemporary dance melodies into 'Wienerlieder', which were then issued by the smaller publishing houses – still retaining the original work's title – in editions known as 'Volksausgaben' (popular editions), or 'Fünfkreuzerdrucken' (five kreuzer prints) after the price of the publication. The principal melody of Josef Strauss's waltz Flattergeister op. 62 (1858), for example, was swiftly converted into a popular Viennese ditty with the dialect text "Wann i amal stirb, stirb, stirb" (When once I die, die, die). The play-actor and singer, Johann Fürst (1825-82), was swift to add words to Johann Strauss's waltz Man lebt nur einmal! op. 167 of 1855 (Volume 12) and introduce it into his cabaret act. Two years later, Fürst also judged Johann's waltz Wien, mein Sinn! to be a suitable candidate for his particular treatment, and thus he helped to familiarise the public with some of its beguiling tunes.

Strauss had in fact composed his orchestral waltz Wien, mein Sinn! for his own benefit ball held at the ‘Sperl’ dance hall in Leopoldstadt on 23 February 1857. As with his other eight dance pieces composed for that year's Vienna Carnival, Johann conducted the Strauss Orchestra in the first performance of his new work. The Wiener Theaterzeitung (25.02.1857) opined: "His latest inspiration, the waltz 'Wien, mein Sinn', is a true child of Viennese good naturalness, fresh, whimsical and full of humour".

The first piano edition of Wien, mein Sinn!, which Carl Haslinger published in July 1857, depicts a view across the River Danube towards Vienna. Both on the cover and inside, the word "mein" stands out boldly from the words "Wien" and "Sinn". Now, even if Strauss himself had not personally dictated this differentiation to his publisher, it would certainly have been in accord with his own heartfelt sentiments. Addressing the guests at a festival banquet given in his honour on 15 October 1894 – marking the 50th anniversary of his début concert at Dommayer's Casino – Johann paid tribute to the Austrian capital, with the words: "If it is true that I have some talent, then I have to thank for its development my dear native city of Vienna, in whose earth my whole strength is rooted, in whose air lie the sounds which my ear gathers, which my heart takes in and my hand writes down; my Vienna, city of songs and of spirit, which lovingly helped the boy onto his feet and which always offered the mature man its friendship... Vienna, bloom, prosper and grow!"

Le Beau Monde. Quadrille (Fashionable Society. Quadrille) op. 199
July 1857 found Johann Strauss once again at Pavlovsk, near St. Petersburg, where he had been engaged for the second consecutive year to give orchestral concerts at the Vauxhall Pavilion in Pavlovsk Park during the months of May to October inclusive. The intensely enthusiastic Russian audiences he attracted during these seasons included members of fashionable society and royalty – the Imperial family, and Tsar Alexander II (1818-81) in particular, frequently invoked royal privilege to secure the orchestra and its Viennese conductor for private functions, and the Tsar's brothers, the Grand Dukes Constantin Nikolaievich (1827-92) and Michail Nikolaievich (1832-1909) even made appearances as cellists in Strauss's orchestra.

In a letter written towards the end of July 1857 to his publisher in Vienna, Carl Haslinger, Johann remarked: "I am having another benefit [concert] during the course of this month, for which I shall write a waltz and a quadrille". The two new works, which Strauss actually composed in August and first performed at his benefit concert on 6 September (= 25 August, Russian calendar), were the Telegraphische Depeschen Walzer op. 195 and the quadrille Le beau monde. The latter composition exudes the authentic musical flavour of Russia, and the edition published in St. Petersburg by the firm of A. Büttner describes the stylish work as a Quadrille sur des airs russes (Quadrille on Russian airs). Like many of Strauss's compositions dating from his visits to Pavlovsk, the title of this quadrille merely reflects the vogue then current in Russia for the French language.

At the close of his 1857 Pavlovsk season Johann returned to Vienna, arriving there on the night of 22 October. Not until 1 November, at a concert in the Volksgarten, did he make his first appearance before his home audience and among the novelties he brought back with him from his travels was his Le beau monde Quadrille.

The present recording omits the chorus ("La la la la la ...") specified in the orchestral parts to be sung during the 'Finale' section of the Le beau monde Quadrille. Part of the 'Finale' section itself may be familiar to some listeners through the inclusion of its first and second themes in Antal Dorati's pastiche ballet of 1940, Graduation Ball, where it can be heard in the 'Grand Gallop'.

Vibrationen Walzer (Vibrations. Waltz) op. 204
Johann Strauss dedicated his waltz Vibrationen to "the Gentlemen Students of Medicine" at Vienna University, and conducted its first performance at their ball in the magnificent Sofienbad-Saal on 19 January 1858. The work was one of ten new dance compositions which Johann composed for that year's Vienna Carnival celebrations, his brother Josef contributing a further five.

The title of the waltz was well suited to the 'Medizinerball', and the strings appropriately play vibrato throughout the Introduction. 'Vibration massage' was then the latest form of that universal therapy practised for centuries to treat stiffness, damage or other physical conditions in muscles and joints. Ambroise Paré (1517-90), physician to four kings of France, and the Italian Mercurialis (1530-1606) were but two of the great physicians who integrated massage into their therapy, while in 1566 the physician attending Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87) aided her recovery from a grave condition through the use of massage. Vibration massage itself is a method of stimulating the nervous system and toning muscle tissue, in which the forearm, hand or fingers of the practitioner are moved gently and very rapidly in a 'polishing' motion across the skin surface, thereby inducing oscillation and setting up vibration waves through the tissue. The use of vibration massage also forms part of the system of 'Swedish massage', still practised today to stimulate and drain some of the inner organs.

Crowded aside by the sheer abundance of new melodies which continued to pour from the pen of its creator, Vibrationen soon all but disappeared from the repertoire of the Strauss Orchestra. Yet, so insistent are its themes and so captivating its orchestration (particularly effective is Johann's use of alternating major and minor keys in Waltz 1A with its beautiful legato countermelody played by cellos and bassoon), that one must regret that this work from Strauss's middle-period as a dance music composer does not enjoy wider currency today. There is not a weak link in its consummately-crafted chain of waltzes. How astonishing, therefore, that the Fremdenblatt newspaper (21.01.1858), usually so praiseful of the Waltz King and his music, adjudged that the new composition "found only modest applause".

Yet whilst Vibrationen is seldom performed today, one of its melodies (Waltz 5B) was given a new lease of life when Johann Strauss re-used it as Waltz 2A of his Jubilee Waltz. This later work was a potpourri he compiled for a concert series at the World's Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival staged in the United States of America, at Boston, in June and July 1872.

Die Pariserin. Polka française (The Parisienne. French polka) op. 238
Almost nineteen years before Johann Strauss wrote his Pariser Polka (Parisian Polka) op. 382, he composed another polka glorifying one of the delights of the French capital – namely, the Parisienne. Although in 1860, when the earlier work was written, Johann had not yet visited 'the city on the Seine', he was certainly aware of the many chic demoiselles for whose education a visit to such centres of European culture as Vienna and St. Petersburg was almost de rigeur. One such elegantly attired young lady graces the cover of the first piano edition of Johann's Die Pariserin, as she gazes into the ornate mirror of her dressing table, surrounded by such feminine accoutrements as her jewellery box and perfume. French theatrical touring companies were no strangers to Vienna, and in 1860-61 one particular troupe of Parisian girl singers and dancers caused a sensation when they appeared in the Russian capital. Strauss became well acquainted with these young artistes, and during his 1861 summer season at Pavlovsk fashioned a quadrille from material in their repertoire. The work was subsequently published in Vienna as the Chansonnetten-Quadrille op. 259 (Volume 6).

One should never entirely discount the possibility that one particular young Parisienne may have set the 34-year-old Johann's heart aflame, and inclined him to immortalise her memory in polka-time. Yet a more immediate stimulus for writing Die Pariserin seems to have been an invitation for Strauss to give concerts in Paris and London during summer 1860 – an invitation he had to decline because of his contractual commitment to the management of the Tsarskoye-Selo Railway Company in Russia to appear for a further five-month season at the Vauxhall Pavilion in Pavlovsk from May to the end of October. Thus, after making his preparations for the trip to Russia, the composer took his leave of his Viennese public on Sunday 6 May 1860 with a 'Farewell Concert' at Unger's Casino in the suburb of Hernals. On this occasion Johann shared the conducting of the Strauss Orchestra with his brother Josef, and included in the programme the first performance of his new dance piece, Die Pariserin, which the theatrical paper Der Zwischenakt (13.10.1860) deemed an "exceedingly piquant polka".

Telegramme. Walzer (Telegrams. Waltz) op. 318
The title page illustration for the first piano edition of Johann Strauss's waltz Telegramme presents an interesting scene: to the left the bewhiskered composer himself is portrayed sketching the Introduction to the waltz. Comprising three sides of the frame to the picture are five telegraph wires (corresponding to the five lines of the musical stave), along which are strung the notes which make up the first eight bars of the waltz's Introduction. The telegraph wires transmit the musical 'message' across the top of the frame to the bottom right, where sits the composer's wife, Jetty Treffz, who is reading the contents of the telegram. The text reads simply: "Am 12. Fe[bruar] 1867" – the precise date on which Johann Strauss conducted the first performance of his new waltz in the Sofienbad-Saal at the ball of the Vienna Authors' and Journalists' Association, 'Concordia', to whom the work is dedicated. For those listeners with an ear to hear it, in the Introduction Strauss portrays (though not so effectively as in that of his earlier waltz Telegraphische Depeschen op. 195) the staccato tapping of the telegraph keys and the transmission of the message along the wires.

In its diary for 18 February, the Wiener Zeitung (19.02.1867) was able to inform its readers: "The latest dance compositions by the Strauss brothers have just been published by the Court-music dealer C.A. Spina, amongst them the two waltzes by Johann Strauss which were received with such lively applause, 'Telegramme' and 'An der schönen blauen Donau' [By the beautiful blue Danube], the first at the 'Concordia' Ball, the second at the Wiener Männergesangverein's Carnival Song Programme".

On 10 March 1867, in the Volksgarten, there took place the Strauss Orchestra's annual 'Revue' concert of all the new dance pieces written by the Strauss brothers for the current year's Vienna Carnival. Of the twenty-five compositions, Johann had contributed six: the waltzes An der schönen blauen Donau (op. 314), Künstler-Leben (op. 316) and Telegramme, and the polkas Lob der Frauen (op. 315), Postillon d'amour (op. 317) and Leichtes Blut (op. 318). With this remarkable flood of melodic inspiration, the Waltz King and his brothers helped to tempt their fellow Viennese back into the ballrooms of the capital and to dispel the gloom which continued to pervade Vienna after Austria's military defeat by Prussia at Königgrätz the previous year.

Indigo-Quadrille op. 344
During the 1860s Johann Strauss made some early attempts at composition for the stage, but it was not until 10 February 1871 that the first of his fifteen operettas, Indigo und die vierzig Räuber (Indigo and the Forty Thieves), was produced. The long-awaited première at Vienna's Theater an der Wien attracted a capacity house, and the public adored this reworking of a tale from The Arabian Nights. The mood of the critics, however, ranged from Eduard Hanslick (Neue Freie Presse, 12.02.1871), dismissively complaining of the score that "it is Strauss dance music with words added and ascribed rôles", to Ludwig Speidei (Fremdenblatt, 12.02.1871) who deemed the operetta to be "an estimable piece of work and promises the most splendid expectations for the future. If, in consequence of well-known events, we should have to forego Jacques Offenbach" – the Parisian 'Operetta King' was at that time demanding exorbitant sums of Viennese theatres wishing to mount his stage works – "perhaps we can find a replacement in Johann Strauss. Strauss's inventiveness is more than customary, and he does not lack the necessary technique".

Certainly, with twenty-three musical numbers and a ballet sequence to its credit, Indigo contained more music than any of Johann's later operettas – possibly resulting from the re-use of melodies conceived for his abortive earlier stage compositions – but Speidel's observation regarding Strauss's musical fecundity is apparent also from the fact that the composer arranged no less than nine separate orchestral pieces from the score of Indigo – a total not exceeded in any of his subsequent works for the theatre, excepting Der Iustige Krieg (1881). The list includes the excellent Indigo-Quadrille, a dance which afforded Strauss his first opportunity to arrange a quadrille on themes from his own stage work rather than from those of other composers. Having made good his 'defection' to the ranks of the operetta composers, Johann was disinclined during the first half of 1871 to appear either in the ballroom or at any concerts of the Strauss Orchestra which was now under brother Eduard's sole direction. Thus it was Eduard who conducted the orchestra in the premières of all nine individual orchestral numbers fashioned from the score of Johann's first operetta – the Indigo-Quadrille itself being heard for the first time at Eduard's Sunday concert in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein building on 5 March 1871.

The six sections of the Indigo-Quadrille comprise thematic material from the following sources:

Pantalon      Act 3 Ballet Music (Allegro moderato), Ensemble (No. 20) and Finale (No. 23)
Été              Act 2 Chorus and Robbers' Song (No. 9) and Duet (No. 12)
Poule          Act 2 Bacchanale (No. 16) and Act 1 Introduction
Trénis          Act 1 Alibaba's Entrance Song (No .2)
Pastourelle  Act 1 Finale (No. 8) and Act 3 Ensemble (No. 20)
Finale          Act 3 Ensemble (No. 20) and Act 1 Finale

The astute listener may recognise one of the themes in the Finale section through its appearance as the first melody in the Trio of the Indigo-Marsch op. 349 (Volume 9).

Glücklich ist, wer vergisst! Polka-Mazurka (Happy is he who forgets! Polka-mazurka) op. 368
The polka-mazurka Glücklich ist, wer vergisst! belongs to that series of orchestral numbers crafted by Johann Strauss from melodies culled from his greatest stage success, Die Fledermaus, which received its première at Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 5 April 1874.

Alongside his work on composing Die Fledermaus, Johann had begun preparations in 1873 for a strenuous concert tour of Italy with the renowned German orchestra of Julius Langenbach, with which Johann had first become acquainted in Baden-Baden in 1871 and which he had conducted during the 1873 Vienna World Exhibition. The Strauss Orchestra, under Eduard Strauss's direction, was already committed to performances In Vienna and was thus unavailable for the tour scheduled for May 1874. So preoccupied was Johann with finalising details for the Italian tour that he left himself little time for composing the customary dance pieces from themes in his latest operetta. The Fledermaus-Polka (op. 362), the Fledermaus-Quadrille (op. 363) and the Csaádás were published soon after the première of the operetta, but the remaining numbers – the Tik-Tak, Polka schnell (op. 365), An der Moldau, Polka française (op. 366), Du und Du, Walzer (op. 367) and Glücklich ist, wer vergisst! Polka-Mazurka (op. 368) – only appeared much later. In view of the huge success of Die Fledermaus, it is surprising that Johann Strauss took almost no personal interest in introducing these dances to the general public, and perhaps because of this, two of the works – An der Moldau and Glücklich ist, wer vergisst! – have remained virtual rarities.

Glücklich ist, wer vergisst! takes its title and opening melody from the refrain of the Act 1 'Trinklied' (Drinking Song), sung in the operetta by the characters Alfred and Rosalinde, while the second melody is to be found in the Act 1 Trio for Adele, Rosalinde and Eisenstein, "So muss allein ich bleiben". The principal theme of the polka's Trio section appears in the Act 2 ballet, where it forms part of the 'Russian' dance. The source of the second theme of the Trio is not known: it may consist of material discarded from the final version of the stage work, or Johann may have composed it especially for the polka. Similarly, no precise date has been found for the first performance of Glücklich ist, wer vergisst! It seems most likely, however, that the piece was first played during October or November 1874, not by the Strauss Orchestra, but by one of the numerous military orchestras to be found at that time in Vienna.

Grass-Wien – Taut Vienne Walzer (Great Vienna. Waltz) op. 440
"This is a memorable day for the City of Vienna, being the birthday of 'Gross Wien' – that is, of the new capital as enlarged by the incorporation of the suburbs. Yesterday Vienna was contained within 55 square kilometres; to-day it extends over 178 square kilometres, which makes it half the size of London, more than twice as large as Paris, and nearly three times as large as Berlin. The palace and park of Schönbrunn now stand within the city... Those favourite resorts of fair-weather excursionists, the villages of Hietzing, Dornbach, Hetzendorf, Döbling, and Baumgarten, have ceased to be rural, and even the Kahlenberg and its brother mountain, the Leopoldsberg, have become enclosed in the metropolitan area". Thus wrote the Vienna correspondent for the London Times newspaper on 21 December 1891, chronicling the incorporation of the 44 suburbs which previously lay outside the old outer defences of the city (the 'Linien') to form the present day districts XI to XIX, and the resultant growth in population by some 400,000 to around 1,342,000 civilians and 22,600 active military personnel. Demolition of these mid-18th-century fortifications – constructed as a defence against further attack by the Turks, who had kept the city beleaguered for three months in 1683 – had commenced in 1890, and had long been objects of execration because of the tolls levied on all who passed through them. At the stroke of midnight such duties were abolished amid great rejoicing. The police made one arrest – a man who shouted: "Hurrah! Now everything in Vienna is going to be dearer"!

Johann Strauss's waltz Gross-Wien, which came into being in early 1891, chronicles the work then underway to extend the boundaries of the Austrian capital, and was composed as a choral waltz for performance by the famous Wiener Männergesang-Verein (Vienna Men's Choral Association) during that year's Vienna Carnival, with a text by Franz von Gernerth. When the Association suddenly resolved to give only one 'Liedertafel' (Programme of Songs) per year, the performance was postponed until the autumn. There then arose the possibility of a performance by a rival choral society to be arranged by the Vienna Authors' and Journalists' Association, 'Concordia', but on 18 April 1891 Strauss notified a correspondent: "I felt the time was already too far advanced and I promised the first performance of the waltz to the military committee for the Grand Concert on May 10 in the Sängerhalle, but only for orchestra... Should you ever intend to organise something with the participation of the Männer-Gesangverein... then the promise originally given will remain in force, that is, the first performance of the waltz Gross-Wien, with the contribution of the Männer-Gesangverein". (In the event, the choral première did not take place until 4 October 1891, when the Wiener Männergesang-Verein, conducted by its chorus-master Eduard Kremser, performed it at their concert in the Sängerhalle, accompanied by the Freiherr Ferdinand von Bauer Infantry Regiment No. 84).

On 30 April 1891 the 65-year-old composer advised his Berlin publisher, Fritz Simrock: "I shall personally conduct the first performance at the Monster Concert. Over five hundred musicians is no small exertion". Strauss did not exaggerate, for at the orchestral première of the new work, heard on Sunday 10 May 1891 as the second item in the second half of the concert given by "the entire regimental bands of the Vienna garrison" in the immense wooden Sängerhalle (Singers' Hall) in the Vienna Prater, 500 musicians (including 250 violinists) from the combined military orchestras of Vienna played under his baton. Much was made in the press of the fact that this was the first occasion on which an Austrian military orchestra had been directed by a civilian conductor. Included in the audience of 20,000 were members of the Austrian royal family, the King and Queen of Denmark and the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland. The composition met with great success, and prompted the critic of the Fremdenblatt to observe: "The waltz is beautifully and artistically formed; the original, simple, straightforward and fresh nature of the popular Strauss waltzes is less apparent here. Johann Strauss has become more refined. He is standing at the portal of the Court Opera" – a reference to the forthcoming premiere of Johann's grand opera Ritter Pásmáan at the Wiener Hofoperntheater (Vienna Court Opera) on New Year's Day 1892.

The Monster Concert was also significant as marking the only known occasion on which Johann Strauss and Franz Lehár (1870-1948) met. Lehár was at that time bandmaster of the 50th Austrian Infantry Regiment and to him, and to the bandmaster of the 84th Regiment, Karl Komzák II (1850-1905), fell the honour of presenting the Waltz King with two huge laurel wreaths. On the 100th anniversary of Strauss's birth, Lehár recalled the moment for the Neue Freie Presse (25.10.1925): "A delicate-looking, visibly ailing and elderly gentleman clambers on to the dizzily-high conductor's podium. Coal-black hair, a pitch-black shining moustache. A civilian amid a sea of uniforms... Johann Strauss conducts the Introduction to the waltz with his back to the audience. His baton flicks in different directions, the conductor himself remains quite still. Then the first notes ring out in waltz time. Johann Strauss turns slowly to the audience. Movement comes into the seemingly rather fragile body. Soon his entire upper body is swinging from the hips. Nor do his feet stay in the same place. The whole of Johann Strauss is vibrating and dancing... The waltz has still not reached its end, when the entire audience applauds rapturously. Thousands stand. The applause becomes a tempest, which finally threatens to drown out the whole giant orchestra... That was Johann Strauss, some 35 years ago. Already ailing, aged but eternally young, charming, full of fire and dignified grace, for he was once again performing his life's work before his Viennese public, who acclaimed him."

The pianoforte first edition of Gross-Wien is dedicated "with deepest reverence" by its composer to "his Imperial and Royal Highness Herr Archduke Karl Ludwig" (1833-96), grandfather of the monarch who was to become the very last Austrian Emperor, Kar II (1887-1922). Karl Ludwig had, furthermore, been among the audience for the waltz's world première at the Monster Concert in the Prater.

Rasch in der That. Schnell-Polka (Quick off the mark. Quick polka) op. 409
For much of 1882 life had been severely problematical for Johann Strauss – as the Viennese press were not slow to report. Progress on his new operetta project, Eine Nacht in Venedig (A Night in Venice) had been slow, hampered by his gradual estrangement from his 32-year-old second wife, Angelika Dittrich, who had been conducting an affair with Franz Steiner, director of Vienna's Theater an der Wien. Moreover, Angelika had alienated the librettists of the new operetta, F. Zell and Richard Genée, by her persistent interference which had (according to Zell) impeded the "free initiative" of their work. Many of these pressures were only relieved that December when the Wiener Landesgericht (Assize Court of Vienna) granted Johann and Angelika a divorce by consent. The Viennese newspapers then quickly turned their attention to reports that, via an intermediary, the "Maestro of three-quarter-time" had applied to Rome for Papal consent to the divorce to enable him to marry his 'constant companion', Adele (nee Deutsch). The consent was not forthcoming.

After so much speculation into his private affairs, Johann was understandably keen to restore his formerly 'good press'. Thus, towards the end of January 1883 he set about composing a fast-paced and stylish musical dedication for the forthcoming ball of the Vienna Journalists' and Authors' Association, 'Concordia', to be held in the Sofienbad-Saal on 29 January. Like the waltz Telegramme op. 318 (also featured on this recording), the title which Johann announced for his new quick polka – Rasch in der That – was well suited to the world of journalism, where speed of reporting was increasingly of the essence, and where a reporter who was not 'quick off the mark' risked losing a 'scoop' to one of his rivals. However, it was not Johann, but his brother Eduard, who conducted the Strauss Orchestra at the 'Concordia Ball' in the première of the new polka which, curiously, bore the amended title: Ball-Reporter. Eduard Strauss was evidently drawn to this new title, retaining it for its first public performance at his 'Carnival Revue' in the Musikverein on 11 February 1883, and even using it in the Strauss Orchestra's 'Concert Repertoire' catalogue which he prepared after his retirement in 1901. The title Ball-Reporter was indeed apt. One has only to survey the Viennese press and its annual coverage of carnival time to observe the busy rôle of a reporter assigned to cover the numerous ball festivities organised during the 'Fasching' season: in 1832, for example, some 772 balls were held in the Austrian capital alone.

Programme notes © 1991 Peter Kernp. The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain.

The author is indebted to Professor Franz Mailer for his assistance in the preparation of these notes.

Czecho-Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra (Košice)
The East Slovakian town of Košice boasts a long and distinguished musical tradition, as part of a province that once provided Vienna with musicians. The State Philharmonic Orchestra is of relatively recent origin and was established in 1968 under the conductor Bystrik Rezucha. Subsequent principal conductors have included Stanislav Macura and Ladislav Slovák, the latter succeeded in 1985 by his pupil Richard Zimmer. The orchestra has toured widely in Eastern and Western Europe and plays an important part in the Košice Musical Spring and the Košice International Organ Festival.

For Marco Polo the orchestra has made the first compact disc recordings of rare works by Granville Bantock and Joachim Raff. Writing on the last of these, one critic praised the orchestra for its competence comparable to that of the major orchestras of Vienna and Prague. The orchestra has contributed several successful volumes to the complete compact disc Johann Strauss II and for Naxos has recorded a varied repertoire.

Alfred Walter
Alfred Waller was born in Southern Bohemia in 1929 of Austrian parents. He studied at the University of Graz and in 1948 was appointed assistant conductor to the Opera of Ravensburg. At the age of 22 he became conductor of the Graz Opera, where he continued until 1965, while serving at Bayreuth as assistant to Hans Knappertsbusch and Karl Böhm. From 1966 until 1969 he was Principal Conductor of the Durban Symphony Orchestra in South Africa, followed by a period of 15 years as General Director of Music in Münster. In Vienna he has worked as guest conductor at the State Opera and in 1986 was given the title of Professor by the Austrian Government. In 1980 he was awarded the Golden Medal of the International Gustav Mahler Society.


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