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8.223244 - STRAUSS II, J.: Edition - Vol. 44
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The Johann Strauss Edition Edition

The Johann Strauss (1825-1899)

Edition, Volume 43

 

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] MASKENFEST-QUADRILLE (Masked Festival Quadrille) op. 92

 

"Strauss gives the Viennese so much pleasure; Straussian melodies are the souls of the Carnival. Certainly, therefore, the Viennese will give pleasure to Strauss [and] the Carnival will be grateful to him". The 25-year-old Johann might have taken greater pleasure from these words in the Wiener Allgemeine Theaterzeitung on 9 February 1851 had this 'gratitude' also been extended from the Office of the First Master of the Imperial Household (the Obersthofmeisteramt) which, the previous year, had rejected his application to be allowed to conduct the music at Court- and Chamber-Balls.

 

After the suppression of the 1848 rebellion in Vienna, a state of siege was declared in the Imperial capital. Despite this, the mezzo-soprano Jetty Treffz (the younger Johann Strauss's future wife) was able to inform a correspondent on 24 September 1849: "Vienna is very gay at the moment, because the celebrated Radetzky and all those other renowned generals are here ...". Although Jetty could also report that "the theatres are always 'crowded'", among the measures promulgated by the military authorities at that time was a ban on masked balls, since putting on a disguise was regarded as an activity which might potentially endanger the state. But during the 1851 Vienna Carnival the Emperor's father, Archduke Franz Carl (1802-78), broke the ban when he obtained permission to hold a charity masked ball - the first since 1848 - in the Imperial-Royal Redoutensäle of the Hofburg Palace. The Ost-Deutsche Post (30.01.1851) was one of the first newspapers to impart the news: "The masked ball has been allowed. It will take place on 4 February [1851] in the Imperial-Royal Redoutensäle in aid of the adult blind [of Viennal and the Leopoldstadt Children's Home. Strauss will conduct the orchestra and has composed a quadrille especially for the evening". The ball-organisers' hope that the first masked ball during the state of siege would attract many guests was certainly fulfilled, and the event yielded proceeds of a commendable 6,800 florins. Johann's contribution to the evening was the aptly-entitled Maskenfest-Quadrille. On 6 February 1851 Der Humorist reported: "Finally, after a long and bitter wait, another Redoute [= masked balll which - as far as the attendance was concerned (it was patronised by more than 4,000 people) - left nothing to be desired. There were not many masks and, apart from wholly conventional dominos and the odd bat costume, not a single interesting one. Otherwise the dress was radiant and tasteful. - The orchestra conducted by Kapellmeister Strauss was very good. There was general agreement on the desire for a second Redoute".

 

As an announcernent in the Wiener Zeitung of 19 February 1851 made clear, this wish for a second Redoute was indeed fulfilled on 'Fasching Sunday', 23 February 1851, with the Redoutensäle again the venue. This time the charity event was given in aid of the poor, the funds being raised by means of a lottery, and Johann Strauss was in sole charge of two orchestras, one situated in each of the two Redoutensaal rooms. The ball commenced at 9.00pm and continued until 3.00am.

 

In reporting the first masked ball in the Redoutensäle, the Ost-Deutsche Post of 6 February 1851 had alleged that "'Old' Strauss [i.e. Strauss Father] was nowhere near as easy-going as his son, whose intervals entitle [us] to greater expectations than his compositions fulfil". Such criticism scarcely bothered the younger Johann. He had finally succeeded in playing for the first time at the Redoutensaal of the Hofburg, just as his late father had done - and, moreover, he had been allowed to perform a specially written composition.

 

The Maskenfest-Quadrille was one of the last of Johann's works to be published by Pietro Mechetti, before the composer bound himself for the next twelve years to Carl Haslinger's publishing house. Mechetti issued the first piano edition of opus 92 some time before 20 September 1851, and furnished it with an entertaining, yet meaningful, title-page illustration. The Wiener Institut für Strauss-Forschung (The Vienna Institute for Strauss Research) has interpreted this engraving as a comment on the rejection in January 1850 of Strauss's application to conduct the music at the Imperial Court. At the bottom right a vignette shows costumed couples enjoying the music of an orchestra, led by Johann Strauss. A vignette at the bottom left pictures austere aristocratic 'couples' at a Court Ball, dancing without the benefit of an orchestra. Surmounting these two illustrations are the arms of the Austrian monarchy, the double-headed eagle - yet it holds its head high only on the right side where Johann Strauss is playing; over the staid Court Ball on the left it hangs its head, its eyes closed.

 

While the tuneful Maskenfest-Quadrille is a rarity in present-day Strauss repertoire, some of its themes will be familiar to balletomanes through their appearance in the one-act pastiche ballet Graduation Ball, first presented by the Original Ballet Russe at the Theatre Royal, Sydney, Australia on 28 February 1940. This delightful stage work, with a libretto and choreography by David Lichine (1910-72), features a score comprising familiar and less-familiar published works by the Waltz King, arranged by Antal Dorati (1906-88). The setting for the ballet is a Viennese finishing school, where the young ladies host a ball with cadets from the city's military academy. After the first dance, one of the junior girls announces in mime the divertissement which has been prepared by some of the students (No. 5 'Pastourelle' section of the Maskenfest-Quadrille), and leads on the first performer, 'The Drummer-Boy', who performs a bravura solo to the strains of the No. 6 'Finale' section of the Maskenfest-Quadrille.

 

[2] ASCHENBRÖDEL-WALZER (Cinderella Waltz) o. op

   From music for the ballet Aschenbrödel (Cinderella)

 

When Vienna's Waltz King, Johann Strauss 11, died on 3 June 1899, he left unfinished his score and sketches for a full-length ballet entitled Aschenbrödel (Cinderella). For reasons which are uncertain, Strauss had for many years declined to attempt such a composition, but having finally been persuaded to apply himself to this theatrical form, he began setting to music a ballet scenario acquired through a "Prize Competition" organised by the Viennese cultural weekly journal, Die Wage (The Scales). The editor of Die Wage, Dr Rudolph Lothar (1865-1943), had secured the composer¡¦s agreement to this venture by appealing to his artistic vanity: not only was Strauss swayed by the distinguished panel of judges, which included the noted industrialist and patron of the arts Nicolaus Dumba (1830-1900, dedicatee of Johann's waltz Neu-Wien op. 342), the critic Professor Dr Eduard Hanslick (1825-1904) and the then-Artistic Director of the Vienna Court Opera (Hof-Operntheater), Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), but it was intended that the new ballet should be mounted at the renowned opera house on Vienna's Ringstrasse.

 

When the composer Carl Millöcker (1842-99) declined to complete Strauss's ballet on grounds of his own ill-health, Johann's widow Adèle and the music publisher Josef Weinberger turned instead to the most successful ballet composer of that era, the Director of Ballet at the Vienna Court Opera, Joseph Bayer (1852-1913). Bayer applied himself zealously to despatching the task, agreeing to the contractual stipulation that the completed work should consist only of music by Strauss, "except where technically necessary considerations dictated otherwise". All seemed to be progressing well when Mahler, who had been studying the piano edition of Aschenbrödel, convinced himself that the music was not by Strauss at all and refused to present it at the Hof-Operntheater. Angrily, Adèle Strauss sought to have Aschenbrödel produced elsewhere, and on 2 May 1901 the utterly delightful work was given its world première "in the presence of the Kaiser [Wilhelm II] and a sparkling audience" (Vossische Zeitung, 3.05.1901) at the Königliches Opernhaus (RoyalOpera House) in Berlin.

 

Viennese audiences had to wait until after Mahler's departure from the Hof-Operntheater before a production of the three-scene ballet was staged by his successor, Felix Weingartner (1863-1942), on 4 October 1908. But a selection of the melodies from Johann Strauss's final theatrical offering had been heard in the Austrian capital even before the Berlin world première when, on 11 February 1901, the Aschenbrödel-Walzer had been performed in the Sofienbad-Saal at the ball of the 'Concordia', the Vienna Authors' and Journalists' Association. Appropriately, this performance was conducted by the composer's nephew, Johann Strauss III (1866-1939), at the head of his own orchestra. The reviewer for the Illustrirtes Wiener Extrablatt (13.02.1901) reported on the proceedings: "At approximately 11.30pm three long-drawn-out, warlike bugle-calls rang out from the gallery. Dancing master Professor Rabensteiner appeared 'with the countenance of an orator' at the gallery parapet, the ball guests looking excitedly up at him; when total silence had descended, the Professor made the announcement that 'now', for the first time, the new waltz composition by Kapellmeister Strauss, the 'Aschenbrödelwalzer' [Cinderella Waltz] would be played. The composition was greeted with great applause".

 

The Aschenbrödel-Walzer comprises thematic material drawn exclusively from scenes 2 and 3 of the ballet. The Introduction presents music firstly from the '2nd Dream Picture' (Moderato) in Scene 3, leading into the Allegro section of the same dream sequence. The whole of the opening waltz number (themes 1A and 1B) comprises that melody (entitled Aschenbrödel-Walzer in the printed piano score of the ballet) which first appears in Scene 2 as an accompaniment to the dancing after Grete (Cinderella) has been chosen as 'Queen of the Ball'. (Theme 1A reappears in the Prelude to Act 3, and an indignant Adèle Strauss voiced her opinion to Johann Batka, the State Archivist in Bratislava, that Joseph Bayer had treated this theme and, indeed, the material for the Aschenbrödel-Walzer first performed at the 'Concordia Ball', rather badly.) Waltz 2A is loosely based on the gavotte heard in Scene 2 as children hand round flowers to the ball guests, while Waltz 2B comprises that theme which accompanies the hero, Gustav, at the ball (Scene 2) as he attempts to determine which of the ladies' masks conceals his sweetheart Grete. Waltz 3 is also taken from the Aschenbrödel-Walzer accompanying the dancing after Grete is crowned 'Queen of the Ball' (Scene 2), while Waltz 4 is also heard at the ball, as Gustav awaits Grete's arrival and his brother, Franz, 'choreographs' the dancers into two diagonal lines. The Coda section merely confines itself to presenting material from the aforegoing.

 

The first piano edition of the Aschenbrödel-Walzer was copyrighted by Josef Weinberger in 1900 and published with a most attractive title page, in secessionist style, with a colour lithograph by schuller (1900) showing the moment in Scene 3 as Gustav tries the 'golden shoe' (actually red in Schuller's artwork!) on Grete's foot.

 

[3] VON DER BÖRSE. POLKA (Prom the Stock Exchange. Polka) op. 337

 

In April 1869, the brothers Johann and Josef Strauss set off from Vienna to share the conducting of a five-month concert season at the Vauxhall Pavillon in Pavlovsk, Russia.

 

On 4 September 1869 (= 23 August, Russian calendar) a German-language newspaper published in the metropo1is of the Tsarist Empire, the St Petersburger Zeitung, announced the titles of the novelties which Johann Strauss had composed especially for his concert at Pavlovsk on 6 September 1869 (= 25 August). Both French polkas, the works were named by the paper as "Nje sabud menja (Vergiß mich nicht)" and "Im Walde von Pawlowsk" - translated into English, these titles mean Do not forget me and In the Woods of Pavlovsk. The event itself was billed as Strauss's "Farewell Benefit", although further benefit concerts were to follow in the remaining five weeks of the season. The detailed notes kept by F.A. Zimmermann, a viola-player in the orchestra at Pavlovsk, confirm that both polkas were indeed performed in the "cool" of the open-air performance on 6 September as the fourth ("Pawlowsk Wald") and seventh ("Vergiß mein [sic!] nicht") items respectively. Each of these pieces was played four times during the concert, and it is therefore surprising to read the following report in the St Petersburger Zeitung of 13 September 1869 (= 1 September): ¡§Even though the polka 'Nje sabud menja' (Vergiß mich nicht) summed up most clearly the actual theme of the evening, it met with little success, because there was something delicate and sentimental in it which did not have the same degree of appeal [as did the other pieces, namely Johann's waltz Illustrationen op. 331, po1kas Pawlowsk Wald and Fata Morgana op. 330 and Josef's waltz Frohes Leben op. 272 and Aus der Ferne polka-mazurka op. 270]¡§.

 

In due course the St Petersburg publisher A. Büttner issued Johann's two polka novelties respectively as Nje sabud menja (Do not forget me) and Im Pawlowsker Walde (In the Pavlovsk Woods). After his return to Vienna during auturnn 1869, however, Johann did not even think of retaining these titles: in his native city, "k.k. Hofballmusik-Direktor" Strauss could be sure that he would not be forgotten, while Viennese audiences who cared little for the woodlands of far-off Pavlovsk would be charmed by a polka named after a favourite area of the Vienna Woods - Im Krapfenwald'l (op. 336). Faced with composing new dance pieces for the fast-approaching 1870 Vienna Carnival, Johann simply decided to re-christen his polka Nje sabud menja, and to launch it in Vienna as his dedication for the ball of the Vienna Authors' and Journalists' Association 'Concordia'. The title he chose was immensely topical: initially announced in Die Presse on 9 January 1870 as Börsenwoche (Stock Exchange Week), it was actually performed at the 'Concordia Ball' as Von der Börse (From the Stock Exchange). At that time in Austria, and especially in Vienna, there was much discussion about the risky speculation in shares and other securities into which ever broader sectors of the population allowed themselves to be drawn. The fall in prices, which was to result in the May 1873 "crash" - the collapse in the prices of speculative securities - was already becoming apparent. Johann Strauss, who did not himself participate in such speculation, was nevertheless well aware of the increasingly precarious financial situation. Relaxing to the strains of Von der Börse, the revellers at the 'Concordia Ball' were unknowingly dancing towards an event which would, at one and the same time, seriously shake the economy of the country and ruin many lives.

 

The 1870 'Concordia Ball' was to have been held on 25 January in the newly-opened Musikverein building, the home of Vienna's prestigious Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (society of the Friends of Music). A few days before the glittering event, however, a fire broke out in the Musikverein, and the ball was moved instead to the Sofienbad-Saal. As the reporter for Der Wanderer (26.01.1870) recorded, all three Strauss brothers contributed dedications to the festivity: "The new dances, Polka française by Johann Strauss ('Von der Börse'), waltz by Josef Strauss ('Nilfluten') and Schnellpolka by Eduard Strauss ('Stempelfrei'), were honoured with great applause and will definitely be presented often and gladly in the rich repertoire of Strauss dance music". Naturally the new polka took its place alongside the other novelties composed by the Strauss brothers for the 1870 Carnival when Johann, Josef and Eduard presented their "Carnival Revue" with the Strauss Orchestra in the Musikverein on sunday 13 March 1870.

 

Johann's publisher, C.A. Spina, did not hasten to publish the piano edition of Von der Börse, and announcements of its availability did not appear in Vienna's press until 1 June 1870. Like Josef's Nilfluten (Nile Floods) and Eduard's Stempelfrei (Free from Stamp Duty), Johann's polka confirmed the dedication "to the Vienna Authors' and Journalists' Association, Concordia".

 

[4] MONSTRE-QUADRILLE (Monster Quadrille) o. op

   Johann II & Josef Strauss (1827-70)

 

A carnival character of gigantic proportions blows heartily on a trumpet to summon the dancing couples, and provides an eye-catching illustration for the title page of Carl Haslinger's first piano edition of the Monstre-Quadrille, jointly composed by Johann and Josef Strauss for the 1860 Vienna Carnival.

 

The first mention of the Monstre-Quadrille appeared in the Wiener Allgemeine Theaterzeitung on 19 January 1860. Though correctly stating it would be played at the forthcoming Strauss benefit ball in the Sofienbad-Saal by two large orchestras, the journalist rnistakenly attributed its composition to Johann alone. A later edition of the paper, published on 5 February 1860, did nothing to correct this impression: "The Strauss benefit ball in the Sofienbad-Saal will once again be held during this year's carnival season in the most attractive manner. On 13 February a 'Monster Festival' takes place in the newly decorated rooms of the Sofienbad-Saal, during the course of which not less than 50 dance pieces will be performed. The brothers Johann and Josef Strauss will each lead an orchestra and play alternately. Before the interval both orchestras will combine to perform a 'Monstre-Quadrille'".

 

As with their benefit ball in 1859 (for which Johann and Josef collaborated on the Hinter den Coulissen Quadrille), the Strauss brothers advertised the festivity under the slogan: "Carnival's Perpetuum Mobile or Non-Stop Dancing". The fifty dances comprised 14 waltzes, 10 quadrilles (including the Monstre-Quadrille), 9 polkas françaises, 8 polkas-mazurka, 8 polkas schnell and 1 schottische. Like the previous year, the venture was again a triumph and the Sofienbad-Saal was packed to capacity. Noting in the course of his article that no less than five major balls had been held in Vienna on the night of 13 February, the reporter for the Wiener Allgemeine Theaterzeitung (15.02.1860) stated that "the popularity enjoyed by the Strauss brothers was demonstrated in a most splendid fashion by the enormous crowd, which cannot be attributed either to the Sofienbad-Saal or to the restaurateur who operates there. STRAUSS was the watchword, and will remain so for a long time". Another paper, the Wiener Zeitung (19.02.1860), published a review of the previous week's carnival festivities, commencing with the statement: "The Viennese love of life makes 'heaven full of violins' throughout the year, but what then remains for Fasching [= Carnival] Sunday but that the earth should also be full of violins". The journalist continued: "The Strauss benefit ball in the Sofiensaal is unanimously described as the successful demonstration of the basic Viennese enthusiasm for Fasching, as a ball which, in its passionate devotion to dancing, quiet, mad, abandoned, in its superhuman indefatigability, in its banishment of all interests which do not belong to Fasching, is an original product of Vienna and no longer has an equivalent anywhere in the world. Trailing in its wake, with a relatively weak Fasching glow, but still glowing with a luminosity drawn not from Fasching itself, but rather from other interests and concerns, came the various artists' balls, picnics etc. etc., balls where rankings applied in terms of outward appearance, name, intellectual significance, whereas in front of the forum of the Strauss Orchestra's stage there was no discrimination. The same dance for all, and in the dance all are equal".

 

It is not known for certain how Johann and Josef Strauss shared the workload when composing the Monstre-Quadrille - the third of their four joint collaborations. Of special interest is the opening theme of the third ('Poule') section, which bears a strong resemblance to the familiar melody from the last movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D-minor ('Choral') op. 125. The similarity between the two themes becomes all the more marked if one imagines Beethoven's musical setting of Schiller's "An die Freude" ('Freude schöner Gotterfunken'), played in 6/8 time. There is, however, no apparent reason to believe that this was a conscious quotation from the Beethoven work.

 

[5] STRAUSS' AUTOGRAPH WALTZES o. op

 

Despite his European celebrity, nothing can quite have prepared Johann Strauss for his reception in the New World when he accepted an engagement to perform at the World's Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival in Boston during summer 1872. From the moment his steamship, the Rhein, docked at the Nord-Deutsch Lloyd pier at Hoboken on 15 June 1872 and he stepped ashore with other distinguished musicians for a formal reception before proceeding to Boston aboard the Fall River steamer, Johann found that his farne had preceded him.

 

Johann's appearance on the streets of Boston was the signal for large crowds to congregate around him, and most of the local newspapers commented on the scenes which occurred whenever the autograph-hunters encountered the renowned Viennese Waltz King. The Boston Daily Advertiser (26.06.1872), for example, observed: "Strauss's fate is the fate of all the foreign musicians. From the greatest living soprano down to the bass drum men in the bands, all are pestered and haunted by a swarrn of autograph hunters, who sacrifice every feeling of courtesy and forbearance which they chance to possess for the insane mania for acquiring mementos of the unfortunate strangers ... If Herr Johann does not hereafter waltz away to the nearest shelter upon the mere sight of a fan, his American experience has fallen short of its natural effect". The scene was the same following his appearances at the 'Coliseum'; after Johann had rehearsed the waltz An der schönen blauen Donau (The Blue Danube) with the Jubilee orchestra on the morning of 25 June, the New York Evening Post (26.06.1872) observed "at least two hundred anxious to secure his autograph. The great director's fingers were kept dancing over the many-tinted specimens of paper for several minutes, to his carefully concealed annoyance, doubtless, until some discreet person, seeing that he was working harder than an orchestra of 2,000 could work him, quietly drew him aside and away". The Waltz King was not even safe, it seems, when he was on stage: as the Boston Globe (22.06.1872) reported: "An autograph fever has broken out among the sopranos and altos, and Strauss and [the German composer and conductor Pranz] Abt are besieged upon every passage to and from the stage". According to a tongue-in-cheek statement by the journalist for the New York Evening Mail (1.07.1872) towards the close of Johann's Boston engagement, "at last accounts, Strauss had repeated his autograph 299,000 times". Later, the composer allegedly told a reporter for the New York Sun (13.07.1872): "In Boston I was bored out of existence by people asking for autographs".

 

In view of Johann's experiences with these eager 'autograph-hounds', it was unsurprising that a composition entitled Strauss' Autograph Waltzes should number among the nine or so waltzes which Johann is purported to have composed or arranged for his American visit of 1872. The work, which was registered with the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington in 1872 by White & Goullaud of Boston, exists in printed editions for orchestra and for piano. (A subsequent printing by the publisher in 1873 paired the piano scores of Strauss' Autograph Waltzes and Strauss' Engagement Waltzes.) The first piano edition of Strauss's Autograph Waltzes, bearing an appropriate dedication "To the Ladies of the Jubilee Chorus", prominently features a facsimile of Strauss's autograph on the cover and first page of music. Moreover, the title page depicts a lady's fan, on whose sections appear the names of nine of the principal artistes appearing at the Boston concerts: Johann Strauss; the German-born conductor and teacher, Carl Zerrahn (1826-1909), director of the 20,000-strong Jubilee Chorus; Dr Eben Tourjée, founder of the New England Conservatory of Music and organiser and superindendent of the Jubilee Chorus; Heinrich Saro, the German director of the Kaiser Franz Grenadier Regiment Band; the French conductor, Georges Paulus; Bandmaster of the Grenadier Guards, the composer Dan Godfrey (1831-1903); the Hungarian-born pianist, Franz Bendei and the Viennese Minna Peschka-Leutner (1839-90), billed as "the greatest Soprano that has ever visited the United States". The list is completed by the name of Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore (1829-92), the Irish-born 'Projector and Advisory Director' of the Boston Jubilee venture.

 

Despite substantial press coverage of the World's Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival, it cannot be determined whether a performance of the Autograph Waltzes took place during this period: certainly the work does not feature on any of the published programmes. It may be that Strauss only composed the work at the very end of the Jubilee, or despatched it to White & Goullaud soon after his return to Vienna. Either way, the title of the work, Strauss' Autograph Waltzes, suggests it was chosen by the commercially aware Boston publisher. Two editions of the waltz were published in England later that decade: A. Hammond & Co. of London issued the Autograph Waltzes, while an Autographen Walzer appeared in C. Boosey's 'Universal' series. These British imprints are of interest, since they might explain how such an obscure waltz as Autograph came to be on the programme of music played on 26 May 1897 by the Queen's Guard Band at St James's Palace, London, following the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in celebration of Queen Victoria's 78th birthday (24 May). In contrast, the Autograph Waltzes are not known to have been performed at any time by the Strauss Orchestra.

 

The waltzes which Johann Strauss composed, or arranged, for America fall into two categories: pastiche works (like Jubilee Waltz, Sounds from Boston and Farewell to America) compiled from his earlier published dances, and waltzes presenting entirely original themes. Strauss's Autograph Waltzes belong to the latter group and, together with Strauss' Engagement Waltzes and the later Strauss' Centennial Waltzes, represent the best of the Waltz King's 'original' American compositions.

 

What remains in question, however, is the precise form in which Strauss presented Autograph to White & Goullaud. Certain uncharacteristic weaknesses in the links between the various waltz sections, for example between 1B and 2A, suggest a hand less experienced than Johann's, and open the possibility that the publisher's house arranger orchestrated the waltz from the composer's manuscript piano score. Less viable, because of the overall 'unity' of the piece, is the suggestion that Strauss merely presented waltz sketches to White & Goullaud for their house arranger to fashion into a fully-fledged composition.

 

This Marco Polo recording presents Strauss' Autograph Waltzes in the original orchestral edition published by White & Goullaud.

 

[6] AUF FREIEM FUSSE. POLKA (At liberty. Polka) op. 345

 

The year 1871 commenced auspiciously for the 45-year-old Johann Strauss. On 5 January, just five weeks before the première of his first stage work, the three-act comic operetta Indigo und die vierzig Räuber (lndigo and the Forty Thieves) at the Theater an der Wien, he officially requested "that he be released from his functional duties [as k.k. Hofballmusik-Direktor] on the grounds of ill health ...". While Johann's constitution had indeed given cause for concern during the previous decade, his application for release masked his determination to put behind him the tirne-consuming, physically exhausting and financially unrewarding rôle of dance music conductor - albeit as the 'Director of Music for the Imperial-Royal Court Balls' - and instead devote his energies to composition for the stage. Emperor Pranz Josef himself granted Johann's request on 12 January 1871, bestowing upon him the Knight's Cross of the Imperial Austrian Pranz Josef Order "in recognition of his merit as Conductor of Music at Court Balls, and as a composer".

 

In reality, while intent on making his mark on Vienna's theatre world, Johann Strauss had no intention of relinquishing his hold on the city's ballrooms, concert halls and bandstands, intending to maintain a presence there by the comparatively simple expedient of arranging melodies from his operetta scores into orchestral dances and marches. The frequent postponement of the première of Indigo und die vierzig Räuber, however, presented him with a problem. In mid-January 1871, when the opening night was planned for the end of that month, Johann had willingly offered the Vienna Authors' and Journalists' Association, 'Concordia', a waltz on themes from his operetta for their ball festivity on 7 Pebruary. But when it became clear that the première would not take place until after the 'Concordia Ball', Johann had strong reservations about allowing the principal melodies from Indigo to be performed in the ballroom before they could exert their full effect in the theatre. At the last moment, therefore, he withdrew his promised waltz dedication (subsequently published as Tausend und eine Nacht op. 346. Volume 29 of this CD series) and instead contributed another dance piece based on themes from the operetta, the Shawl-Polka française (op. 343, Volume 41).

 

Since the first night of Indigo und die vierzig Räuber eventually took place on 10 February 1871, the concerns Johann had harboured regarding the 'Concordia Ball' did not affect his planned dedication for the ball of Vienna University's law faculty, organised for 14 February 1871 in the Sofienbad-Saal. He was once again eager to promote the rich store of melodies from his operetta score, and dedicated "to the Gentlemen Students of Law at Vienna University" a French polka given the apposite title: Auf freiem Fusse. Though this title was derived from the lyrics of two scenes in Act 2 of Indigo - No. 9 Chor und Lied. Fantasca: "Wir sind frei, wir sind frei, wir sind frei von Tyrannei!" and No. 17 Finale. Fantasca: "Freiheit, Freiheit, lasst die Losung sein" - it also drew upon legal parlance to indicate an acquittal in a triac. As for the thematic content of Auf freiem Fusse, Strauss presented music from the following sources in his operetta:

 

Theme 1A   -

Act 2 Chor und Räuberlied (No. 9): Fantasca, "Folget Eures Hauptmanns Ruf und Gebot"

Theme 1B   -

Act 2 Duett (No. 12): Fantasca and Jaruo, "Bei der Nacht mit Dir im Wald allein"

Trio            -

Act 1 Introduction (No. 1), più animato section: Fantasca, "Drum lasst uns tanzen"

 

The music for dancing at the 'Juristenball' (Lawyers' Ball) was played by the Strauss Orchestra conducted by the composer's brother, Eduard. Two Viennese newspapers, the Fremden-Blatt and Neues Wiener Tagblatt, carried identical reviews of the festivity in their respective editions on 15 February 1871: "The programme of new dance pieces was richly provided for: Eduard Strauss composed a new waltz, 'Hypothesen', a committee member [wrote] a Schnellpolka 'Um Mitternacht', and a new Polka française 'Auf freiem Fusse' brought the most piquant themes from the Strauss operetla lndigo'". It also fell to Eduard Strauss to give the French polka its first public performance when he programmed it (under the title Auf freien Fuss) in his Sunday afternoon concert with the Strauss Orchestra at the Musikverein on 19 March 1871. Johann's publisher in Vienna, C.A. Spina, issued the piano edition of the work in April 1871, complete with Johann's dedication to the law students.

 

[7] SCHÜTZEN-QUADRILLE (Sharpshooters' Quadrille) o. op.

Johann II, Josef (1827-70) & Eduard Strauss (1835-1916)

 

In 1863 the first Federal German Shooting Contest was held in Frankfurt-am-Main. Its success triggered a series of such festivals, the second of which took place in Bremen in 1865.

 

For the 3rd German Federal Shooting Contest, held in July 1868, it was Vienna's turn to play host to the competitors, some ten thousand of whom flocked to the Austrian capital from shooting clubs around the world.

 

For good reason, the organisers of the shooting contest in Vienna took great pains to ensure that the meeting assumed the character of a national festival. Just two years before, during the summer of 1866, the sharpshooters in the ranks of the northern army of the Habsburg Empire and those of the kingdom of Prussia had discharged live rounds at one another on the battlefields of Bohemia, before the Danube Monarchy was utterly routed by Prussian forces at Königgrätz. The wounds incurred continued to cause pain throughout Austria, and the authorities responsible for the 1868 shooting contest thus strove to organise concerts and balls, not only in the specially constructed 'Festhalle' (Festival Hall) on the green expanse of the Vienna Prater, but also in establishments throughout Vienna. In a spirited response to these efforts, all the civilian and military orchestras in the capital competed with each other in the presentation of carefree and happy music. At the forefront of these musical ensembles stood the Strauss Orchestra, under the direction of Johann, Josef and Eduard Strauss.

 

On the evening of 27 July 1868 the Strauss Orchestra, alternating with a military band, gave a concert before an audience of some 10-12,000 people in the Festhalle. All three Strauss brothers participated. It has not proved possible to determine the precise programme of music played on this occasion, although it seems from a letter written by Eduard Strauss to an unnamed recipient on 5 July 1868 that the brothers may have intended giving the premières of two novelties that night Johann II's quick polka Freikugeln (Magic Bullets) op. 326 and the aptly-named Schülzen-Quadrille, jointly composed by Johann, Josef and Eduard Strauss. From press reports alone we cannot be sure that either of these works was actually performed at this event, although the diary entry by a member of the Strauss Orchestra, the horn-player Franz Sabay, confirms that Freikugeln was certainly played.

 

It seems, therefore, that the Schützen-Quadrille did not receive its première until the fol!owing day, 28 July 1868, when the Strauss Orchestra, under the direction of Johann, Josef and Eduard, combined with the military bands of Austrian Infantry Regiments Nos. 21, 32 and 73 for a "Viennese Music Festival with Fireworks" in the Volksgarten. While Eduard had clearly stated in his letter of 5 July that "we [ie. Johann and Eduard] have decided to have the new quadrille performed by our orchestra alone (conducted by Johann)", this plan was subsequently altered. From the programme published in the Fremden-Blatt on 28 July, it is apparent that the Strauss Orchestra alternated with two regimental bands during the first half of the concert. For the second half, which commenced at 9.30pm, the two hundred players from all four ensembles joined together for the performance of the remaining five pieces, including the Schützen-Quadrille. The new work was played again two days later, on 30 July 1868, at a 'Monster Concert' in the Festhalle given by the combined military bands of Infantry Regiments Nos. 21, 32, 42, 67 and 73, and had to be repeated three times.

 

The Schützeu-Quadrille is of particular interest since it is one of only two Strauss family compositions in which all three brothers collaborated - the other being the Trifolien Walzer of 1865 (Volume 43 of this CD series). Conveniently, since quadrilles (as danced in Vienna) comprised six distinct 'figures', each brother contributed two sections: first Josef with No. 1 Panlalon and No. 2 Été, then Eduard (No. 3 Poule & No. 4 Trénis) and finally Johann (No. 5 Pastourelle & No. 6 Finale). Josef¡¦s music for the Pantalon figure may strike a chord with balletomanes, for this entire section was interpolated into the Strauss pastiche ballet Le beau Danube (1924) by Leonide Massine and Roger Désonnière, where it may be heard at the very start of the ballet's Introduction.

 

[8] ALTDEUTSCHER WALZER (Old Gennan Waltz) o. op

 

On 30 January 1886 the k.k. Hof-Operntheater in Vienna mounted a highly successful production of Der Trompeter von Säkkingen, an opera by the Alsace-born composer Victor Nessier (1841-90). The stage work, which had received its world première at Leipzig in 1884, drew upon Victor von Scheffel's eponymous verse-tale (1852), and revived an interest in the "altdeutscher Styl" (Old German Style) throughout German-speaking countries.

 

It is not known whether Johann Strauss visited the Hof-Operntheater for the Viennese première of Nessler's opera or merely attended one of its later performances, but he was certainly familiar with its music. More than this, he was inspired by the concept of the "altdeutscher Styl" and, as he explained to the writer and librettist Ignaz Schnitzer in early July 1886, he burned to compose "an operetta with a German subject". Schnitzer (the librettist of Strauss's Der Zigeunerbaron, 1885) accordingly furnished the composer with the libretto of Der Schelm von Bergen (The Hangman of Bergenc which Johann began to set to music. The collaboration eventually foundered for a number of reasons, principal among which was Strauss's sudden and overwhelming obsession with another libretto he had been offered with an old German subject: Simplicius Simplicissimus. The librettjst of the new work, Victor Leon (real name, Viktor Hirschfeld, 1858-1940), presented Johann with a treatment of Grimmelshausen's famous 17th-century novel, Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus (Adventurous Simplicissimus), and the composer eagerly set to work on its score.

 

The resultant operetta, Simplicius, was produced at Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 17 December 1887. Following the practice he had long-since adopted with his theatre works, Johann arranged many of the melodies from the score of Simplicius into separate orchestral pieces for performance in the ballrooms and bandstands of Vienna and beyond. In due course the August Cranz (formerly C.A. Spina) publishing house received a total of six such compositions (opp. 427-432) based on themes from the new operetta - but the publisher was apparently still not satisfied. From the rich store of music in Simplicius, the publisher took it upon himself to issue two further short waltzes: Jugendliebe (published in 1890, without opus number) and Altdeutscher Walzer, also without opus number, published on 11 January 1888. Both works are in the form of a waltz rondo, but while Jugendliebe consists of melodies from various sources in the operetta (including one already used in the Coda section of the waltz Donauweibchen op 427), the Altdeutscher Walzer is thematically identical with the Act 3 Allegro moderato Entr'acte (No. 10½ in the piano score of the operetta). Strauss had endeavoured to include "historical melodies" in his score for Simplicius, and since the setting for the operetta was the Thirty Years' War (1618-48), Cranz's choice of Altdeutscher Walzer for the title of the piece was entirely in keeping.

 

Johann's own view of his publisher's unilateral action in releasing these two works on to the market is not known, but in 1890 his business connection with the Cranz firm was severed. For his part, Eduard Strauss showed no interest in performing either work, and they were also ignored by Vienna's military bands.

 

[9] NUR NICHT MUCKEN! POLKA FRANÇAISE

   (Just don't moan! French polka) op. 472

 

The catchy French polka Nur nicht mucken! belongs to those compositions constructed from themes in Johann Strauss's final operetta, Die Göttin der Vernunft (The Goddess of Reason), which opened at Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 13 March 1897.

 

Disenchanted with the clumsy and somewhat dubious libretto, set in 1794 during the bloody French Revolution, the 71-year-old composer unsuccessfully tried on several occasions to withdraw from his contract: under threat of legal proceedings he was forced to complete his score, but stayed away from the première and kept in touch by telephone. As the Wiener Zeitung (14.03.1897) noted in its first night review: "He [Strauss] had the producer offer thanks at the end of each act for the audience's warm applause, which was intended for the source of the melodies which, although no longer bubbling, nonetheless still flowed clear and unadulteratcd". Despite sometimes laudatory comments from the critics, and the extravagant sets and costumes, the new stage work failed to attract Vienna's audiences and Alexandrine von Schönerer was obliged to remove the operetta from the repertoire of her theatre before the end of May 1897.

 

The title of the polka Nur nicht mucken! derives from the text of the Act 1 (No. 3) entrance song of the landowner, Bonhomme (a rôle created by Karl Blasel, 1831-1922): "Nur nicht ducken und zucken, wenn ein scharfes Lüfterl weht, lieber schlucken und nicht mucken, bis es glatt vorüber gehr" ('Just don't cower and twitch if a sharp little breeze blows, rather swallow and don't moan until it has passed by'). This number also provides opus 472 with the whole of its principal melody (themes 1A and 1B, while the thematic source for the polka's Trio section (2A) owes its origin to the Act 3 duet (No. 11) for the folksinger Ernestine and the caricature-artist Jacquelin, "Als ich noch war Grisette" ('When 1 was still a grisette'). The melody of theme 2B is nowhere traceable in the published piano / vocal score of the operetta and may have been discarded du ring rehearsals or immediately following the première of Die Göttin der Vernunft.

 

Strauss naturally wanted to follow his habitual custom of arranging his operetta melodies into separate orchestral dances and marches, but as early as 14 March 1897 his brother Eduard pointed out to him in a letter: "Sadly there is now no time left to process these arrangements musically. In two or three weeks all the [concert] halls will close. And by the time May comes round, the public will have forgotten it". A little later Eduard complained that he had received nothing from the Emil Berté & Cie publishing house, and said he was happy that he himself had prepared the waltz Heut' ist heut¡¦ (op. 471, Volume 35 of this CD series) on themes from Die Göttin der Vernunft. The French polka Nur nicht mucken! was, as a result, published only in piano edition (along with op. 471). However, during the summer of 1897 the work appeared on the programmes of several military bands in and around Vienna, in arrangements made by their respective bandmasters. This Marco Polo recording features the arrangement made especially for The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain in 1992 by the English conductor and arranger, Edward Peak.

 

[10] HINTER DEN COULISSEN. QUADRILLE (Behind the Scenes. Quadrille) o.op. (Johann II and Josef Strauss)

 

On 18 January 1859 the Wiener Allgemeine Theaterzeitung observed that a benefit performance on 15 January 1859 at the Carl-Theater of the one-act 'Operette bouffe', Schuhflicker und Millionär [originally staged in Paris as Le Sauetier et le Financier in 1856], "made us familiar with a new work by the composer Offenbach, who has so swiftly attained popularity here". Four days later, in its preview of the forthcoming Vienna Carnival season, the same paper (22.01.1859) reported: "The favourite melodies from Offenbach' s operettas haue been used by Strauss for a quadrille, 'Hinter den Coulissen'". The journalist should have noted, more accurately, that the new quadrille was a collaboration between the two Strauss brothers, Johann (1825-99) and Josef (1827-70).

 

As with another of their collaborations, the Pizzicato-Polka (1869), it is not known how the brothers divided the workload in constructing their Hinter den Coulissen Quadrille. Since the Strausses probably did not have access to the orchestral material of Offenbach's stage works, their quadrille was almost certainly based on the operettas' published piano scores, and was probably compiled in the last few weeks of 1858. According to the press and to the records of Franz Sabay, a horn-player in the Strauss Orchestra, the new quadrille was composed for the Strauss brothers' benefit ball in the Sofienbad-Saal on Monday 28 February 1859. The announcement for this event in the Wiener Zeitung on 27 February 1859 promised: "Two Balls in one Hall, designated 'Carnival's Perpetuum Mobile', Non-Stop Dancing. Two large orchestras, one ot them under the direction of Johann Strauss, the other under the direction ot Josef Strauss. The dance programme, which will be performed without a break by both orchestras, comprises 15 waltzes, 10 quadrilles, 8 polkas françaises, 8 polkas-mazurka, 6 polkas (schnell), 2 Kör, 1 schottische. A total of 50 dances". Two works were highlighted as receiving their first public performance: Hinter den Coulissen, announced as a "quadrille on popular operetta and ballet melodies", and the waltz Schwungräder (op. 223, Volume 37 of this CD series).

 

In its edition of 2 March 1859 the Wiener Allgemeine Theaterzeitung carried an extensive article reporting on the Strauss benefit in the Sofienbad-Saal. With regard to the Hinter den Coulissen Quadrille, the reviewer found it "exceedingly effectively instrumented", continuing: "This quadrille, whose unusually brilliant Finale was played by a hundred musicians, gave so much pleasure that, like the waltzes referred to [Promotionen op. 221 and Schwungräder], it had to be repeated". Another newspaper, the Fremden-Blatt (2.03.1859), also drew attention to the Hinter den Coulissen Quadrille, remarking that it had "enjoyed great applause". Over the next few weeks the Strauss Orchestra played the novelty on other occasions, notably at the Strauss benefit ball ('Sperl', 7 March 1859) and the Strauss benefit concert and 'Carnival Revue' (Volksgarten, 13 March 1859).

 

The Strauss brothers' publisher, Carl Haslinger, announced the piano edition of the quadrille on 3 April 1859, and equipped its title page with a delightful engraving in which the artist portrays one aspect of life 'behind the scenes': in a crowded theatre the audience in the boxes watch the on-stage action: behind the scenes, a group of skimpily-clad young ballerinas are being complimented by two elegantly-attired 'gentlemen-about-town', while the theatre-director, adjusting his glasses, looks on.

 

The Offenbach stage works, and the sources upon which Johann and Josef Strauss drew the melodies for their Hinter den Coulissen Quadrille, may be summarised as follows:

 

No. 1 Pantalon     -

Pepito ('Opéra-comique' in 1 act. Premiére: Théâtre des Variétés, Paris. 28 October 1853. First Viennese production, as Das Mädchen von Elisonzo: Carl-Theater. 18 December 1858); 'Chanson à boire', Introduction and verse (No. 5)

No. 2 Été             -

Le Mariage aux lanternes ('Opérette' in 1 act. Première: Bouffes- Parisiens, Paris. 10 October 1857. Revision of Le Trésor à Mathurin, Salle Herz, Paris. 7 May 1853. First Viennese production, as Die Hochzeit bei Laternenschein: Carl-Theater. 16 October 1858); 'Chanson à boire', verse (No. 4) and Finale

No. 3 Poule          -

Pepito (No. 4): Duo, "Après une longue absence"; (Second theme in this section unidentified)

No. 4 Trénis         -

Le Mariage aux lanternes (No. 4): Couplets, "Que dirait l'oncle Mathurin"

No. 5 Pastourelle  -

Le Mariage aux lanternes (No. 4): 'Chanson à boire' and Finale (refrain)

No. 6 Finale         -

Pepito (No. 5): 'Chanson à boire' (refrain) and Finale; Le Mariage aux lanternes (No. 6): 'Quatuor de l'Angélus' ("Voici l'Angélus qui sonne")

 

(The author of these notes is indebted to Richard Duployen and Andrew Lamb for their kind assistance in preparing the above analysis of the quadrille.)

 

Programme notes © 1995 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 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 many successful volumes to the complete compact disc Johann Strauss II and for Naxos has recorded a varied repertoire.

 

Christian Pollack

 

The Austrian conductor Christian Pollack was born in Vienna and now lives in Lucerne. He studied violin, viola, organ and composition at the Vienna Academy of Music, followed by conducting studies with Hans Swarowsky and Sergiu Celibidache, making his début as a conductor in 1971 at the Regensburg Theatre. There followed engagements in Aachen, Klagenfurt and Vienna, before his appointment as principal conductor in Lucerne. His activities have included guest appearances with the Radio Orchestra of the Südwestfunk in Baden-Baden, the Nuremberg and Essen Operas and the Vienna Volksoper, and musicological research, particularly in the field of Viennese dance music and the works of the Strauss family.


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