About this Recording
8.223240 - STRAUSS II, J.: Edition - Vol. 40
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The Johann Strauss (1825-1899)

Edition, Volume 40

 

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.

 

[1] Heimaths-Kinder. Walzer (Children of the Homeland. Waltz) op. 85

 

On Sunday 15 September 1850, several Viennese newspapers carried announcements of a remarkable event taking place the following evening, 16 September, at the 'Sperl' dance hall in the suburb of Leopoldstadt. Presented as a "Grand National Music Prize Festival with Ball as a Finale to this Year's Summer Season, under the title THE RETURN TO THE RESIDENCES!", the festivity promised the participation of three competing groups of musicians from the Austrian crownlands: for Austria, the Strauss Orchestra under Johann Strauss; for Hungary, the band of the Prince Gustav Wasa Infantry Regiment under bandmaster Franz Haniel; and for Bohemia, the Prague Civilian Corps of Sharpshooters directed by Kapellmeister Pergler. Additional details were given, for example, by Der Wanderer: "The prize is a silver cup decorated with a laurel wreath. Herr Rabensteiner will lead the dancing. In order to avoid any unfairness, each guest will receive upon arrival a stamped slip of paper which he or she will fill in with the name of the musical director and place in an urn designated for this purpose. At the appointed time, the urn will be opened and the voting slips will be counted under supervision. The result will then be formally announced". Elsewhere it was stated that half of the net proceeds from the evening's entertainment would be donated to the poor of Leopoldstadt.

 

A crowd of all ages packed out the premises of the 'Sperl' for the "Grand National Music Prize Festival": while the Strauss Orchestra played for dancing in the upper room, Franz Haniel conducted his band in the garden and the Sharpshooters' Corps performed in the garden salon. On 18 September 1850 the Wiener Allgerneine Theaterzeitung reported on the event, and announced the result of the competition: "Herr Strauss won the cup with a majority of over 400 votes, which is the number of dancers who could not leave their Orpheus in the lurch. We grant him the prize wholeheartedly, for indeed his waltzes, namely 'Vaterländischen' and 'Johanniskäferln', were quite delightful; [the effect] passed to the feet and the effect of the music on many legs is such that one believes that pine trees, rocks, soup dishes and wash boilers are flying past one". Leaving aside the question of what strange substances the Theaterzeitung reviewer may have inhaled, he continued his report: "However, if we were publicly to declare our vote, as we cast it into the urn, then the prize belongs to Kapellmeister Hanel [!], whose band of musicians played with a virtuosity which we have met only rarely!".

 

Whilst the waltz Johannis-Käferln (Glow-worms) is easily traceable as that first performed by Strauss and his orchestra at a "Grand Viennese Public Festival" at the Casino Zogernitz on 28 July 1850 and subsequently published as the composer's opus 82 (see Volume 21 of this CD series), the prize-winning Vaterländische-Walzer (Those of the Fatherland) poses a question. No waltz by this name appears in Johann's catalogue of published dance pieces, and yet neither Strauss nor his publisher would have overlooked the potential afforded by such a high-profile sales launch as the prize competition. In all probability, the answer lies in an advertisement placed in the Wiener Zeitung on 6 February 1851. Under the headline "Latest Dance Music for Pianoforte by Johann Strauss", the publisher Pietro Mechetti announces the issue of five new dance pieces by the young composer. At the top of this list is a waltz entitled Heimaths-Kinder op. 85 - yet no earlier reference to a waltz by this name appears in announcements or reports of Johann's performances. This background detail, together with the similarity in the ideas conveyed by the titles of the two Strauss waltzes, Vaterländische (Those of the Fatherland) and Heimaths-Kinder (Children of the Homeland), lead one to surmise that the two works are one and the same.

 

Mechetti issued no orchestral parts for Heimaths-Kinder and no orchestral performing material seems to have survived. For this present recording, therefore, Professor Ludwig Babinski has arranged the waltz from the published piano edition.

 

[2] Hochzeits-Praeludium (Wedding Prelude) op. 469

 

In 1896 the Berlin publishing house of Bote & Bock issued the performing material for a most unusual composition by Vienna's Waltz King. Entitled simply Hochzeits-Praeludium (Wedding Prelude), the work is scored for organ (harmonium), violin and harp, and bears the inscription: "Composed by Johann Strauss and dedicated to his beloved daughter Alice". As this first edition also makes clear, the Hochzeits-Praeludium was played for the first time in the historic Deutsche Ritterordenskirche (Church of the Teutonic Order of Knights), situated in Vienna's Singerstrasse, near St Stephen's Cathedral, on 27 February 1896. On this day, Alice Elisabeth Katharina Maria Strauss (1875-1945), Johann Strauss's stepdaughter and the only child of his third wife, Adèle (1856-1930), by her earlier marriage to Anton Strauss (1845-77), married the distinguished graphic artist and painter Wilhelm Josef Franz, Marquis de Bayros (1866-1924). Bayros, who had made a name for himself with a number of risqué pictures, provided the romanticised cover design for the Bote & Bock printing of the Hochzeits-Praeludium (depicting the Deutsche Ritterordenskirche and an orchestra of cherubs serenading bride and groom) and later that year also created the cover illustration for Johann Strauss's Deutschmeister Jubiläums-Marsch op. 470.

 

Alice had asked her stepfather's friend, Johannes Brahms, to be her supporter in church, and the German composer had initially agreed: however, as he confided to Richard Heuberger, the prospect of having to wear a dress-suit with top hat and white gloves later led him to reconsider, and he had to make a 'pilgrimage' to the 'Strauss Palace' in Igelgasse in order to withdraw his promise. A note in the parish register of marriages records the fact that Alice's marriage was never consummated and was thus declared invalid on 24 May 1898 on the grounds of marital incapacity on the part of her husband. (Bayros married again in 1913, and this union lasted until his death on 3 April 1924. Alice is known to have married at least twice more before her death on 23 Apri11945, and produced two sons.)

 

According to the few reports of the wedding, the ceremony must have proceeded with plenty of atmosphere, and the Hochzeits-Praeludium was a major contribution to this. The Fremden-Blatt reported in its edition of 28 February 1896: "Soon after 2:30pm the young bride, at her mother's side, the bridegroom Feri de Bayros and the supporters, Professor Victor Tilgner and Dr Ludwig Ganghofer for the bride, General Major Anton von Chavanne-Wöber and Privy Councillor Count Hans Wilczek senior for the groom, as well as Johann Strauss himself, arrived at the sacristy doors in covered carriages. While the strains of the 'Hochzeits-Praeludium', composed by the bride's father for his daughter's marriage, were heard, the wedding procession entered the church. The pastor of the Church of the Teutonic Order, Franz Jancar, performed the marriage. Afterwards, the newly-weds accepted congratulations and withdrew to the parents' home".

 

Since Eduard Strauss had engaged the musicians for the playing of his brother's Hochzeits-Praeludium at the wedding in the Deutsche Ritterordenskirche, it was entirely natural that he should also introduce the first public performance of the piece. Thus it was that the audience attending Eduard's afternoon concert with the Strauss Orchestra in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein on Sunday 29 November 1896 was treated to the delights of this charming work, played in its original instrumentation. The leader, Herr Friedmann, played the violin part; the Imperial-Royal Court Organist, Herr Volker, presided over the organ, and Herr Drescher played the harp. In all probability, it was these three players who had also performed the Hochzeits- Praeludium at Alice's wedding.

 

The performance on this present recording presents the work in the edition revised by Fritz Racek, and published by Ludwig Doblinger in 1963. This version is based on Johann Strauss's autograph sketches for the Hochzeits-Praeludium, housed in the collection of the Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek, and exhibits only minor departures from the original Bote & Bock edition of 18%.

 

[3] Wildfeuer. Polka française (Wildfire. French polka) op. 313

 

The extent to which Vienna's nineteenth-century dance music composers observed - and astutely capitalised upon - novelties mounted at the city's theatres, is ably demonstrated by the fact that, in the late autumn of 1866, both Johann Strauss and his rival, Carl Michael Ziehrer (1843-1922), composed dances to which they gave the same name: Wildfeuer.

 

The impetus for their like-minded choice of title was a drama, Wildfeuer, which had opened at the Imperial-Royal Hof-Burgtheater on 18 October 1866. The five-act theatre piece, essentially about a girl in man's clothing, was written by Friedrich Halm (the nom de plume of Baron Eligius von Münch-Bellinghausen, 1806-71), the governor of the Court Library and, from 11 July 1867, director of both Court Theatres, namely the Hof-Burgtheater and the Hof-Operntheater. Wildfeuer became the subject of discussion throughout Austria and spawned numerous parodies on the stages of Vienna's suburban theatres.

 

The 23-year-old 'Michi' Ziehrer had been the first off the blocks with his quick polka Wildfeuer, given its première on 11 November 1866 in the Blumen-Säle der Gartenbaugesellschaft (Floral Halls of the Horticultural Society) on Vienna's Ringstrasse. Ziehrer dedicated his polka to Louisabeth Roeckel (1841-1931), whose performance in the leading rôle of René many considered a principal factor in the success of Wildfeuer. The Weimar-born actress was a granddaughter of the skilful musician Josef August Roeckel (1783-1870), a friend of Beethoven and the brother-in-law of Johann Nepomuk Hummel. On Sunday 18 November 1866, just a week after Ziehrer had unveiled his new dance piece, Johann strauss conducted the Strauss Orchestra in the first performance of his own Wildfeuer , a French polka, at a "Novelty Concert for the benefit of Josef and Eduard Strauss", during the course of which the three brothers introduced the public to no less than six new dance pieces. The Fremden-Blatt (21.11.1866) wrote of this concert, which had taken place on another part of Vienna's Ringstrasse, in the Imperial-Royal Volksgarten, that the Strausses' new compositions "received tumultuous applause on the part of a numerous audience". Johann's publisher, C.A. Spina, just managed to issue the first piano edition of the polka Wildfeuer before the end of the year, on 31 December 1866.

 

Almost two years after its first performance, Johann's polka was announced to appear in a vocal arrangement on the programme of a charity evenil1g in the Sofienbad-Saal on 12 October 1868 celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Wiener Männergesang-Verein (Vienna Men's Choral Association). Entitled "Jubel-Wildfeuer" (Jubilee Wildfire), the piece was to be sung by three members of the Association, Messrs Henriquez, Hopp and Josef Weyl - Weyl being the lyricist of Strauss's waltzes An der schönen blauen Donau op. 314, Wein, Weib und Gesang! op. 333 and Neu-Wien op. 342, as well as the French polka Sängerslust op. 328.

 

Wildfeuer, which immediately precedes the waltz An der schönen blauen Donau (By the beautiful blue Danube) op. 314 in the opus listings, belongs to a period in Strauss's career which saw some of the composer's most enduring creations for the ballroom and concert hall, perhaps beginning in 1865 with the waltz Feuilleton op. 293 and ending in 1870 with another waltz, Neu-Wien op. 342. Whilst Wildfeuer itself has long since faded from concert repertoire, its opening melody (theme 1A) was given a new lease of life by Adolf Müller junior (1839-1901) when he included it alongside other published Strauss melodies in his pastiche operetta Wiener Blut (1899). After eight bars of introduction, the first melody of Wildfeuer provides the opening melody for the Act 1 duet (No. 4) for the mannequin Pepi Pleininger and her valet boyfriend Josef: "Wünsch' gut'n Morgen, Herr van Pepi!".

 

[4] Wilhelminen-Quadrille (Wilhelmine Quadrille) op. 37

 

During the Vienna Carnival of 1847, Dommayer's Casino in the suburb of Hietzing proved an attractive venue for those respectable, and often younger, Viennese seeking the intimate atmosphere afforded by Ferdinand Dommayer's rather small, but tastefully decorated and well-lit premises, which further boasted an excellent kitchen and cellar to please all but the most fastidious gourmet. The visitor to Dommayer's Casino at this time could also be assured of excellent musical entertainment, provided by an orchestra under the direction of the 21-year-old Johann Strauss junior, son of the Austrian Emperor's own 'Director of Music for the Imperial-Royal Court Balls', Johann Strauss the Elder (1804-49).

 

The success enjoyed by the younger Johann at Dommayer's may be gauged from a report in Der Wanderer on 19 January 1847, following his appearance there two days earlier at the first of that year's 'Harmony Balls'. "The cheerful, fresh music of Herr Strauss Son moved everyone to dance, and even non-dancers found pleasure in listening to his beautiful melodies". Johann presented no new compositions to his audience on this occasion, but on 4 February 1847 the newspaper Die Gegenwart was able to announce "On Wednesday 10 February, at Dommayer's in Hietzing, Herr Webersfeld is holding a subscription ball. Herr Kapellmeister Johann Strauss Son has taken on the conducting of the music and, especially for this ball, has composed a new quadrille with the title 'Wilhelminen-Quadrille"'.

 

With his customary courtesy, Strauss had named his new quadrille after Wilhelmine von Webersfeld, wife of the aristocratic dancing master Eduard Edler von Webersfeld (1812-47) who had organised the subscription ball at Dommayer's. Some seven months after the ball, in October 1847, Eduard von Webersfeld died. In the dance-loving Vienna of the mid-1800s, in particular, such dancing masters were highly respected individuals in society, their names known even to small children: Brêtel, the Court Dancing Master; Zaccaria Sedini (1780-1862); Franz Rabensteiner (1810-59); Adam Rabel (1800- 62) and numerous others - their work immortalised in Strauss Father's waltz Die Tanzmeister op. 135 (1841). At the beginning of the 1840s the popularity of the frenetic galop had given way to the delights of the more sociable quadrille, a dance style imported from France but adapted by the Viennese who chose to dance all six 'figures', rather than the five usual in England and France. The dancing masters were kept busy teaching this new 'rage' and the younger Johann's choice of a quadrille as his dedication to Wilhelmine von Webersfeld was quite deliberate. The event itself seems only to have brought in a modest profit: a report in the Wiener Allgemeine Theaterzeitung on 4 November 1847 makes it clear that, in spite of her husband's noble birth, Wilhelmine was left in "straitened circumstances" and was forced to give lessons in the piano.

 

The first piano edition of the Wilhelminen-Quadrille appeared from H.F. Müller's publishing house, without dedication, in late August / early September 1847. Although the publisher later announced "correct copies" of the orchestral parts for the quadrille, none appear to have survived. For this present recording, therefore, Professor Ludwig Babinski has orchestrated the Wilhelminen-Quadrille on the basis of the piano edition.

 

[5] Irrlichter. Walzer (Will-o'-the-Wisps. Waltz) op. 218

 

An almost supernatural element pervades the fairylike Introduction which Johann Strauss created for his enchanting waltz Irrlichter, while his masterly grasp of instrumentation perfectly conjures up the phenomenon known variously as 'Will-o'-the-Wisp', 'Jack-o'-Lantern' and 'Friar's Lantern'. Yet it is the less fanciful, Latin term - 'Ignis fatuus' (literally 'foolish fire') - that most closely explains such apparently spectral manifestations. A 'will-o'-the-wisp' takes the form of a pale flame or phosphorescence, sometimes seen flickering over marshy ground and, occasionally, churchyards, which is believed to result from the spontaneous ignition of gases such as methane (marsh gas) produced by the decomposition below water of dead plant or animal matter. By extension, a 'will-o'-the-wisp' means a person or thing which allures and misleads, and Johann most certainly bestowed upon his Irrlichter an opening waltz number of the greatest allurement, in which the piccolo continues to portray the sudden flaring of the tiny, almost ghostlike flames.

 

The first mention of the waltz Irrlichter is to be found in the Wiener Allgemeine Theaterzeitung of 22 January 1859. A brief article announces the titles of Johann and Josef¡¦s new dance compositions for the forthcoming festivities, among them Johann's waltz Irrlichter for the ball of the engineering students at Vienna University, due to be held in the Sofienbad-Saal on 31 January 1859. Since the Strausses took great pains to avoid duplicating the titles they gave to their various dances, it is interesting to note that Irrlichter had already been used by Josef - just seven months earlier - for a waltz he first played on 7 June 1858 at his concert on the Vienna Wasserglacis. That waltz promptly disappeared from concert repertoire, and no work by that title appears in Josers list of published compositions. It remains a matter for pure conjecture whether, for his own use, Johann later appropriated merely the title of his brother's waltz, or whether musical elements of Josef¡¦s dance found their way into Johann's dedication for the engineering students.

 

The differing reactions of the press to the waltz Johann presented at the Engineering Students' Ball are noteworthy. The reporter for the Wiener Allgemeine Theaterzeitung (4.02.1859) remarked: "Strauss inspired the desire for dancing through his alluring and ingratiating music, and from nine o'clock at night until early morning the parquet shuddered under the dance-loving throng. As well as his best-loved dances Strauss also played a waltz, 'Irrlichter', which he had composed especially for this ball festivity [and] of which the first, third and fifth sections were best received on account of their original and piquant melodies". The reviewer for the Fremden-Blatt (2.02.1859) was less impressed with Johann's latest waltz offering: "Just as the eye was delighted by the loaves of charming young ladies in elegant attire, the ear was no less gratified by the music, conducted by Strauss. His new waltz, however, composed especially for this ball and entitled 'Irrlichter', is not a worthy associate of his worthy compositions. In this rather monotonous waltz, one misses the merry sounds of Viennese dance music and receives instead, by way of a substitute, 'Reminiscences of Tannhäuser"'.

 

Whether or not echoes of Wagner's orchestral style are discernible in Irrlichter - as they most certainly are in a number of the Strauss brothers' earlier waltzes dating from the mid 1850s - is of little consequence, and should not be deemed as conveying a negative aspect to this evocative work.

 

The first piano edition of Irrlichter, bearing Johann's dedication to "the Gentlemen Students of Engineering at Vienna University" and adorned with a cover illustration portraying the 'will-o'-the-wisps, was issued by Carl Haslinger on 12 June 1859. The waltz was among the works which Strauss took with him to Pavlovsk that summer: he played it on a number of occasions, for the first time at his benefit concert in the Vauxhall Pavilion on 13 August 1859 (= 1 August, Russian calendar). The title of the waltz had a special poignancy for his audience there, for in Russian folklore 'will-o'-the-wisps' are supposed to represent the spirits of still-born children which flit between heaven and the infernos of hell.

 

[6] Herzenskönigin. Polka française (Queen of Hearts. French polka) op. 445

 

On 24 December 1892, Johann Strauss wrote to Fritz Simrock (1836-1901), his publisher in Berlin: "The Concordia Ball will take place on 6 February 1893. This will be the first performance of the Polka française which I shall send you in a few days, so that you can issue it in good time".

 

Strauss does not identify his composition by name in this letter, but on 2 February 1893 the Neue Freie Presse reported an "unusually brisk" demand for tickets for the ball of the Vienna Journalists' and Authors' Association, 'Concordia', planned for 6 February in the Sofienbad-Saal. The newspaper announced that Carl Michael Ziehrer and the k.k. Hofballmusikdirektor, Eduard Strauss, together with their respective orchestras, had been engaged to provide the musical entertainment, and went on to name the twelve dance novelties which would be played for first time at the event, and which had been dedicated to the ball-organising Committee. The list makes interesting reading: Original-Bericht, Walzer (Joseph Bayer); Reseda, Polka-Mazur (Johann Brandl); Redactions-Geheimniss, Walzer (Richard Heuberger); Gedenke mein, Polka-Mazurka (Karl Komzák); Spiegl-Polka française (Eduard Kremser); Aus den Polen-Club, Polka-Mazurka (Carl Millöcker); Geflügelte Wörte, Polka française (Adolf Müller); Die Recensenten, Polka-Mazurka (Eduard Strauss); Sensationelles, Polka française (Johann Strauss); Informationen, Polka schnell (Karl Weinberger); Nächstens mehr, Polka schnell (Carl Zeller); Clubgeister, Walzer (C.M. Ziehrer).

 

The two Strauss contributions to the evening, Johann's French polka Sensationelles and Eduard's Polka-mazurka Die Recensenten, were played by the Strauss Orchestra under Eduard's direction. Under these titles, however, neither work is to be found in the catalogue of published Strauss works. In fact, both pieces did indeed appear in print, though no longer under titles relating to the professional membership of the 'Concordia': Die Recensenten (The Reviewers) emerged as Die Sentimentale! Polka Mazurka op. 289, while Johann's French polka Sensationelles (Sensational) was published as Herzenskönigin (Queen of Hearts).

 

There is some doubt as to whether Simrock followed the suggestion Johann had made in his letter and issued the Polka française - re-christened Herzenskönigin - in time to be available for the 'Concordia' Ball on 6 February 1893. By then, the relationship between composer and publisher had all but come to an end. Following the dismal failure of their joint project, the comic opera Ritter Pásmán (1892), Simrock could not decide whether to publish Johann's next stage work, the operetta Fürstin Ninetta. Strauss had delayed only briefly, before signing a contract for the new theatre piece with his earlier publisher, August Cranz. As such, it was Cranz who published the separate dance numbers which Strauss fashioned from the score of Fürstin Ninetta - including the Ninetta Walzer, to which Cranz assigned the opus number 445. Meanwhile, it seems that Simrock had remained hesitant about publishing Johann's polka Sensationelles. When he eventually decided to issue the work as Herzenskönigin - a title almost certainly chosen by Simrock himself, but for reasons unknown - he assigned the polka his next vacant opus number - 445. Hence the unusual situation of two works by the Waltz King, the Ninetta-Walzer and Herzenskönigin, sharing the slime opus number.

 

[7] The Herald Waltz. o.op

 

The American journalist, James Gordon Bennett (1795-1872), was born in Banffshire, Scotland, and emigrated to America in 1819. For a decade he was employed on various newspapers as correspondent and associate editor, and his articles attracted much attention. He founded the short-lived Globe in New York in 1832 before publishing the first issue of a small one-cent paper, the New York Herald, on 6 May 1835. Through wisdom and diligence he made the paper a great commercial success; in 1835, 'for example, the New York Herald published the first Wall Street financial article to appear in any American newspaper. When he died on 1 June 1872 he was succeeded by his son, James Gordon Bennett (1841-1918), who assumed control of the Herald and established daily editions of the paper in London and Paris. He it was who commissioned one of his New York Herald correspondents, the British explorer Henry M. Stanley (1841-1904), to find David Livingstone (1813-73) in Central Africa. In 1924 the New York Herald amalgamated with the New York Tribune to form the New York Herald Tribune. The paper folded in 1966.

 

Johann Strauss's Golden Jubilee in 1894 occasioned tributes and celebrations, not only in Vienna, but around the world. Through the efforts of the American impresario, conductor and composer Rudolph Aronson (1856-1919), for instance, Strauss's admirers in America contributed to the presentation of a magnificent and costly laurel wreath in silver and gold. In contrast, James Gordon Bennett junior sought, and received, a unique Jubilee gift for his newspaper and readers from Vienna's Waltz King. On 27 September 1894 Johann Strauss signed his name below twenty-four bars of manuscript music entitled the Herald Waltz and bearing the inscription: "Dedicated to Mr James Gordon Bennett with the composer's compliments", and despatched it to the offices of the New York Herald. On Sunday 14 October 1894, the day before Strauss's actual Golden Jubilee, the New York Herald published a facsimile of the waltz and announced, with an element of 'poetic licence': This charming melody, composed on the eve of the Waltz King's Jubilee, will be rendered tonight at the Academy of Music by Victor Herbert, conductor of Gilmore's band". Gilmore's Band, otherwise known as the 22nd Regiment Band of New York, was named after the Irish-American bandmaster Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore (1829-92), organiser of the 1872 Boston World's Peace Jubilee and Musical Festival at which Johann Strauss had performed.

 

The Irish-born Victor Herbert (1859-1924) was then thirty-five and his first operetta, Prince Ananias was about to be produced, but he was still a few years away from the celebrity he was to attain in the operetta world with works like Babes in Toyland (1903), Mlle. Modiste (1905) and Naughty Marietta (1910). The waltz which James Gordon Bennett had received from Strauss was written for piano and, moreover, lacked Introduction, Coda and repeats. The choice of Herbert to prepare and orchestrate the piece for performance could scarcely have been better: during 1880-81, Herbert had been solo cellist in the Strauss Orchestra under Eduard Strauss, and thus had an intimate knowledge of Strauss instrumentation. Yet, as the New York Herald (14.10.1894) indicated, Herbert had to work through the night to prepare Strauss's "Valse Amerique" for performance. "Mr. Herbert only received the manuscript at half-past six o'clock last evening [13.10.1894], but with the energy and enterprise characteristic of his predecessor, Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, he set to work to orchestrate the piece for tonight's concert. Few composers in this country would have undertaken such a task at such short notice or could have successfully carried it out". The paper continued: "The band will rehearse the waltz this morning and this evening it will fill the historic academy with the rhythmic melody of this new creation of the great composer's genius".

 

In its issue of the following day, 15 October 1894, the New York Herald positively glowed with self-satisfaction in its reporting of the performance at the Academy of Music, stating that The Herald Waltz had "made an instant success. The graceful motive, very effectively arranged by Mr. Herbert, charmed every one in the audience, and at the close a perfect storm of applause broke out. The conductor bowed again and again, but the auditors were inexorable, and he was compelled to repeat the entire number. Not even then was the audience satisfied, but repeated its demands for more until for more until Mr. Herbert again ascended the conductor's platform, and, for the third time, led his excellently trained organization through the last work from the pen of a man whose melodies have fascinated millions and whose piquant rhythms have infused a new vitality into every dance music form. The 'Herald Waltz' is not one of the least capitivating creations of the Viennese composer... The sweet grace of the theme is ear haunting. It is one of those melodies that you catch yourself humming again and again 4ter once hearing, a waltz theme that is as characteristic and as beautiful as that of the 'Beautiful Blue Danube'. The orchestral effect given to it by Mr. Herbert's scoring is very charming. A short introduction that was built upon the waltz motive led into the waltz proper, which was varied in every way that musicianly ingenuity could suggest, an additionally piquant effect being gained by the entrance of the glockenspiel at one part".

 

Assuming it still exists, the present whereabouts of Herbert's arrangement of The Herald Waltz, complete with Introduction, repeats, transitions and Coda, is regrettably unknown. Nearly three-quarters of a century later, Max Schönherr (1903-84) made a new orchestration of The Herald Waltz. This version of the work was unveiled on 21 April 1967 in the Vienna Hofburg at a 'Ball of Nations', a gala dance sponsored by the Vienna Press Club and various Austrian friendship societies. It is this arrangement of The Herald Waltz which Franz Bauer-Theussl conducts on the present recording. Perhaps to create a more substantial piece, Schönherr's arrangement brings together two Strauss compositions: The Herald Waltz proper provides the framework around his orchestration of an unusual piano piece, entitled Problem, which Gustav Lewy had published in 1893/4.

 

(Note: Erich W. Engel claimed in Johann Strauss und seine Zeit (1911) that Problem dates from Franz Liszt's visit to Vienna in January 1856: "Strauss wagered that Liszt would not be able to determine the key of this piece from a rendition on the piano - and he won his bet". This story, however, is unsubstantiated.)

 

[8] Ninetta-Quadrille (Ninetta Quadrille) op. 446

 

"An event took place at the Theater an der Wien last Tuesday. This does not refer to the first performance of the operetta 'Ninetta' by Strauss, but rather to our Emperor's visit to a première ill the suburbs. The success, for which an expensive effort was made, was - in spite of all the 'jubilant curtain calls' - purely superficial. Sadly, Maestro Strauss has grown old. The dazzling giant reflector of his rich musical inventiveness is no longer functioning ¡K Rhythm alone does not make it, but the musical ideas".

 

With these words, the Viennese periodical Halls Jörgel (No. 2, 1893) dismissed Fürstin Ninetta (Princess Ninetta), the stage work with which Johann Strauss had returned to operetta composition following the rejection of his grand opera Ritter Pásmán (1892) by press and public alike. Yet not all reviewers shared the opinion of the Halls Jörgel critic, and Fürstin Ninetta went on to register a respectable run of seventy-six performances. Immediately after the final curtain fell on the première of the operetta on 10 January 1893, the composer was invited into the Royal Box to receive the personal congratulations of the Austrian Emperor, Franz Josef, and subsequent performances were graced by the presence of the Archduke Wilhelm and Archduchess Elisabeth as well as by the widowed Archduchess Stephanie with the Archdukes Carl Ludwig and Otto.

 

Among the separate orchestral numbers which Johann arranged on melodies from Fürstin Ninetta was the Ninetta-Quadrille. This piece appeared for the first time on the programme of the afternoon concert which Eduard Strauss gave with the Strauss Orchestra in the Vienna Musikverein on Sunday 19 February 1893. Johann was economical in the use of melodies from his stage work, utilising some of the same themes in both the quadrille and the Ninetta-Marsch (op. 447, Volume 39 of this CD series). The thematic sources of the Ninetta-Quadrille are drawn from all three acts of the operetta, and may be summarised as follows:

 

Pantalon      -

Act 1 Entréelied (No. 5): Cassim, "Dort wo Blut ul!d Wuttky flissen"

(also used as theme 1A in op. 447); Act 3 orchestral introduction to No. 13

Été              -

Act 1 orchestral introduction to Ferdinand's song (No. 7): Act 1 Duett (No. 4): Anastasia and Prosper, "Wir reisten Beide mit höchstem Behagen "

Poule           -

Act 2 Couplet (No. 11): Cassim, "Ein Gretchen mit lächelndem Munde"

Trénis          -

Act 2 Finale (No. 12): Chorus, "Ja der Türke muss hinaus"; Act 1 Auftritt der Ninetta (No. 3): (Tempo di Marcia section), "Fremdenführer bin ich" - heard earlier as the opening melody of the Vorspiel (Prelude) at the start of the operetta. (Also used as theme 2A in op. 447)

Pastourelle   -

Act 1 Finale (No. 6): Cassim, "He Rustan, hol die Leute herein!";

Act 2 Chanson Ninettas (No. 10): "Als ich ein Backfisch war"

Finale          -

Act 1 Duett (No. 4): Anastasia and Prosper (Allegretto con moto section), "Die Fresken von Giotto"; Act 2 Finale (No. 12): Chorus, "Herrlich erschallt brauset und hallt des Vulcanes Donnerruf" (also used as theme 1B in op. 447)

 

When listening to the delights of the Ninetta-Quadrille and, indeed, the other orchestral pieces Johann fashioned from the score of Fürstin Ninetta, it is difficult to understand the composer's own disappointment with the operetta, as voiced by him in a letter written to his brother-in-law, Josef Simon, in spring 1892: "This musical work is the absolute opposite to 'Pásmán'. I have become horribly common in it and, in consequence, I am ashamed of myself".

 

[9] Liebe und Ehe. Polka-Mazurka (Love and marriage. Polka-mazurka) op. 465

 

The score of Johann strauss's operetta Waldmeister yielded up a total of six separate orchestral numbers, following the stage work's successful première at Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 4 December 1895. All but one of these pieces were arranged by Strauss himself, but the 70-year-old composer evidently found it too taxing to create a quadrille on the operetta's themes as well, and it was left to the theatre-conductor Leopold Kuhn (1861-1902) to select the material and orchestrate the resultant Waldmeister-Quadrille (op. 468, Volume 29 of this CD series). The six orchestral works appeared in turn on the Strauss Orchestra's programmes, commencing with the waltz Trau-schau-wem! (Volume 27) on 15 December 1895.

 

For the Strauss Orchestra's Sunday afternoon concert in the 'Golden Hall' of the Vienna Musikverein on 5 January 1896, Eduard Strauss once again presented a diverse programme, including music by a German, Felix Mendelssohn, a Frenchman, Charles Gounod and an Englishman, Elias Parish-Alvars. The programme opened with the overture Carl Binder wrote for the first Viennese production of Offenbach's Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld), followed by Eduard Strauss's waltz Menublätter (Menu Cards, o. op.) and Isolde's Liebestod by Richard Wagner. The next item on the programme sheet read: "New, for the first time: 'Liebes-Philosophie' [Philosophy of love], Polka Mazur from the operetta 'Waldmeister' by Johann Strauss". Two weeks later, on 19 January, Eduard conducted the polka-mazurka again at another of his Musikverein concerts. This time, however, the work had been re-christened Lebens-Philosophie (Philosophy of Life).

 

In the meantime, Johann Strauss's publishers in Berlin, Bote & Bock, had settled upon an entirely different name for the piece which they duly published on 17 January 1896: Liebe und Ehe (Love and Marriage). There was, however, nothing random in their choice of title, for it derives from Erasmus's Act 3 couplet (No.16 in Bote & Bock's published score of Waldmeister), the first verse of which begins "Die Liebe kommt, die Liebe geht" (Love comes, love goes), while the second verse commences "Die Ehe kommt, die Ehe bleibt" (Marriage comes, marriage stays). This couplet provides not only the title of Johann's Liebe und Ehe, but also the melody of the polka's entire opening section (themes 1A and 1B). The first theme (2A) of the Trio section can be found in the Entr'acte between Acts 1 and 2, while the theme (2B) which follows, with its sharply accentuated rhythm rising from the basses and underlining the entire character of the piece, is nowhere traceable in the published piano score. This latter melody may perhaps have been discarded from Waldmeister before the final version of the operetta was determined.

 

On 18 May 1897, almost eighteen months after the publication of the polka-mazurka Liebe und Ehe, the programme of music which the Strauss Orchestra played under Eduard Strauss at the Imperial Institute in London threw up an item of interest. The printed programme shows that, for the eighth number in his evening concert, Eduard performed Johann's "Polka Mazurka from the opera 'Waldmeister"', but in seeking to render the polka's title in English, he harked back to one of its former names: "The Philosophy of Life" - perhaps suggesting that he conducted the performance from a manuscript, rather than the printed edition of the work. It should also be noted that when Eduard later compiled his listing of orchestral performing material in the Strauss Orchestra's musical archive, he included Johann's opus 465 under its original title Liebes-Philosophie, cataloguing it as a polka française(French polka).

 

[10] Jubilee Waltz o. op

 

The first piano edition of Johann Strauss's Jubilee Waltz was published in the United States of America in 1872 by Fay Hoadly & Co. of Springfield, Massachusetts, and its title page bears the detailed inscription: "Dedicated to P.S. Gilmore Esq. Written especially for the great International Peace Jubilee at Boston and Played at Gilmore's Benefit Concert".

 

Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore (1829-92), the 'Irish Orpheus' who was the composer of such songs as "When Johnny Comes Marchin' Home" (1863), was born in Galway County, Ireland, on Christmas Day 1829. He settled in America shortly before 1850, where he gained a name for himself by organising the best woodwind and brass players of Europe and America and by touring with them to the more remote areas of the United States, where composers like Liszt and Wagner had been hitherto unknown.

 

But Gilmore's name is inextricably linked to the large-scale musical ventures he organised in 1865, 1869 and 1872. The success of his National Peace Jubilee in Boston (1869), "To commemorate The Restoration of Peace Throughout The Land", inspired him to undertake a new project, boasting double the proportions of its predecessor, which would celebrate peace throughout the whole world. Not until the cessation of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 could Gilmore publicly announce his plans: "The tendency of the time is for peace, PERMANENT, ENDURING PEACE, among the nations of the earth ... With this end in view, it is proposed to hold in the city of Boston, in the month of June, 1872, a World's Peace Jubilee, an International Musical Festival, a Union of all Nations in Harmony". Accordingly, there arose in the Back-Bay district of Boston the mammoth 'Coliseum', at that time the largest building ever constructed in America, with a seating capacity of 50,000 and which, from 17 June to 4 July 1872, was to be the venue for the Jubilee's musical events.

 

Despite misgivings about the sea-journey and the local inhabitants ("And Iuhat happens if your Indians massacre me?", he enquired of Gilmore) - Johann Strauss was lured to America by a reported fee of 100,000 dollars. Accompanied by his wife Jetty, Vienna's Waltz King made the journey to the 'New World' aboard the steamship Rhein, arriving to a grand reception at Hoboken on 15 June.

 

During his time in Boston, Johann conducted at sixteen concerts and two balls. In general, each day of the Jubilee was devoted to the music of a particular nation or to celebrating a particular figure. 29 June 1872 was designated "Gilmore Day". As the Boston Post wrote that day: "Mr. Gilmore's name is more closely associated with this vast musical enterprise than that of any other man. It was his conception, and through his untiring labor and wonderful energy the World's Peace Jubilee was made possible". In his portion of the "Gilmore Day" concert, Johann Strauss paid tribute to the musical promoter by conducting 'The Grand Orchestra' of 809 instrumentalists (including 200 first violins) in the world première of his aptly-named Jubilee Waltz. The piece appears to have been well received by the public, not least because of Strauss's interpolation of a few bars from the national anthem of the United States of America in the stretto" section of the Coda. The Boston Post (1.07.1872) considered the Jubilee Waltz "a very graceful and beautiful work, and it is destined to become popular; and though it was not performed with sufficient spirit, it received an encore". The reporter for the Boston Daily Evening Transcript (1.07.1872), on the other hand, recognised the composition for what it was - namely a pastiche of earlier Strauss waltzes - and found it "too reminiscent of his many other waltzes, with the phrases too patchworky and the melodic construction too labored to make any decided impression".

 

The thematic material used for the Jubilee Waltz is drawn from the following published waltzes by Johann Strauss II:

 

Introduction   -

entire Introduction from Jux-Brüder op. 208

Waltz 1A       -

theme 1A from Lava-Ströme op. 74

Waltz 1B       -

theme 3B from Die Jovialen op. 34

Waltz 2A       -

theme 5A from Hofball-Tänze op. 298

Waltz 2B       -

theme 5B from Vibrationen op. 204

Waltz 3A       -

theme 5A from Man lebt nur einmal! op. 167

Waltz 3B       -

theme 5B from Man lebt nur einmal! op. 167

Waltz 4A       -

theme 5A from Jux-Brüder op. 208

Waltz 4B       -

theme 4B from Man lebt nur einmal! op. 167

Coda             -

comprising 15 original linking bars - 16 bars Hofball-Tänze (theme 5A) - 12 original linking bars - 16 bars Laua-Ströme (theme lA) - 16 bars Die Jovialen (theme 3B) - 20 original linking bars into 1B bar Andante maestoso quotation from "The Star-Spangled Banner" (music: J. Stafford Smith)

 

Strauss's original orchestration for his Jubilee Waltz seems not to have survived. For this present recording, therefore, the American conductor and arranger Jerome D. Cohen has turned to the Fay Hoadly piano edition of the work, and created a new orchestration based on the composer's instrumentions for the waltzes which comprise it.

 

Programme notes © 1994 Peter Kemp. The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain.

 

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

 

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava)

 

The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava), the oldest symphonic ensemble in Slovakia, was founded in 1929 at the instance of Milos Ruppeldt and Oskar Nedbal, prominent personalities in the sphere of music. Ondrej Lenárd was appointed its conductor in 1970 and in 1977 its conductor-in-chief, succeeded recently by Robert Stankowsky. The orchestra has given successful concerts both at home and abroad, in Germany, Russia, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, Hong Kong and Japan. For Marco Polo the orchestra has recorded works by Glazunov, Glière, Miaskovsky and other late romantic composers and film music of Honegger, Bliss, Ibert and Khachaturian as well as several volumes of the label's Johann Strauss Edition. Naxos recordings include symphonies and ballets by Tchaikovsky, and symphonies by Berlioz and Saint-Saëns.

 

Franz Bauer-Theussl

 

Educated in Vienna, Franz Bauer-Theussl had his musical training at the Vienna Music Academy as a pianist, winning prizes in Genf and Llangollen. He studied as a conductor under Clemens Krauss and served as assistant to Ferdinand Grossman in a series of international concert tours with the Academy Chamber Choir. He was later director of music at the Stadttheater in Baden, head of opera at the Salzburg Landestheater and assistant at the Salzburg Festival to Clemens Krauss, Karl Böhm, Bruno Walter and Dimitri Mitropoulos. He has served as conductor at the Vienna Volksoper since 1957, with over two thousand performances to his credit. Other activities have included a period as General Music Director in Amsterdam and as conductor at the Bregenz Festival and as Principal Conductor of the Vienna Beethoven Society. Engagements abroad have included appearances throughout Europe and as far afield as Japan Franz Bauer-Theussl occupies an unrivalled position in the hearts of audiences at the Vienna Volksoper and has been the recipient of a series of official awards for his continuing services to music in Vienna.


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