About this Recording
8.223246 - STRAUSS II, J.: Edition - Vol. 46
English  German 

The Johann Strauss Edition Edition

The Johann Strauss Edition

Edition; Volume 46

 

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] VATERLÄNDISCHER MARSCH (Fatherland March) o.op

   Johann II & Josef Strauss

 

On 23 April 1859 an ultimatum arrived in Turin, sent by the Austrian Foreign Minister Count Karl Ferdinand von Buol-Schauenstein (1797-1865) to the Secretary of State for the kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, Count Camillo Benso Cavour (1810-61). The purpose of the ultimatum was to ensure peace in upper Italy, a region under Habsburg rule: it declared that war would follow in five days unless the Piedmontese army was withdrawn from the frontier in Lombardy and reverted to a peacetime footing. Unknown to Austria, however, as early as 11 July 1858 Count Cavour and the French Emperor Napoléon III (1808-73) had held a secret meeting at Plombières in France and had jointly agreed to expel Austria from northern Italy, provided Austria could be provoked into launching hostilities. Austria had been deceived: Cavour's brusque rejection of the ultimatum was greeted with surprise in Vienna, and by 27 April 1859 she was at war with Sardinia-Piedmont and its French allies. Tricked by the plan laid at Plombières, and wholly misjudging the mood of the Piedmontese, Austria found herself embroiled in a war, the outcome of which was seriously to compromise her dominion in Italy. (Following a series of Franco-Piedmontese victories, Napoléon and Emperor Franz Josef I signed an armistice at Villafranca in July 1859.)

 

While the Viennese populace could summon little enthusiasm for the events in upper Italy, there was general recognition that the fate of the Austrian monarchy in Italy would impinge upon the lives of everyone. As a result, expressions of solidarity with the Imperial army were voiced by means of numerous demonstrations and patriotic events throughout Vienna: the Strauss Orchestra, naturally, was ready enough to play its part in these activities. Although Johann Strauss had intended to leave Vienna towards the close of April 1859 for his fourth season of concerts at Pavlovsk, near St Petersburg, he delayed his departure for a few days and, together with his brother Josef (1827-70), hurriedly wrote a fervently nationalistic Vaterländischer Marsch. On 8 May 1859, readers of the Wiener Zeitung and Fremden-Blatt newspapers were greeted by the announcement of a festivity taking place at the 'Sperl' dance hall in the suburb of Leopoldstadt the following day, 9 May: "Gathering of all Friends of the Fatherland! In aid of the Fund to support the Vienna Volunteers, Johann and Josef Strauss present an Extraordinary Patriots' Festival Concert with the motto 'Long live the Austrian Eagle'. At approximately 10.00pm, for the first time: 'Vaterländischer Marsch' by Johann and Josef Strauss, with the motto 'They shall not have it"'.

 

The press carried no review of this first performance of the Vaterländischer Marsch, nor of those which followed a few days later under Josef Strauss's direction. However, when the march was published by Carl Haslinger on 20 May 1859, the Wiener Allgemeine Theaterzeitung (22.05.1859) commented that it had met with "the greatest applause". The paper continued: "This march offers a real treasury of national melodies, most cleverly compiled, and ought to achieve the popularity of the celebrated 'Radetzky Marsch'". This last prophesy was to prove sadly wide of the mark, for not only did the Vaterländischer Marsch fail to match the popularity of Johann Strauss Father's Radetzky Marsch (1848), but as many a composition dashed off to meet the needs of a specific occasion, the work was swiftly forgotten. However, the Wiener Allgemeine Theaterzeitung was correct in identifying the Vaterländischer Marsch as "a real treasury of national melodies, most cleverly compiled". The piece commences with four introductory bars from the Radetzky-Marsch, and also features in its main section a quotation from that other rousing patriotic work, the Rákóczi Marsch. The Trio section combines a further extract from the Radetzky-Marsch with material from the Austrian national anthem, Joseph Haydn's 'Kaiserlied' ("Gott erhalte"). In view of the comment by the reporter for the Wiener Allgemeine Theaterzeitung, both main and Trio sections may also comprise quotations from other, now forgotten, national melodies.

 

If Johann Strauss imagined that this display of patriotism in the spring of 1859 would be sufficient to secure him the coveted post of Director of Music for the Imperial-Royal Court Balls, in succession to his late father, he was to be gravely disappointed. His application of 11 May 1859 - made direct both to Emperor Franz Josef and to the Office of the First Master of the Imperial-Royal Household - was refused, as it had been three years earlier. Not until February 1863 was he to attain this honorary position within the Habsburg Court, all previous objections having been overcome.

 

[2] GREETING TO AMERICA. WALTZ o.op

 

More than a week before Vienna's Waltz King arrived in Boston to commence his engagement at the World's Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival in summer 1872, the Boston Post (7.06.1872) reported: "Strauss will compose a grand pot pourri of excerpts from the best of his own works, which he will style 'Sounds of Boston'. He is also composing a new waltz to be performed at the Jubilee under the name of 'Fair Columbia'".

 

While the pastiche waltz Sounds of Boston was duly published in America, with the alternative German title of Geschichten auf dem Boston (literally, Tales of Boston), Fair Columbia appears not to have come into being - at least, not under that name. Since the Boston Post implies that Fair Columbia was intended as an entirely original waltz, it is unlikely that it finally took shape as the Jubilee Waltz (Volume 40 of this CD series) as this, too, is a pastiche waltz comprising melodies from previously published works. One possibility is that Fair Columbia saw the light of day under the amended title Greeting to America, a waltz consisting wholly of original Strauss melodies with the exception of the Introduction, which comprises a quotation from J. Stafford Smith's The Star-Spangled Banner. This musical reference, together with the title given to the waltz, ensured the appropriate American flavour - and a work christened Greeting to America afforded Strauss (or a publisher's house arranger?) the perfect opportunity to create a companion waltz, Farewell to America (Volume 47).

 

Perhaps the most through-composed of Strauss's original waltzes for the New World, Greeting to America is a most attractive composition. Consisting of just three waltz sections, of which themes 2A, 3A and 3B are particularly infectious, the work breathes that spark of originality which distinguishes the waltzes Johann composed during his best period. Like all but three of the waltzes which Strauss purportedly created for this 1872 American visit, no actual performance of Greeting to America can be traced during his time there. The piano score of the piece, issued by the New York publisher Carl Heuser, and registered at the Office of the Librarian of Congress in Washington in 1873, is especially revealing in that it states clearly: "Arranged by H.B.". To date, "H.B"'s veil of anonymity has held intact and, though it would be interesting to penetrate this, it is frankly unimportant. What is trenchant about this disclosure is the question it begs, namely the nature of the material from which "H.B." arranged Greeting to America.

 

Did the arranger have access to an orchestral score (or orchestral performing material) and, if so, what has become of it? Alternatively, did Strauss perhaps give (or later send) Heuser's publishing house some rough thematic sketches, from which "H.B." created the finished waltz?

 

In his analysis of Johann Strauss's 'American' compositions, published in Tritsch-Tratsch (No. 56, 1988), the journal of The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain, a member of that Society, Norman Godel, advances a tempting theory as to why Johann conspicuously omitted the first two notes of The Star-Spangled Banner from the Introduction to Greeting to America - an omission he repeated when he quoted from it again at the start of the Coda in his later waltz, Farewell to America. Noting that the quotation in both waltzes commences with the same three notes as the main theme of Austria's second National Anthem - Strauss's waltz An der schönen blauen Donau (By the beautiful blue Danube) op. 314 - Godel muses whether the omission of the first two notes of the unofficial American National Anthem could have been a deliberate, and subtle reference to the Blue Danube Waltz. He further points to similarities between certain themes in Greeting to America and the waltz Tausend und eine Nacht op. 346, published in March of the previous year: specifically these similarities are to be found with theme 3B in Greeting to America and theme 2B in op. 346 and theme 3C in Greeting to America and theme 2C in op. 346. Interestingly, Tausend und eine Nacht was the first of Johann's waltzes to present just three sections - as does Greeting to America.

 

The piano score of Greeting to America was unearthed at the Library of Congress in Washington during autumn 1983 by Dann Chamberlin, an American member of The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain, who brought it to the attention of the American conductor, composer and arranger Jerome D. Cohen, who orchestrated the work from the piano edition. In this form the waltz was given its first performance by the Boston Strauss Orchestra, conducted by Myron Romanul, at a gala benefit concert for the Boston Ballet on 10 October 1985 in the ballroom of the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. Of his arrangement for present-day performance, Mr Cohen has said: "Despite my additions, such as the countermelody in the first waltz, the result is my attempt to recreate the sound that Strauss's audiences would have heard". The Greeting to America waltz is indeed a worthy addition to the catalogue of recordings of the Waltz King's less familiar music.

 

[3] PIZZICATO-POLKA o.op

   Johann II & Josef Strauss

 

The second of the Strauss brothers, Josef (1827-70), had been the first to tread the path of matrimony. Though very happily married since 1857, Josef constantly strove to become financially independent so he could break free from the oppressive confines of the Strauss family apartments in the massive 'Hirschenhaus' in Leopoldstadt and establish a home of his own with his wife and daughter. This possibility appeared to him to advance a step closer when, in 1868, brother Johann reached agreement with the management of the St Petersburg Tsarskoye-Selo Railway Company for Josef and himself to share the conducting of concerts at Pavlovsk during the summer months of 1869.

 

The two Strauss brothers were accompanied on their 1869 venture to Russia by Johann's wife, Jetty (1818-78), whose letters home show that the underlying disharmony which had long existed between 'Jean' (Johann) and 'Pepi' (Josef) had largely given way to a spirit of mutual co-operation. As the two musical directors were now able to divide the workload of rehearsing and conducting the orchestra, both had sufficient time to compose. On 13 June 1869 (= 1 June, Russian calendar), Jetty wrote from Pavlovsk to Josef¡¦s wife Caroline (1831-1900) in Vienna: "Pepi & Jean are now writing a polka together - that again will be something new". Almost twenty-three years later, on 1 April 1892, Johann detailed in a letter to his publisher Fritz Simrock the events which had culminated in this fraternal collaboration: "I advised my brother Josef - so that he could secure the St Petersburg engagement (I have been there 10 times and earned a lot of money) [-] to compose something which would catch on in St Petersburg, and suggested he should prepare a pizzicato polka. He did not want to do it - he was always indecisive - finally I proposed to him that the polka should be created by the two of us. He agreed, and just look - the polka caused a furore in the true sense of the word".

 

Johann Strauss was not exaggerating. The records kept by the diarist F.A. Zimmermann, a viola-player in the 47-strong orchestra at Pavlovsk, show clearly that the work was played no less than nine times on the evening it was first introduced to the Russian public - 24 June 1869 (= 12 June). One can only guess at the scenes which must have ensued as the public demonstrated its wild enthusiasm for this novelty item which, according to Johann, was the very first of its kind. (Léo Delibes's famous Pizzicato-Polka for his ballet Sylvia, ou La Nymphe de Diane was not heard until 1876.) In view of the work's success, it is strange that Johann and Josef omitted the Pizzicato-Polka from their next eleven concerts and only reintroduced it at their benefit performance on 6 July 1869 (= 24 June), when the piece had to be played a total of seven times. At subsequent performances during the remainder of the Pavlovsk season, the Pizzicato-Polka continued to exert its extraordinary effect upon the public.

 

Outside the lands of the Tsar, the Pizzicato-Polka began its conquest of the world when Josef Strauss conducted its Viennese première on 14 November 1869 during the first of his promenade concerts that season with the Strauss Orchestra at the Sofienbad-Saal. In addition to the Pizzicato-Polka - which was given by a quartet of players - Josef also introduced the first Viennese performances of three other works written by him for that year's Pavlovsk concerts: Ohne Sorgen! Polka schnell op. 271, Frohes Leben, Walzer op. 272 and En passant, Polka française op. 273.

 

[4] MARIEN-QUADRILLE (Marie Quadrille) op.51

 

Although not in the best of health, the 22-year-old Johann Strauss the younger embarked on a major concert tour with his orchestra of around thirty musicians in late autumn 1847. Their passports, covering a six-month period, made clear their intentions - to travel "to Pressburg [the German name for Bratislava], additionally to Hungary and Constantinople". (In the event, this ultimate goal was not achieved.) From Vienna, the party travelled in a south-easterly direction via Pressburg, Pest, Temesvár (Timisoara), Neusatz (Novi Sad), Semlin (Zemun), Pancevo, Belgrade, Lugos (Lugoj), Klausenburg (Cluj), Hermannstadt (Sibiu) and Kronstadt (Brasov) to Bucharest, where they gave several highly successful concerts. During this tour Johann Strauss composed two quadrilles on Rumanian folk tunes: the Marien-Quadrille and the Annika-Quadrille (op. 53). The Bucharest Neuer Weg newspaper of 17 August 1968 (No. 5,999) carried a report by Alexander Hummel on the origins of the Marien-Quadrille, a work which dates from around the turn of the year 1847/48: "In Bucharest he [Johann Strauss] became friends with the writer and music critic Nicolaie Filimon, the writer, musician and folklorist Anton Pann, as well as with [the Romanian writer] Cezar Bolliac, and through them made the acquaintance of a number of Romanian folk singers and their songs. The result of these contacts is to be found in opus 51, a suite which he called the 'Marien-Quadrille (on Romanian melodies)'".

 

On 22 December 1847 the Viennese paper Die Gegenwart reported: "Herr Strauss Son will permit the beautiful ladies and elegant gentlemen of Bucharest to dance to his violin during this carnival. He is doing splendid business there". Strauss conducted the world première of his Marien-Quadrille at one of the first three concerts he gave in Bucharest. These took place in the Theatersaal (Theatre Hall) on 31 December 1847 (= 19 December, Julian calendar), 2 January 1848 (= 21 December 1847) and 4 January 1848 (= 23 December 1847). It is also highly likely that "the Dauphin of the Waltz" (as Der Wanderer dubbed Strauss in its edition of 28 December 1847) played the work again at his farewell concert in Bucharest on 6 January 1848 in the Momolo-Saal. For this event, the Viennese 'Musikdirektor' was resplendent in his uniform of Bandmaster of the 2nd Vienna Citizens' Regiment, regalia which Cezar Bolliac described as a gold-braided blue tunic with red trousers.

 

Johann Strauss dedicated his Marien-Quadrille to Princess Maria Bibescu (née Vacarescu, ?-1859), second wife of the Hospodar (Lord) of Wallachia, Prince Gheorghe Dimitrie Bibescu (1804-73). Born into of one of Wallachia's oldest aristocratic families, Princess Maria was an educated, ambitious and particularly attractive woman, with a great love of music and the Arts. In 1843 she divorced her first husband, Costache Ghica, younger brother of Prince Grigore and Prince Alexandru Ghica, both of whom had ruled in Wallachia during the first half of the 19th century. When the European Revolution spread to Wallachia on 14 June 1848, Prince Bibescu was forced to abdicate and flee the country with his wife. Together with their two daughters, Maria and Elena, they lived in exile in France, where Princess Maria died from cancer in 1859.

 

Both Prince Gheorghe and Princess Maria had attended Strauss's concerts in the Theatersaal, and had therefore been present to hear the première of the Marien-Quadrille. The Bukurester Deutsche Zeitung (Bucharest German Newspaper) of 10 January 1848 (= 29 December 1847) carried a collective report of these concerts: "Among new compositions by the young maestro, we heard a quadrille dedicated to her Highness the Princess, in which Wallachian national melodies were very artistically interwoven and which gave rise to enthusiastic applause. Like many other pieces, it had to be repeated in response to general demand". News of the Marien-Quadrille eventally reached Vienna's press, and on 22 February 1848 the Wiener Zeitung stated: "Strauss Son has already played many times at the Court there [in Bucharest], and at the request of the Princess he composed a quadrille, dedicated to her [and] based on Wallachian themes". Ten days before this account in the Wiener Zeitung, however, the Wiener Allgemeine Theaterzeitung had reported: "The Princess accepted the dedication of a quadrille based on Wallachian themes, which is causing a sensation there [in Bucharest]". (Strauss had returned to Bucharest with his orchestra in February 1848, after giving concerts in distant Jassy (Iasi), Belgrade and Zagreb.)

 

It is unclear whether Strauss in fact drew the themes for his Marien-Quadrille from Wallachian or Romanian themes, or from a combination of the two. The issue can only be resolved by further investigation, but research may be clouded by the fact that in 1859 Wallachia was united with Moldavia to form the present-day Romania.

 

The first piano edition of the Marien-Quadrille appeared on 2 June 1848 from Johann's publisher in Vienna, H.F. Müller. Later it was announced that "correct copies" of the orchestral material for the quadrille were also available from the publisher. This version for orchestra seems not to have survived - at least, none has been located - and the present recording therefore features an orchestration made from the piano score of the quadrille by a noted Croatian expert in the music of the Balkans, Vladimir Haklik.

 

[5] STRAUSS' ENGAGEMENT WALTZES o. op

 

Strauss' Engagement Waltzes belongs to that group of compositions which Johann Strauss composed, or arranged, for his visit to the United States of America in 1872 on the occasion of the World's Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival organised at the Coliseum in Boston by the Irish-born Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore (1829-92).

 

On 6 December 1871, Gilmore returned from his European travels to engage foreign bands and soloists for the planned Jubilee. That same night he made a statement to his Committee in Boston, later reported by the Boston Daily Advertiser. In part this read: "There is a possibility - and to this possibility Americans will cling with their accustomed tenacity - that Strauss, whom Mr. Gilmore saw in Vienna, may be able so to modify his existing arrangements that he can take part in the great Jubilee". This statement, dating from early December 1871, marked the first time the name of Strauss was mentioned in connection with the Jubilee, and it refutes biographers' claims that Vienna's Waltz King settled upon a firm contract with Gilmore at their initial meeting. When, at the last moment, Johann chose "to modify his existing arrangements" and accept the Boston engagement, he found himself in breach of a contract he had already signed to give a short season of concerts in St Petersburg that summer. A long and trying court action ensued, as a result of which Strauss was required to pay a high settlement to the plaintiffs, a Russian railway company.

 

Johann's engagement at Boston lasted from the opening concert ('American Day') on 17 June until the official close of the Jubilee ('People's Day') on 4 July. Two days later, on 6 July, he also participated at a benefit concert given in his honour at the Coliseum, immediately afterwards heading for the railway station with his wife for the trip to New York, where he had agreed to conduct three concerts. His appearance in America generated phenomenal public interest, and the newspapers devoted quantities of column inches to reporting his activities, both public and private. It is therefore all the more remarkable that several of the published compositions bearing his name (or, in some cases, just that of 'Strauss'), and apparently composed or arranged for the Boston visit, received no mention at all in the Boston or New York press. Had these works actually been performed during the Jubilee's musical events, it is inconceivable that they would have passed unreported. Based on this assumption, a number of possibilities arise: Strauss may have only composed these works at the very end of the Jubilee, or even despatched them to publishers soon after his return to Vienna. Alternatively, under constant pressure from publishers for new works, he may simply have given them rough thematic sketches for their house arrangers to fashion into complete sets of waltzes. A further possibility is that some of these published compositions have nothing to do with Johann Strauss at all, but are the work of avaricious publishers climbing on to the lucrative 'Strauss bandwagon'.

 

In the opinion of Norman Godel, who analysed the Waltz King's American compositions for Tritsch-Tratsch (No. 56, 1988), the journal of The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain, both Strauss' Engagement Waltzes and Strauss' Autograph Waltzes, (Volume 44 of this CD series) betray Johann's hand in construction and in thematic content, although the presence of five waltz sections in Engagement, more than two years after Strauss had adopted four (occasionally three) sections as standard, suggests that the piece may have been compiled from Strauss's thematic sketches by a publisher's house arranger. Like its companion set - Strauss's Autograph Waltzes - Strauss' Engagement Waltzes was published by the Boston-based music publisher White & Goullaud, who also doubtless decided upon the titles for both works. The piano score of Engagement was registered with the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington in 1873, and while an edition for reduced (i.e. theatre) orchestra has recently come to light, this was regrettably unavailable for this Marco Polo recording. The American conductor, composer and arranger, Jerome D. Cohen, has therefore orchestrated the waltz for this present recording from the published piano edition. In this form David Zinman conducted the Minnesota Orchestra in the first performance of the waltz at the Orchestral Hall, Minneapolis, on 28 July 1993.

 

[6] "WIDMUNG" ('Dedication')

   Robert Schumann (1810-56), arr. Johann Strauss II

 

At 9.00am on the morning of 27 August 1862, Vienna's magnificent St Stephen's Cathedral was the setting for the marriage of Johann Strauss II and the mezzo-soprano Jetty Treffz (née Henriette Carolina Josepha Chalupetzky, 1818-78). As Der Wanderer reported in its evening edition that day, the ceremony" took place in very festive mood and in the presence of a large gathering of friends of the newly-weds". Two days later the couple left Vienna for a fortnight's honeymoon in Venice. As Jetty wrote on 28 August 1862 to her new brother-in-law, Josef Strauss: "Jean's [Johann's] state of health requires the utmost peace and the use of the sea baths at the Lido in Venice".

 

On the return journey from Venice, Johann and his bride made a stopover at Trieste, further along the coast of north-east Italy. Their stay there, and the reminiscences associated with it, were captured for all time in the dedication Johann wrote above the orchestration he made of one of Robert Schumann's most lyrical songs: "Widmung von Schumann zur Erinnerung an den glücklichen Aufenthalt in Triest 862." ('Dedication by Schumann in memory of the happy sojourn in Trieste [1]862.¡¦). Whilst it is not known for certain whether Jetty had Schumann's "Widmung" (op. 25 No. 1) of 1840 in her repertoire, as a well-versed lieder singer she would certainly have been acquainted with Friedrich Rückert's text which includes the words: "Du meine Seele, Du mein Herz ..." ('Thou my soul, thou my heart ¡K¡¦). One could well imagine that Jetty was more delighted by this orchestration, with its open declaration of Johann's love for her, than by the charming French polka Bluette (op. 271, Volume 6 of this CD series) which he was soon to unveil in Vienna, and which bore the simple dedication: "To Jetty Treffz".

 

Although Vienna's press announced that Eduard Strauss would conduct the Strauss Orchestra in the world premiere of Johann's orchestration of Schumann's "Widmung" at the 'Sperl' dance hall on Sunday 12 October 1862, it seems that this plan was subsequently changed to allow Johann himself to give the first performance of the work some six weeks later. Thus the Viennese heard the première of the new "Widmung" arrangement on Saturday 22 November 1862, when Johann Strauss conducted it with the Strauss Orchestra at a concert in the 'Sperl' in the suburb of Leopoldstadt.

 

Johann's orchestration of the short, but highly expressive "Widmung" was never published, but his autograph manuscript score is preserved in the collection of the Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek, Vienna. It remains one of the few surviving examples of the many arrangements of lieder, operatic arias and classical pieces made for the Strauss Orchestra's repertoire, but tragically destroyed when Eduard Strauss burned the Orchestra's archive in 1907. The vast majority of these orchestral arrangements and transcriptions were made by Josef Strauss, Johann seldom being keen to undertake such time-consuming and financially unrewarding work. It is precisely because of this that his orchestral treatment of Schumann's famous song is so valuable.

 

[7] PROBIRMAMSELL-POLKA FRANÇAISE (Mannequin. French polka) o. op

   From music for the ballet Aschenbrödel (Cinderella)

 

On the evening of Thursday 2 May 1901 the audience attending the Königliches Opernhaus (Royal Opera House) in Berlin was treated to a fairy tale double-bill. Immediately after a production of Englebert Humperdinck's three-act opera Hänsel und Gretel (1883), there followed the world première of the ballet which Vienna's Waltz King, Johann Strauss, left uncompleted at the time of his death on 3 June 1899. As the advertisement read in the Vossische Zeitung for 2 May 1901: "For the first time. Aschenbrödel [Cinderella]. Ballet in three acts (after a story by A. Kollmann) by H. Regel. Music by Johann Strauss. Choreography by Emil Graeb. Musical arrangement by J. Bayer. Decorative settings by Chief Supervisor Brandt. Conductor: Kapellmeister Dr [Karl] Muck. Commences at 7.30pm". The house, packed to capacity, greeted the new piece enthusiastically, the critics further praising the extent to which the ballet presented entirely new ideas in choreography and costume. Incredibly, almost seven-and-a-half years were to pass before Strauss's final offering to the theatre world was accorded its first performance in Vienna, when Felix Weingartner conducted the work at the Hof-Operntheater (Court Opera Theatre) on 4 October 1908.

 

Only a thorough analysis of the extant Aschenbrödel autograph material will determine how far Strauss had progressed with his work on the ballet at the time of his death. The Vossische Zeitung (2.05.1901), for instance, maintained that "the first Act was fully instrumented by the maestro's hand, as were the principal numbers in the last two Acts", an opinion endorsed by the Neue Freie Presse (4.10.1908) at the time of the Viennese première. Beyond doubt, however, both newspapers were merely repeating information provided by the seldom unbiased Adèle Strauss, the Waltz King's crusading widow. What is clear is that, after Johann's death, the Director of Ballet at the Vienna Court Opera, the highly regarded and successful composer Joseph Bayer (1852-1913), was charged by Adèle with the task of completing Aschenbrödel from the numerous sketches and drafts for the ballet left by Strauss. Though not completely satisfied with Bayer's treatment, which at times lacked the sensitivity and finesse Johann would have brought to the work, Adèle permitted the project to progress to performance and publication.

 

Aschenbrödel, a contemporary re-telling of the classic Cinderella fairy tale, opens in the busy millinery workroom of 'Die vier Jahreszeiten' ('The Four Seasons') department store during carnival time. The choice of Probirmamsell (Mannequin) as the title for one of the seven dance compositions based on melodies from the ballet's score is thus extremely apposite. It has not yet proved possible to determine whether these dance pieces were compiled from the Aschenbrödel score by Strauss himself or by Bayer: it is only known that the piano editions for two of the dances (Liebesbotschaft-Galopp and Promenade-Abenteuer, Polka-Mazur) were prepared for publication by Rudolf Raimann (1861-1913). The themes for the Probirmamsell-Polka française are drawn from the following sources in the stage work:

 

Theme 1A   -

Act 3, beginning of 'Dream Sequence I'. After returning home from the ball, Grete (Cinderella) falls asleep and dreams ¡K

Theme 1B   -

Act 1, second part of Allegretto section Left alone as her two step-sisters prepare for the ball, Grete commences her housework ¡K

Trio             -

Act 1, Allegretto section. Grete's step-sisters, Fanchon and Yvette, dance together in the workroom, before being joined by Franz, the store-owner's younger brother.

 

[8] ANNIKA-QUADRILLE (Annika Quadrille) op. 53

 

Like the Marien-Quadrille (op. 51, also on this CD), Johann Strauss's Annika-Quadrille came into being during the young composer's concert tour to the Balkans in the autumn and winter of 1847. In the artistic circles of Bucharest Johann came into contact with Romanian folk singers and their songs, and it was doubtless the material he gathered there that provided the sources for this work and also the Marien-Quadrille. Of particular interest in the Annika-Quadrille is the second theme of the Trénis figure (ie, the 3rd section), which Johann was to use again as the first theme in the Trio of his Revolutions-Marsch (op. 54, Volume 11 of this CD series) of 1848. As for the unknown lady immortalised in the title of Strauss's quadrille - in the Czech language, 'Annika' is a pet form of Anna - it remains a matter for pure conjecture whether she was perhaps a familiar figure within Bucharest's artistic circles, or if Annika was possibly the name of the notary's daughter whom Hungarian newspapers the previous December indicated Johann was to marry.

 

While H.F. Müller's printed first piano edition of the Annika-Quadrille makes no reference to the work's thematic provenance, a manuscript piano score of the piece (preserved in Vienna's Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek) by the copyist Johann Proksch provides valuable detail on its title page: "Quadrille françise sur un air valaque, composée par Jean Strauß fils donné à Bucarest a 4 Mars. 1848" ('French quadrille on a Wallachian melody, composed by Johann Strauss Son, given at Bucharest on 4 March 1848'). Assuming this information to be correct - and no other sources regarding the date of first performance have yet been found - the Strauss Orchestra under Johann's direction gave the première of the Annika-Quadrille in Bucharest on 16 March 1848 (= 4 March, Julian calendar), exactly a week before their "Second Farewell Concert" (on 23 March / 11 March) signalled their departure on the homeward journey to Vienna.

 

Particularly noteworthy in regard to the Annika-Quadrille is the fact that H.F. Müller's printed edition, which was issued in Vienna on 2 June 1848, differs from the copyist's manuscript piano score of the piece not only in the piano arrangement but also in harmonic and melodic detail. These disparities make it all the more regrettable that no orchestral material for the Annika-Quadrille seems to have survived, even though H.F. Müller's publishing house announced the availability of "correct copies" for orchestra. This present recording therefore features an orchestration made from the published piano score of the quadrille by Vladimir Haklik, a noted expert on the music of the Balkan region and a former tuba-player with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

 

[9] LE DÉSIR (SEHNSUCHT). ROMANCE (Yearning. Romance) [op. 259]

 

During his eleven summer seasons at the Vauxhall Pavilion in Pavlovsk, near St Petersburg, Johann Strauss strove to create concert programmes of specific appeal to his Russian audiences - indeed, the terms of his contract for the years 1857 and 1858 (that for 1856 has been lost) required him to feature music which complied with "the taste of the local audience". As musical romances were at that time very popular with the Russians, Johann included in his concerts with the (Pavlovsk) Strauss Orchestra romances by Donizetti, Gounod, Glinka and Warlámow, as well as by other, long-forgotten composers. Not content with merely performing the music of others, Strauss himself followed the trend and wrote six musical romances during the years 1860-65.

 

The first two romances (No. 1 in D minor and No. 2 in G minor - see, respectively, Volumes 14 and 37 of this CD series) were written for cello solo and orchestra, and probably date from summer 1860. The third, in G minor and originating in summer 1861, was conceived for orchestra with cornet-à-pistons as the solo instrument. The Strauss concerts at Pavlovsk quite frequently included solos for cornet-à-pistons, a brass instrument of great flexibility with a particularly round and expressive tone. The detailed records of F.A. Zimmermann, a viola-player in the Strauss Orchestra who had accompanied Johann to Pavlovsk, show that the Sehnsucht Romanze was performed for the first time by the cornet-à-pistons-player in Strauss's orchestra at Pavlovsk, Herr Tittel, at the orchestra's benefit concert on 14 September 1861 (= 2 September, Russian calendar). The work met with public approval, and was featured on a further six occasions before the season's final concert on 13 October 1861 (= 1 October). During the following year's Pavlovsk engagement, the piece (confusingly described by Zimmermann as "Romanze Nr. 3") was performed only once, when the cornet-à-pistons-player in Philippe Musard's orchestra, Jules Legendre, appeared as soloist at his own benefit concert on 9 August 1862 (= 28 July). The orchestra was on this occasion conducted by Josef Strauss, Johann having returned to Vienna a week earlier.

 

The St Petersburg publisher, A. Büttner, issued a printed edition of the Sehnsucht Romanze as op. 259, adding a translation of the title, Le désir, Romance, to reflect the Russian vogue for the French language. Copies of this edition, which was probably for piano, seem not to have survived. Fortunately, the State Public Shostakovich Philharmonic Library at St Petersburg possesses in its collection a copy of the full score made by A.Marinzoff, a second violinist in the Strauss Orchestra at Pavlovsk, and dated 13 October 1861 (= 1 October). It was the discovery of this manuscript in 1992 by Dr Thomas Aigner, a member of the Vienna Institute for Strauss Research, which has made possible this present recording.

 

The 19th-century Viennese public did not share the Russian predilection for the genre of musical romances. As a result, Johann Strauss's Sehnsucht Romanze was not published there, nor is any performance of the work traceable in Vienna. However, this omission on the part of the Viennese in no way detracts from the charm of the composition, which provides further proof of Johann's ability to adapt himself to Russian music.

 

[10] GRADUALE: "Tu qui regis totum orbem"

    (Gradual: "Thou who rulest the whole world")

 

It was doubtless with a good deal of interest that Vienna's music lovers read the following announcement in the Allgemeine Wiener Musik-Zeitung on 1 August 1844: "Next Sunday [= 4 August 1844] in the Pfarrkirche [parish church] Am Hof, Herr Johann Strauss (eldest son of our beloved waltz hero) will perform a piece of church music which Herr Professor Drechsler, the choirmaster there and Johann Strauss's teacher, has described as successful". Another Viennese paper, Der Sammler, repeated this notice verbatim on 3 August 1844.

 

On Tuesday 6 August 1844, the Allgemeine Wiener Musik-Zeitung followed up its earlier announcement with a detailed account of the music performed at the church two days earlier: "On Sunday the 4th inst., in the Pfarrkirche Am Hof, Herr Professor Drechsler performed his Mass in F (composed in 1830 and known as the 'Flood Mass') along with, as the gradual, his aria for alto (F major 3/4 'Mater dei') then, as the offertory, a chorus (G major C Maestoso Tu qui regis') by Strauss junior". After a consideration of Drechsler's Mass in F, the report continued: "The chorus by Strauss junior shows a talent worthy of attention, which is at ease with itself and has realised that unity, naturalness and simplicity are indispensable characteristics of a piece of church music, (for passion in the phrasing and high-flown words and expressions are poor vehicles, and are not at all appropriate for prayers), and which is capable of achieving significant things one day". Some four weeks earlier, the revered organist and composer Joseph Drechsler (1782-1852) - at that time professor at the Imperial-Royal Normal Hauptschule, and a former conductor at the Theater in der Leopoldstadt - had himself affirmed his 18-year-old pupil's excellence when, in a testimonial for him, he wrote on 9 July 1844 that "the progress which he has made in the art [of thorough-bass] is attributable not only to his hard work, but also to his innate talent. It is therefore to be expected that Johann Strauss ... will forever progress onwards".

 

The report in the Allgemeine Wiener Musik-Zeitung confirms beyond doubt that a piece of church music by the younger Johann Strauss was played on 4 August 1844 in Vienna's Kirche Am Hof (known also as "The Church of the Nine Choirs of the Holy Angels"). Equally clear, however, is the fact that the text of Strauss's choral work, "Tu qui regis totum orbem ...", was not used on that occasion for a gradual. According to information provided by the Institute for Liturgical Studies on 5 January 1982, "this text appears neither in the pre-consiliary Missal, nor in the Graduale Romanum, nor in the Liber Usualis. It ought to be in one of these sources if it were to form part of the official text, for the whole church, of the Roman liturgy". (In essence, therefore, the text "Tu qui regis totum orbem..." was not an officially approved text for the Tridentine Mass, the shape of which had been defined by the Council of Trent, assembling between 1545 and 1563. Texts for graduals are fixed for every day in the Church's calendar, including Feast Days.) Most likely, therefore, as suggested in the Allgemeine Wiener Musik-Zeitung of 6 August 1844, Strauss's composition would have taken the form of an offertory motet, verses for which are normally plainsongs to biblical texts.

 

Liturgical considerations aside, the actual form in which this church composition by Johann Strauss has been passed down to us also warrants deliberation. Regrettably, the composer's autograph has been lost: the surviving score transcript which, seemingly for the first time, presents the description "Graduale, by Johann Strauss Son. Chorus", was prepared by the copyist Johann Proksch and presents a version for four-part chorus (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and wind ensemble comprising 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in C, 2 bassoons, 3 trombones, 2 clarini in C and timpani. There is some doubt as to whether this was the version heard at the Kirche Am Hof on 4 August 1844. In contrast to his analysis of the instrumentation used in Drechsler's Mass in F, the Allgemeine Wiener Musik-Zeitung reviewer makes no reference to a single instrument accompanying the Strauss "chorus", despite devoting several lines to this début work by the young music student. It seems more probable, as Norbert Rubey of the Vienna Institute for Strauss Research has surmised, that on this occasion Strauss's composition was given in an a cappella (i.e. unaccompanied) choral performance - or, at most, with organ continuo - and that the version for wind ensemble was first heard at another event, perhaps in the open air. 

 

Persuasive though Rubey's conclusions are, his dissertation overlooks a report by Oberlandesgerichtsrat (Higher Regional Court councillor) Adolf Lorenz, which deserves consideration. Lorenz was one of Johann's friends from his youth, and on the occasion of Strauss's G iden Jubilee celebrations the Neues Wiener Tagblatt (14.10.1894) published an account by Lorenz in which he recalled the time in 1844 when he introduced Johann Strauss to the secrets of playing the organ in the Kirche Am Hof. Lorenz wrote: "I have kept from that time the gradual 'Tu qui regis totum orbem' for four voices and wind accompaniment, which Strauss composed for the purpose of showing himself before the public and the critics, and which he had performed under Drechsler's direction in the Kirche Am Hof, in the copy which was used for the performance".

 

If Lorenz's testimony, related in 1894 and concerning an event of fifty years earlier, is accurate, the arrangement for four-part chorus and wind accompaniment is indeed the original version - even if Johann Strauss's youthful composition is not a 'gradual'.

 

[11] PAWLOWSK-POLKA QUASI GALOPP (Pavlovsk Polka quasi Galop) [op. l84]

 

From the moment that Johann Strauss began his first concert season in Russia on 18 May 1856 (= 6 May, Russian calendar) his success in the land of the Tsar was assured, and it ushered in for him a further nine successive 'Russian summers' at Pavlovsk, near St Petersburg. It was Johann's reputation as Europe's leading composer and conductor of light music which had enticed the management of Russia's first railway company, the Tsarskoye-Selo Railway Company of St Petersburg, to engage him as their own director of music for concerts at the Vauxhall Pavilion, which they had constructed next to the terminus at Pavlovsk Park. (The station itself and the adjoining Vauxhall entertainment complex were modelled on London's famous Vauxhall Gardens, from which the Russian word for a railway station - 'voksal' - is derived.)

 

It was the widespread popularity of Johann's music which led the St Petersburg music publishing firm of A. Büttner to sign a contract with Strauss immediately upon his arrival in the Russian capital for his début season of concerts in 1856. The contract they signed on 2 May 1856 (= 20 April) bound the 30-year-old Viennese Kapellmeister to make over to Büttner "the exclusive right of ownership for publication and sale for the entire Imperial Russian monarchy of his undermentioned works, namely: op. 176 Armen-Ball-Polka quasi Galopp; op. 177 Juristen-Ball-Tänze; op. 178 Sanssouci-Polka; op. 179 Abschieds-Rufe Walzer; op. 180 Libellen Walzer, and furthermore the new dances and marches still to be composed by him, which, after their appearance, are to be listed individually on this sheet of paper". In accordance with the terms of this contract, which covered the period 1856 to 1857 with an option for renewal in 1857 and 1858, a codicil listing the names of a further four works was appended. Among these later pieces was the Pawlowsk-Polka, assigned the opus number 184 and shown as being received by Büttner on 11 September 1856 (= 30 August). It was not until 22 September 1856 (= 10 September), towards the close of the 1856 concert engagement, that Johann introduced the cheery Pawlowsk-Polka to his eager audience at Pavlovsk, although it is unclear why he should have delayed unveiling this work for almost two weeks after its delivery to Büttner. Clearly, the piece appealed: according to the meticulous notes of F.A. Zimmermann, the viola-player-cum-diarist in Strauss's orchestra in Russia, after its première performance the Pavlovsk-Polka was played a further 16 times (including encores) during the remaining 30 concerts (occasionally afternoon and evening performances were given) before the season closed on 13 October 1856 (= 1 October).

 

Though Büttner duly issued a printed edition of Johann's quicksilver little work, entitled Pawlowsk-Polka quasi Galopp, it was never published in Vienna. It remains unknown why Strauss's regular Viennese publisher, Carl Haslinger, chose not to publish the piece since, almost without exception, he published every other composition Johann created in Russia, albeit applying his own opus numbers. Perhaps even more strangely, Strauss never gave the public in his native city a chance to hear the Pawlowsk-Polka - even under the guise of a different title. Manifestly he viewed it as a uniquely personal greeting to his adoring audiences in the resort which, for a decade, was to become a summer home to him.

 

In the absence of original autograph or printed orchestral material for Johann Strauss's Pawlowsk-Polka quasi Galopp, this recording presents an orchestration made by Arthur Kulling from the published piano edition.

 

[12] CAGLIOSTRO-WALZER op. 370

 

Cagliostro in Wien (Cagliostro in Vienna), the fourth of Johann Strauss's operettas, received its première at Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 27 February 1875, and was to mark the start of the composer's successful collaboration with Vienna's most famous team of librettists, F. Zell (the nom de plume of Camillo Walzel) and Richard Genée. Generally speaking the stage work, about an episode in the life of the 18th-century alchemist and swindler, Count Alessandro Cagliostro (1743-95), did not find the wholehearted critical favour which might have been expected. Certain quarters accused Zell, a former captain with the Danube Steamship Company, of being a thief, since he failed to credit the source of his libretto. But such hostility was not universal; the reporter for the Illustriertes Wiener Extrablatt (28.02.1875) voiced his opinion that "it was a good idea to provide the Waltz King with material of a local historical nature, in which the truly Viennese element dominates. Herr Zell has earned the reputation of having created a good libretto, based on [Franz] Gräffer's 'Memoiretten', 'Dosenstücke' [and] 'Kurzweil', and it would have been quite proper for him to have been included in one of the many curtain calls". (Among other works cited by critics as the source of Zell's libretto were Goethe's Groß-Kophta, Alexander Dumas senior's Joseph Balsamo and Eduard Breier's Die Rosenkreuzer in Wien.)

 

While the first-night reviewers identified many highlights in Strauss's score for Cagliostro in Wien, they were universally agreed on the sheer beauty of the waltz duet "Könnt' ich mit Ihnen fliegen durchs Leben" ('Could I but fly with you through life'), splendidly sung in Act 2 by Henriette Wieser (as Frau Adami) and Alexander Girardi (as the servant, Blasoni). The Neues Fremden-Blatt (28.02.1875), for example, considered this waltz "one of the most enchanting and freshest which Johann Strauss has ever written; it provoked such an enthusiastic response that it had to be sung three times". Ludwig Speidel, the reviewer for the Fremden-Blatt (3.03.1875), also noted the special quality of this waltz duet, "in which there breathes the dancing soul of Vienna". Speidel expanded further: "When you imagine that Strauss has already played his best cards, he finally produces another waltz which 'out-trumps' everything". Strauss, too, recognised the worth of his creation in three-quarter-time, not only elevating it to a principal position in his orchestral Cagliostro-Walzer, based on melodies from the operetta, but later (1882 or 1883) jotting down its opening eight bars on a love note to Adèle Strauss (née Deutsch), the woman who was to become his third wife.

 

An analysis of the melodies which Strauss used in his orchestral Cagliostro-Walzer shows that they are drawn from the following sources in the operetta:

 

Introduction        -

Act 1 Introduction (No. 1): Soldiers' chorus (Tempo di Marcia) to the words "Heut vor hundert Jahren hier die Türken waren". The Tempo di Valse section is untraceable in the published piano / vocal score

Waltz 1A            -

Act 2 Duett (No. 13) Frau Adami & Blasoni: accompaniment to Tempo di Valse section with the words "Könnt' ich mit Ihnen fliegen durchs Leben" (Blasoni), with minor alterations to central section

Waltz 1B            -

Continuation of the same number to the words "wenn man so schön und jung" (Frau Adami)

Waltz 2A & 2B  -

Act 3 Walzer (No. 19): Lorenza, "Ach! O sasses Wörtchen frei"  

Waltz 3A            -

Act 1 Finale (No. 8): section sung by Lorenza to the words "La, la, la"

Waltz 3B            -

Appears later in Act 1 Finale (No. 8) as accompaniment to ensemble (Lorenza, Emilie, Frau Adami, Blasoni & Fodor) singing "Hoch Cagliostro, dem Alles gelingt"

Coda                  -

Comprises material from the aforementioned numbers

 

As with the other dances which Johann Strauss compiled from the score of Cagliostro in Wien, the Cagliostro-Walzer appeared from Friedrich Schreiber's Vienna publishing house in June 1875. The composer left it to his brother Eduard to conduct the Strauss Orchestra in the first performance of the waltz at a concert on 16 June 1875 in the Blumen-Säle of the Gartenbaugesellschaft (The Floral Halls of the Horticultural Society) on the Ringstrasse in Vienna. Early the following month Vienna's press carried reports that Johann Strauss had arranged his Cagliostro- Walzer op. 370 for voice and piano, and had personally rehearsed it with Anna Ulke (1849-78), one of the most talented and high-spirited young popular singers of the day. The winsome Fräulein Ulke, who had earlier that year appeared as Prince Orlofsky in a revival of Die Fledermaus at the Theater an der Wien, created a sensation with the Cagliostro-Walzer when she sang it for the first time (to a text by Jacob) on 8 July 1875 during a novelty piece by Wilhelm Capilleri, Dienstboten-Strike (Domestic Servants' Strike), staged at the Theater-Variete in the Neue Welt entertainment establishment in Hietzing.

 

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 Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava)

 

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

 

Michael Dittrich

 

Michael Dittrich was born in Silesia and studied the violin at the Music Academies in Detmold and in Vienna. As a student he was employed as second Concertmaster and Assistant Conductor of the Tübingen Chamber Orchestra and was also a violinist in the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, of which he has been a member since 1970. His career as a conductor was developed under Hans Swarowsky, Karl Österreicher, Otmar Suitner and Franco Ferrara and through the advice and friendship of Carlo Maria Giulini. In 1977 he established his own ensemble Bella Musica for the historically correct performance of music from the Baroque, Classical and Biedermeier periods, with concel1 tours throughout Europe and the Americas. Since 1978 his recordings for Harmonia Mundi have won six international prizes, including the Diapason d'Or of Radio Luxemburg and the Paris Grand Prix du Disque. He has served as a guest conductor in Italy, Germany and Austria and given television performances.


Close the window