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8.223245 - STRAUSS II, J.: Edition - Vol. 45
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The Johann Strauss Edition Edition

The Johann Strauss Edition

Edition; Volume 45

 

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] FEST-MARSCH (Festival March) op. 452

 

Forty-six years after composing his first Fest-Marsch (op. 49, Volume 30 of this CD series) Johann Strauss wrote a second work with this title. The later march was one of his two wedding gifts to Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria (1861-1948) and Princess Marie Luise of Bourbon-Parma (1870-99) in belated celebration of the couple's marriage at the bride's family home, the Villa Pianola in Italy, on 20 April 1893. Apart from the march, which he dedicated to the Prince, Johann also composed the waltz Hochzeitsreigen op. 453 (Volume 31), dedicated to the young Princess.

 

Johann Strauss was on good terms with Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Kohary, who had been helpful in paving the way for Strauss's marriage to his third wife, Adèle, in Coburg on 15 August 1887 - the day after Ferdinand had assumed the government of Bulgaria, having been elected Prince of Bulgaria that July. (In 1908, with Austria's annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the crisis with Turkey, Ferdinand proclaimed the independence of Bulgaria and took the title of Tsar.)

 

An ideal opportunity for the first performance of the Fest-Marsch presented itself in the form of a "Monster Concert" on 4 June 1893 at which the musicians of all the regiments stationed in Vienna at the time took part. The respective regimental bandmasters took turns to conduct the lengthy programme, given inside the spacious Rotunde building in Vienna's Prater before an audience of 10,000. While the second half of the programme was played by the full orchestra, including strings, the first half comprised performances by the military wind bands, the climax being the première of Johann Strauss's Fest-Marsch, which bandmaster Johann Nepomuk Král (1839-96) in Budapest had arranged for military band. The performance, by some 500 musicians, was conducted with panache by the bandmaster of Infantry Regiment No. 2, Alois Kraus (1840-1923). Even in its preview on the day of the "Monster Concert", the Fremden-Blatt newspaper (4.06.1893) enthused that the new march had been "written with Strauss's old verve and was of artistic interest as well". So successful was the first performance that the piece had to be repeated immediately, and media reaction was unanimously favourable; on 6 June 1893, for example, the Fremden-Blatt wrote that the new Fest-Marsch "remains both fresh and interesting and, in spite of the stress on the 'imposing aspects' of the festival, it does not lack that unique momentum which enlivens every work by Strauss".

 

The Fest-Marsch was performed for the first time in its version for full orchestra, together with the première of the Hochzeitsreigen Walzer, at Eduard Strauss's Sunday concert in the Vienna Musikverein on 12 November 1893. Both march and waltz were conducted by Johann Strauss personally, and the audience responded with tumultuous applause.

 

[2] ZIGEUNERBARON-QUADRILLE (Gypsy Baron Quadrille) op. 422

 

"For the immediate future, Johann Strauss will devote his effort entirely to convalescence and has temporarily postponed the composition of a new operetta. Not less than a hundred libretti lie before the Viennese Waltz King. In the interests of his health, we hope that he does not read all of them".

 

By the time this report appeared in the Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung on 17 November 1883, Johann Strauss had in fact already decided upon the subject for his next theatre piece: Der Zigeunerbaron (The Gypsy Baron). The stage work, which was deliberately cast in a style closer to comic opera than operetta, was based on the novel Saffi, written by the great Hungarian writer Jókai Mór (1825-1904) whose imaginative power and brilliancy of style had earned for him a European reputation. The man upon whose shoulders fell the task of preparing the libretto for the new stage work was another Hungarian, Ignatz Schnitzer (1839-1921). Their joint endeavour reached the stage of Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 24 October 1885, and registered a triumph on its opening night.

 

Four of the six orchestral dances which Strauss arranged from the richly melodic score of Der Zigeunerbaron were given their first performance by the Strauss Orchestra before the close of 1885. The remaining two - the Husaren-Polka (op. 421, Volume 31 of this CD series) and the Zigeunerbaron-Quadrille op. 422 - made their début the following year, complementing the feast of other music which accompanied the 1886 Vienna Carnival. The last of these arrangements to make its appearance, the Zigeunerbaron-Quadrille, was played for the first time by the Strauss Orchestra, under Eduard Strauss, before an audience of 1,000-1,200 people at the Court Ball in the Zeremoniesaal of the Imperial Hofburg Palace, Vienna, on 28 January 1886. Some five weeks later, on 2 March 1886, Eduard performed the work again with his Orchestra at the ball of the Vienna Authors' and Journalists' Association, 'Concordia', in the Sofienbad-Saal. This highly effective work, presented as brother Johann's dedication to the 'Concordia', took its place alongside contributions by Franz von Suppé (Lustige Märchen. Walzer), Karl Udel (Kabel-Telegramm. Polka schnell), Johann Brandl (Zur Tagesfrage. Polka française), Eduard Kremser (Frohe Botschaft. Polka schnell), Carl Millöcker (Wiener Skizzen. Walzer) and Johann Traunwart (Am Traunsee. Walzer op. 7) - the last-mentioned being the pseudonym of his Imperial Highness, the Archduke Johann Salvator (1852-91), later known as Johann Orth. Eduard Strauss's own dedication to the 'Concordia' was the polka française Tagesrapport, subsequently published as the composer's opus 247.

 

Faced with such a welter of new compositions, the ball reporters attending the 'Concordia' festivity were unable to comment in detail on the individual dance dedications. Had they done so, they might well have remarked that the Zigeunerbaron-Quadrille presents a cleverly-contrived cross-section of music from Johann's stage work. The themes comprising its six sections (or 'figures') are drawn from the following sources in the three-act operetta (as Der Zigeunerbaron was described on the first-night playbill):

 

No. 1 Pantalon     -

Act 2 Werberlied (No. 12½): Count Homonay, "Her die Hand, es muss ja sein"; Act 1 Ensemble (No. 5): Barinkay, "Der Mund Kokett, picant und klein"; Act 1 Finale (No. 7): Accompaniment to section sung by chorus, "Dieses Lied es durchzieht das Gemüth sprüht und glüht"

No. 2 Été             -

Act 1 Entrée-Couplet (No. 2): Accompaniment to Barinkay's song-text, "Der Löwekriecht vor mir im Sand"; Act 3 Marsch-Couplet (No. 16): Zsupán, "Von des Tajos Strand" (heard also in the quick polka Kriegsabenteuer op. 419)

No. 3 Poule          -

Act 2 Finale (No. 13): Accompaniment to Barinkay's song-text, "Wohlan, Husar will ich sein!"; continuation of aforegoing; Act 2 Terzett (No. 9): Saffi and Czipra, "Ei, ei, er lacht" (with rhythm altered to 2/4 time)

No. 4 Trénis         -

Act 1 Mirabella-Couplet (No. 4): Chorus, "Ach der Kanonen Donner kracht"; Act 1 Mirabella-Couplet (No. 4): Mirabella, "Kanonen dröhnten ringsherum bum!" (NOTE: These two extracts are quoted in the opposite order to their appearance in the operetta) *

No. 5 Pastourelle  -

Act 1 Ensemble (No. 5): Accompaniment to section sung by chorus, "Der alten Sitte sind wir treu"; Act 1 Mirabella-Couplet (No. 4): Mirabella, "Just sind es vier und zwanzig Jahre"; continuation of Mirabella-Couplet

No. 6 Finale         -

Act 3 Einzugsmarsch (No. 17): Chorus, "Hurrah die Schlacht mitgemacht hab'n wir im fernen Land"; Act 1 Finale (No. 7): Appears several times in the Finale, but sung first by Saffi to the words "Hier in diesem Land Eure Wiege stand" (a melody already foreshadowed in the Overture)

*   This so-called "Kanonen-Couplet" was excised by the censor's office before the première of the operetta on 24 October 1885. The first performance of the number took place at the Raimundtheater, Vienna, on 31 March 1908, more than 22 years later, when Mizzi Schütz sang it at a charity performance to raise funds for the Johann Strauss Denkmal (memorial).

 

[3] ISCHLER WALZER [in A-dur] (Ischl Waltz [in A major]) o. op

 

After the death in 1899 of Vienna's Waltz King, Johann Strauss II, the widowed Adèle Strauss (1856-1930) strove to ensure that her late husband's posthumous works were systematically worked up to a condition where they could be performed and published. In pursuance of this, "Frau Adèle Strauss" wrote from Vienna on 6 May 1900 to the Leipzig publishing house of Hermann Seeman Nachfolger: "It is possible that my son-in-law, the pianist [Professor Richard] Epstein [1869-1919], will pass through Leipzig on his summer tour and he might stop there for a day to give you everything and play it for you, for I do not trust the post with these valuable manuscripts, and the experienced old copyist cannot copy them for you at the moment, as he belongs to the orchestra of my brother-in-law, Eduard, and is on tour [in Germany] ...". The works to which Adèle referred certainly included those which the Leipzig publisher eventually issued in 1901, entitled Abschieds-Walzer in F-dur (Volume 39 of this CD series) and Ischler Walzer in A-dur.

 

In advance of its publication, the Ischler Walzer (also identified as Posthumous Waltz No. 2) found its way on to the programme of a "Popular Orchestral Concert" given by the Wiener Concert-Verein (Vienna Concert Union) in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein on the late afternoon of Sunday 18 November 1900. Karl Komzák (1850-1905) and Karl Stix shared the conducting of a programme which opened with the overture to Wagner's Tannhäuser and also featured Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Smetana's symphonic tone-poem Moldau and the first movement of Mozart's G-minor Symphony. The Neue Freie Presse reported on this concert in its evening edition of 19 November 1900: "A posthumous waltz by Johann Strauss. The orchestra of the Wiener Concert-Verein yesterday gave the first performance of a posthumous work by Johann Strauss, the 'Ischler Walzer'. The waltz is one of the best compositions which the maestro wrote. It consists of three sections, each of which is thoroughly melodious and particularly finely instrumented. In response to tempestuous demands, Karl Komzák, the conductor, had to repeat the waltz".

 

Like other late-blooms of Johann Strauss's musical invention, among them Traumbilder I and II (Volumes 41 and 37), the Ischler Walzer is imbued with a reflective yearning that is quite absent from his earlier compositions. Wrongly dismissed by some writers as the inferior creations of a spent and world-weary maestro, these works are instead the mature and masterly final flowerings of the septuagenarian Waltz King. Whatever the uncertainties as the new century beckoned, cossetted and secure with his wife Adèle, he could look back and reflect on the triumphs and tribulations of a rich musical life.

 

On 21 May 1905 the Illustriertes Wiener Extrablatt reported that "the recently published No. 10 of Volume VI of the 'Musikblätter' [presents] a Johann Strauss Album which includes the Waltz King's last two works, 'Abschieds-Walzer' and 'Ischler Walzer'". The advertisement further announced that individual copies of these pieces were available for 30 crowns in all the tobacconists' shops of Vienna. The age of strict ties to the publishing houses was over; the twentieth century brought with it new marketing opportunities, and thus Strauss waltzes now took their place alongside cigarettes and newspapers.

 

The Ischler Walzer took its name from the historic little spa of Bad Ischl, situated in the heart of the Salzkammergut region of Austria. Lying on a peninsula between the River Traun and its tributary, the Ischl, the town was a popular resort of Habsburg emperors from the time of Maximilian I (1459-1519), and was the summer residence of the monarchy during the reign of Franz Joseph I (1830-1916). Aside from also attracting the crowned heads of Europe - King Edward VII, for example, was three times the Austrian Emperor's guest, in 1905, 1907 and 1908 - Austria's leading actors, singers and composers flocked to the tranquility of Bad Ischl, among them Alexander Girardi, Katharina Schratt, Richard Tauber, Franz Lehár, Emmerich Kálmán, C.M. Ziehrer, Oscar Straus, Robert Stolz - and Johann Strauss. Strauss, who first visited Bad Ischl on 13 September 1855, was not only a frequent guest in the spa-town, but later rented and then bought (1897) a villa, the Villa Erdödy, at No. 36 Kaltenbachstrasse. It remains a tragedy that this building, which had been restored between the two World Wars, was allowed to be demolished during the winter of 1969/70. In place of a unique architectural memorial that had once resounded to Johann Strauss's creativity and witnessed happy gatherings with guests including Johannes Brahms, the authorities instead saw fit to erect on its site a soulless block of flats.

 

[4]-[6] BALLETTMUSIK AUS DER OPER: RITTER PÁSMÁN

(Ballet music from the opera Ritter Pásmán)

 

On New Year's Day 1892 the k.k. Hof-Operntheater (Imperial-Royal Court Opera Theatre) on Vienna's Ringstrasse flung wide its doors for the world première of Johann Strauss's much-publicised foray into the realm of grand opera, the three-act Ritter Pásmán (Knight Pásmán). To a text by Ludwig Dóczi (1845-1919), based on a ballad by the Hungarian poet Aranyi János (1817-82), the venture proved an expensive mistake in terms of the time and effort expended on its creation, and its unequivocal failure plunged the composer into the very depths of despair.

 

The sentiments of many critics were echoed in the words of Ludwig Speidel, who wrote in the Fremden-Blatt on 3 January 1892: "This opera is more than an aesthetic work, it represents a negation of the self for the composer; it is a truly respectable achievement and it commands our greatest admiration, even if it doesn't please us". What did excite the interest of Vienna's journalists, however, was the Act 3 ballet music, performed in the opera at the royal palace in Hungary shortly after the wedding of King Karl Robert and his Queen, a Bohemian princess. No one has given a more evocative account of this music than Vienna's influential 'Music Pope', the critic Dr Eduard Hanslick (1825-1904), in his review of the opera's first night. Writing in the Neue Freie Presse on 3 January 1892, Hanslick offered constructive criticism, as well as general praise for Strauss's music and orchestrations: "However, we must expressly highlight the ballet music in the third act. It is by far the glittering crown jewel of this score. No one but Johann Strauss could have created it! Even though he is right from the start and in all his being an 'absolute' [pure] musician, that is, in his musical invention, he does not enjoy being bound by the restriction of words, the text. With the first bars of the 'Pásmán ballet' he suddenly seems to grow wings, and with youthful strength and joyfulness he soars into the air; libretto and poet vanish from his sight - 'now I alone am master!'. The ballet begins - recallng the Bohemian homeland of the Queen - with a polka, danced in Slavonic peasant costume. The music, of fetching, thrilling rhythms and captivating orchestral tones, belongs to the most beautiful of Strauss's dance pieces. After this there follows an exceedingly graceful and delicate shawl-dance in leisurely three-quarter time - a pleasant contrast to the preceding polka. The tempo picks up a little and develops into a waltz in F major, a dance-piece of perfect refinement and poetry. Even though after the polka the applause of the audience seemed to have no end, after the waltz a veritable rejoicing broke out. But there was better still to be expected: a csárdás of energetic national character. How the violins scorch, how the clarinets sob, how the cymbal pounds in the orchestra! The growing intensity of tempo, rhythm and fullness of sound with which the piece swells to its breathless, intoxicating frenzy, is extraordinary. This incomparable ballet music would on its own be capable of turning any opera into a box-office success. It awakens in me an often, but vainly uttered old wish: Strauss might want to present us with a complete ballet. These days he is the only composer who could do that with very great effect. And with a playfully light touch".

 

Almost a year before the première of Ritter Pásmán, Johann had written to Simrock on 27 January 1891, notifying his publisher that "the ballet, which has become longer than we had originally planned - lasts over 20 minutes duration. It contains (I believe I have already informed you of this, though I am not sure) a short processional march - Polka - Ballabile - Waltz - Csárdás, which last forms the conclusion". After Ritter Pásmán was withdrawn from theatre repertoire, there were only rare opportunities to hear its ballet music performed complete in concert halls. Among the more significant occasions was a festival concert in the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein on 14 October 1894, when the k.k. Hof-Opernorchester (that is, the Vienna Philharmonic), under Wilhelm Jahn (1835-1900), celebrated the fiftieth jubilee of Johann Strauss's début as composer and conductor with a concert of the Waltz King's music. Earlier, Strauss had dismissed "point blank" a suggestion from Joseph Hassreiter (1845-1940), ballet master of the Vienna Hof-Operntheater, that his Ritter Pásmán ballet score should be incorporated into a production of Pietro Mascagni's opera I Rantzau (1892) on 7 January 1893. Johann wrote indignantly to his brother Eduard: "If my ballet music is strong enough to support a foreign opera, then it should uphold my own work! On the other hand, I cannot conceive how Mascagni can be pleased with this procedure. His opera with another's ballet music?".

 

[7] PÁSMÁN-QUADRILLE (Pásmán Quadrille) o. op

 

During the protracted period of rehearsals which preceded the first performance of Johann Strauss's grand opera Ritter Pásmán (Knight Pásmán) at the Imperial-Royal Court Opera House on Vienna's Ringstrasse, the composer and his publisher in Berlin, Friedrich ('Fritz') August Simrock (1836-1901), had ample time to consider the arrangements of dances based on themes from the new stage work. The publication of separate dance pieces (and marches) from operetta melodies had long been standard practice, and by the time Ritter Pásmán opened on 1 January 1892 Simrock was ready to release the individual dance music printed editions compiled from its score. In an extensive exchange of correspondence at the end of 1891, Strauss had sent to Berlin the names of the military bandmasters to whom the publisher was to offer the sheet music, and his wishes were fulfilled.

 

For some reason, the set of dance pieces which Strauss arranged from Ritter Pásmán lacked the obligatory quadrille. This omission on the part of the composer, however, did not prevent Simrock from announcing the publication of a Pásmán-Quadrille, which he offered for sale on 24 February 1892 in editions for piano and for orchestra. When word of Simrock's plans reached Johann, the composer wrote reprovingly to the publisher on 5 March 1892: "I hear of a quadrille you have had put together from 'Pásmán' - I must beg of you to show the relevant arranger as the composer on the title page, as I am in no way responsible for the nature of the combination of the themes or for the instrumental treatment [and thus] cannot be expected to lend my name to it. The title page must show: 'Quadrille from themes in the opera Pásmán by J. Str., arranged and instrumented by N.N.' I cannot believe that this matter will be confirmed [as true]. Please provide enlightenment on the subject". Simrock responded by return, notifying Johann on 7 March 1892: "The quadrille on themes from Pásmán (as it appears on the title [page]) was arranged for orchestra by Joh[ann] Nep[omuk] Král (of Pest); that also appears on the title [page]. - As a rule, on the pianoforte arrangements the arrangers are not named - that scarcely ever happens, even for Brahms - it just doesn't matter! It is simply called Quadrille on themes from the opera 'R.P.' by Johann Strauss. [Josef] Schlar [1861-1922] had made the [pianol arrangement for 2 hands - and he should be named as arranger - but I have been ill all the time - I saw and heard nothing and have also not yet even seen the quadrille - moreover, only a very small print run was made and Schlar's name is to be added when a reprint is done (if he is not on it)!".

 

Manifestly, the Pásmán-Quadrille issued by Simrock's publishing house was not greeted with affection by the bandmasters or civilian conductors, for no performance of the piece can be traced up to the close of the Vienna concert season on 27 March 1892. Also Eduard Strauss studiously avoided programming the quadrille at any time in his Sunday afternoon concerts with the Strauss Orchestra in the Musikverein. It is perhaps not difficult to understand why this should have been so, for while the many short scenes in Strauss's opera abound with thematic material, the weighty substance of the libretto was naturally reflected in the music. Undeniably, the Pásmán-Quadrille is often sombre in mood compared with the quadrilles based on themes from Strauss's other stage works: quite possibly, it was a recognition of this - as much as anything - which dissuaded Johann from creating a Pásmán-Quadrille himself.

 

The six figures, or sections, of the dance work present material from the following sources in Strauss's opera:

 

No. 1 Pantalon     -

Themes 1A and 1B quote directly from the opening section of the Act 3 ballet music. Theme 1C derives from the Act 1 duet for Eva and Gundy: Eva, "Wer in Lebensungewittern an ein treues Herz sich presst"

No. 2 Été             -

Act 1 Aria for Pásmán, to the words "Pip, pip, pip, pip! Seht vor Hunger trippeln sie!"; Act 1 'Trinklied': King, "Der Welschwein ist ein sanfter Schwämer"

No. 3 Poule          -

Act 1 'Trinklied': Omodé, "Drum willst Du Frau'n gefährlich sein"; Act 1 'Trinklied': Chor, "Und hast Du französische Weine im Keller, so hast Du auch Witze im Kopf!"; Act 2 Walzer-Ariette: Eva, "O, gold'ne Frucht am Lebensbaum"

No. 4 Trénis         -

Vorspiel zum 1 Akt; Act 1 Aria: Pásmán, "Na freilich, der König selbst ist ein Kind"

No. 5 Pastourelle  -

Act 3 ballet music (Csárdás); Act 3 ballet music (Polka); Act 1 Aria: Mischu, "Der Ritter Pásmán schickte mich auf seinem eig'nen guten Pferd"

No. 6 Finale         -

Act 1 Chor der Spinnerinnen: "Die Männer gehen fort vom Haus, die Weiber bleiben drinnen"; Act 1 Männerchor: "... die Hauptsach' ist die Beute nicht, ja die Hauptsach' ist das Jagen"

 

The orchestral performing material of the Pásmán-Quadrille arranged by Johann Nepomuk Král, bandmaster of the Imperial and Royal Austrian Infantry Regiment No. 23, and issued by Simrock in Berlin, appears not to have survived. For this Marco Polo recording, therefore, Christian Pollack has made a new orchestration based on Kapellmeister Josef Schlar's published arrangement for piano.

 

[8] EVA-WALZER (Eva Waltz) o. op

 

Johann Strauss began work on his only completed grand opera, Ritter Pásmán (Knight Pásmán), around February 1888. The libretto (formerly entitled Ein Kuss in Ehren - A Kiss in Honour) was the work of the Hungarian-born lawyer / playwright Ludwig Dóczi (1845-1919), and was a dramatisation of a ballad by the Hungarian poet Aranyi János (1817-82), set during the Middle Ages.

 

Even while the repeatedly-delayed rehearsals for the first performance of the opera were still in progress at the Vienna Hof-Operntheater, Johann Strauss and his publisher in Berlin, Fritz Simrock, were making great efforts to distribute the dance pieces arranged from the score of the three-act opera to the bandmasters of the regiments garrisoned in Vienna. Strauss, however, warned of the dangers of allowing performances of these dance works before the première since, as he told Simrock in November 1891: "A total misunderstanding of the opera would be implanted in the minds of the general public". As a result, directly after the stage work's première on 1 January 1892, the first pieces based on themes from Ritter Pásmán were heard in most of the establishments in which military music concerts took place at that time. With only notable exceptions, the bandmasters avoided the demanding, symphonic Pásmán-Walzer (Volume 26 of this CD series) and began by choosing the simpler (and shorter) Eva-Walzer which, for the most part, consists of the Act 2 waltz romance of the lovely Eva, wife of the elderly Ritter Pásmán. In her ariette, "O, gold'ne Frucht am Lebensbaum" ('O, golden fruit on the Tree of Life'), Eva - sung at the première by the Graz-born mezzo-soprano Marie Renard (real name Marie Pölzl, 1863-1939) - expresses the conflict of her feelings on discovering that she has been courted, not as she had believed by a young huntsman who had accidentally trespassed on the estates of her husband, but by Karl Robert of Anjou, King of Hungary.

 

Strauss evidently composed Eva's Act 2 ariette in the winter of 1890/91, for writing in a letter to Simrock on 3 December 1890 he mentioned: "Dóczi is writing a text for the waltz intended for Fräulein Renard in the 2nd act, which I have to compose as soon as I receive it". Even before the première of Ritter Pásmán, this ariette for Eva had been marked out as "a little gem" by the correspondent for the London Times (25.12.1891), who had attended a private play-through of the opera's music at Strauss's home on 23 December. Ludwig Speidel, the critic for the Fremden-Blatt, filed a more detailed report on this scene in his first-night review, published on 3 January 1892: "This waltz, in E-flat major, is certainly an utterly charming piece, and it is wonderful to see what richness of feeling is contained in this gracious, soaring, extended music, which soon becomes leaping and flirtatious. The ritardando, that languishing, teasing delaying of motion which Strauss introduced into dance music with fine taste and as a most intimate attraction, is also used with very good effect in the waltz aria".

 

The Strauss Orchestra, under Johann's brother Eduard, delayed taking the Eva-Walzer into their repertoire. Instead, two separate groups of musicians may fairly lay claim to having given the first concert performance of the new waltz on the afternoon of 3 January 1892. On that day the work was played in the Sofienbad-Saal by the band of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Estonia Infantry Regiment No. 19, under its bandmaster Alphons Czibulka (1842-94), and by the band of the Count Jellačić Infantry Regiment No. 69, under bandmaster Josef Král (1860-1920), in the Vogelreuther Hotel in the suburb of Hietzing. Since the Eva-Walzer was the eighth item on the programme of each concert, the rightful claimant to the première was probably Infantry Regiment No. 69 since their concert was scheduled to begin first. Johann Strauss, himself a master of orchestration, may not have heard either of these performances but he was manifestly informed about them, for on 9 January 1892 he wrote to Fritz Simrock in Berlin: "The 'Eva-Walzer' should have been arranged differently. The violins with the flute and clarinet cannot express what a cornet-à-piston [= valve-cornet], replacing the melody line, would have achieved. From what I hear, [it has been] without effect everywhere. This piece can only be made to work by a solo wind instrument (cornet or soprano flugelhorn). Otherwise it would have been better not to have done it for orchestra, for every other arrangement must remain unsuccessful". In his answer on 11 January 1892, the publisher clearly revealed the genesis of the Eva-Walzer: "It was Schlar, dear friend, who arranged the 'Eva-Walzer'! Yes, I would have preferred it 100 times over if you had done it! It is always a bad idea to get such arrangements done by others - the author's intentions are not achieved, whereas the author himself can do it with ease". Strauss, however, was not appeased. On 29 March 1892 he wrote again on the subject to Simrock, firstly voicing his opinion that the Eva-Walzer should have been issued for voice and piano rather than for orchestra, and then expressing his displeasure at the publication of two waltzes from Ritter Pásmán (the Pásmán-Walzer and Eva-Walzer): "Both in opera as in operetta, two pieces of the same type must never appear in print, particularly when they are waltzes". He added: "In the case of short numbers, such as polkas, mazurkas, [and] marches, things are rather different".

 

It was therefore Kapellmeister Josef Schlar (1861-1922), rather than Johann Strauss, who compiled the Eva-Walzer, and it is his orchestration which has been used for this Marco Polo recording. Schlar, who, at Fritz Simrock's request, assisted Strauss with many arrangements, or made them himself, thus chose a less strikingly effective instrumentation than Strauss would have wanted. In so doing, he created a more gentle, perhaps for the time a more modern, interpretation - and in the view of many of his contemporaries, he achieved a successful result. Schlar, it seems, had more than a passing musical interest in the Eva-Walzer - or rather, in Marie Renard, who created the rôle of Eva in Strauss's opera. Like the singer, Schlar was born at Graz in Styria. In a codicil to a letter written to Fritz Simrock on 9 December 1891, Strauss mentioned that it was on account of Renard's indisposition that the première of Ritter Pásmán had been postponed for so long. He continued: "It is said that Renard has not been ill at all. Please do not mention this to Herr Schlar. Schlar is a pleasant, talented man, is an honest fellow - who, however, appears to be in close contact with R. - it seems he has found a home in her apartment, not just as her vocal coach but also as a healthy son of nature. All sub rosa!!!".

 

The orchestral Eva-Walzer presents a selection of melodies from Ritter Pásmán, drawn from the following sources:

 

Introduction   -

28 bars from the Act 2 Ensemble und Marsch, King, joined by Omodé, Mischu and chorus of knights: "Nur leise, zur heimlichen Reise". 30 bars (in waltz tempo), only the last 4 of which appear to have their origin in the opera's score: these 4 quoted from the short lead-in to Eva's Act 2 waltz - ariette, "O, gold'ne Frucht am Lebensbaum"

Waltz 1A       -

Act 2, Walzer-Ariette der Eva: "O, gold'ne Frucht am Lebensbaum"

Waltz 1B       -

Continuation of Eva's Act 2 Walzer-Ariette

Waltz 2A       ­-

Continuation of Eva's Act 2 Walzer-Ariette

Waltz 2B       -

Act 1 Duett for Gundy and Mischu, Gundy: "Sonne und Regen reifen und pflegen"

Coda             -

With the exception of the first 8 bars, the remaining melodies are based on those already quoted in the waltz

Note:   Themes 1A, 1B and 2A of the Eva-Walzer are essentially the same as themes 3A, 3B and 4A in the Pásmán-Walzer but are, respectively, in E flat, C minor and A flat major instead of G, E minor and C major, as they are in Eva's waltz-ariette. Theme 2B in the Eva- Walzer is the same as theme 4B in the Pásmán-Walzer, but is in A flat major instead of C major, whereas the original theme in the opera is in G major.

 

 

[9] POTPOURRI-QUADRILLE o. op

 

On 24 August 1867 the Viennese Fremden-Blatt newspaper carried a report from its London correspondent. Dated 16 August 1867, the account commenced: "Yesterday, in the Royal Italian Opera House, Covent Garden, there began the Promenade Opera Concerts which have always taken place at this time for a number of years. They can be very accurately described as an oasis in the great desert which is the English capital city soon after the end of the so-called 'London season'. Scarcely have the doors closed on the Italian opera season, in whose firmament this year Lucca, Patti, Nilsson, Titjens and so on shone as gleaming stars, than the premises of the Covent Garden Theatre are turned into a great, elegant concert hall, decorated for a festival". After noting the engagement of the double-bass virtuoso Giovanni Bottesini (1821-89) as conductor of the 100-strong orchestra for the classical and operatic repertoire of the promenade concerts, the journalist continued: "However, one of the most notable acquisitions of the new management is the famous waltz composer Johann Strauss, from Vienna, who reaped a harvest of enthusiastic applause yesterday. Until a few days ago, Strauss and his charming waltzes were unknown quantities for a major part of the London public. One single evening was enough, however, to make the Waltz King and his melodies extraordinarily popular".

 

Like his father before him, Johann did not come to London empty-handed. Apart from bringing his wife, the mezzo-soprano Jetty Treffz (1818-78), who entranced the Covent Garden audiences with her repertoire of songs, Johann also wrote or arranged a number of compositions for his British public. These novelties included the Potpourri-Quadrille, first performed at the Opera House on Saturday 14 September 1867. Johann's own detailed diary entry for the programme of this concert - his twenty-seventh in London - reads:

 

            "1.   Künstlerleben [Waltz op. 318] ... recall, as an encore

                   Annen-Polka [op. 117] ... 2 recalls, as an encore

                   Repetition

2.         Potpourriquadrille ... recall, as an encore

                   Repetition

3.         Bauern-Polka [op. 276] ... recall, as an encore

                   Repetition ... 2 recalls, as an encore

                   Repetition"

 

In the apparent absence of any surviving score it was, until recently, generally assumed that the Potpourri-Quadrille was identical to Strauss's Festival-Quadrille op. 341 (also written for the 1867 London visit and performed under the title Promenade Quadrille, on Popular Airs). However, The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain finally traced a copy of the Potpourri-Quadrille issued by the London publishing house of Boosey & Co. in its series of "New Dance Music by J. Strauss Junr.", and it has proved to be an entirely separate work. As its name implies, the Potpourri-Quadrille is a musical pastiche, assembled by Strauss into the five separate sections (or 'figures') usual in English quadrilles of the period. The composition features French and German airs from Johann's previously published Chansonetten-Quadrille (op. 259) and Lieder-Quadrille (op. 275), together with three popular Scottish melodies: "Ye banks and braes o' Bonny Doon", "There's nae luck about the house" and "Wi' a hundred pipers an' a', an' a'". The inclusion of these Scottish airs may well have been at the behest of Jetty Strauss, whose repertoire of such Scottish songs as "Auld Lang Syne" and "Comin' thro' the rye" were always enthusiastically applauded by the London audiences. A more detailed thematic analysis of the Potpourri-Quadrille may be given as follows:

 

Figure 1  -   Lieder-Quadrille (No.1, Pantalon figure)

Figure 2  -   Lieder-Quadrille (No. 2, Été figure)

Figure 3  -   The aforementioned three Scottish songs

Figure 4  -    Chansonetten-Quadrille (No. 5, Pastourelle figure)

Figure 5  -    Lieder-Quadrille (No. 6, Finale figure)

 

The Potpourri-Quadrille was never published or played in Vienna. Johann Strauss intended it merely as a tribute to the audiences who nightly thronged to his sixty-three concert appearances at the Royal Italian Opera House, the success of which led him to close his diary entries for the London season with the words: "Vivat die Engländer mit vollkom[men]ster Herzen's Empfindung!" (Long live the English, from the bottom of my heart!)

 

This Marco Polo CD recording presents the quotations from the Lieder-Quadrille and Chansonetten-Quadrille in the original orchestrations as issued by Carl Haslinger's publishing house in Vienna. It has not proved possible to locate Strauss's original orchestration of the third section, comprising the Scottish airs, and so in 1989 The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain commissioned from the English conductor and double-bass player, Edward Peak, an arrangement from the piano score.

 

[10] BALLETTMUSIK AUS "DER CARNEVAL IN ROM"

(Ballet music from The Carnival in Rome)

 

Johann Strauss's second operetta, Der Carneval in Ram (The Carnival in Rome), took to the boards of Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 1 March 1873 as a benefit performance for the actor and tenor Albin Swoboda (1836-1901), in the rôle of the painter Arthur Bryk. The stage work achieved a total of 54 performances during 1873 alone. The theatre's co-director, Maximilian Steiner (1830-80), had earlier made known to the composer his desire for several ballet scenes to be included in the new stage work - as was demanded of composers in French opera houses - and these interludes, choreographed by the ballet mistress Therese Kilanyi (also written Kilany), were itemised on the opening night playbill as follows: Ländler (performed by 12 ladies from the corps de ballet), La fête du Carneval (for three ladies), Intermezzo (for 30 persons), Ballet der Clowns und Blumen (for nine ladies and the corps de ballet) and Finale (featuring all the soloists and the corps de ballet).

 

In the newspaper reports covering the première of Der Carneval in Ram, which was conducted by Johann Strauss himself, the ballet scenes attracted scant attention, with the Fremden-Blatt (2.03.1873) admitting that "the effectiveness of the operetta was enhanced by characteristic ballet interludes". Only marginally greater space was given over to what the Neues Wiener Tagblatt (4.03.1873) referred to as the "burlesque final pantomime". The first concert performance of the original ballet music from Der Carneval in Rom was given during a promenade concert by the Strauss Orchestra, under Eduard Strauss's direction, in the Vienna Musikverein on Tuesday 25 March 1873. On this occasion Eduard also took the opportunity to conduct the first concert performance of the operetta's Overture. In July 1873 the publisher of Der Carneval in Rom, Friedrich Schreiber, issued printed editions of the operetta's ballet music arranged for piano two hands and four hands by Richard Genée (1823-95). There was no orchestral edition.

 

It was Genee's arrangement of this ballet music which the conductor, composer and renowned Strauss authority, Max Schönherr (1903-84), later used as the basis for his own version of the ballet music from Der Carneval in Rom. Schönherr's arrangement commences with a strident trumpet call, but he skilfully also vested it with a rhythmical introduction which was partly derived from the operetta's closing music. He orchestrated the Schreiber piano edition in his own way, and brought his arrangement to a close by fashioning a melodic ending which Richard Genée did not include in his published version. Thus an independent musical fantasy came into being: written in the style of the mid-20th century and based on original Strauss themes, but mantled in an orchestral sound which is wholly untypical of the period in which the operetta was composed. Schönherr triumphs through his skill for demanding instrumentation, which challenges the orchestra to a top rate performance. The result is undeniably impressive - even though the original sound of Strauss's music, with which Schönherr was perhaps more familiar than any of his contemporaries, has been abandoned. Max Schönherr's version of the ballet music from Der Carneval in Rom remains a fine example of the manner in which Johann Strauss's music - a product of the 19th century - can be updated to reflect the orchestral sounds of the 20th century.

 

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.

 

Alfred Walter

 

Alfred Waller was born in Southern Bohemia in 1929 of Austrian parents. He studied at the University of Graz and in 1948 was appointed assistant conductor to the Opera of Ravensburg. At the age of 22 he became conductor of the Graz Opera, where he continued until 1965, while serving at Bayreuth as assistant to Hans Knappertsbusch and Karl Böhm. From 1966 until 1969 he was Principal Conductor of the Durban Symphony Orchestra in South Africa, followed by a period of 15 years as General Director of Music in Münster. In Vienna he has worked as guest conductor at the State Opera and in 1986 was given the title of Professor by the Austrian Government. In 1980 he was awarded the Golden Medal of the International Gustav Mahler Society. For Marco Polo, Alfred Walter has recorded more than 15 volumes of the label's Johann Strauss II Edition, works by von Schillings, von Einem, de Bériot, Reinecke and all symphonic works of Furtwängler. He is currently engaged in recording the complete symphonies of Spohr.

 


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