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8.223279 - STRAUSS II, J.: Edition - Vol. 51
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The Johann Strauss Edition

Edition. Volume 51

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, Josef 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 appeal of his music bridged all social strata, and his genius was revered by such masters as Verdi, Brahms and Richard Strauss. The thrice-married 'Waltz King' later turned his attention to the composition of operetta, and completed 16 stage works (among them Die Fledermaus, Eine Nacht in Venedig and Der Zigeunerbaron) 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]        "WO KLINGEN DIE LIEDER" nach der POLKA MAZURKA CHAMPÊTRE

op. 239 ('Where songs ring out', based on the Polka Mazurka champêtre op. 239)

 

Johann Strauss commenced his fourth summer season of concerts at the Vauxhall Pavilion in Pavlovsk, near St Petersburg, in early May 1860, only returning to his native Vienna at the end of October that year. During his Russian engagement he delighted his audiences with several new compositions, amongst them the Polka Mazurka champêtre (Rustic Polka-mazurka). It seems likely that Strauss conducted the première of this piece with the Pavlovsk Strauss Orchestra at his second benefit concert, an event immediately followed by the first rustic masked festival of the season, on 21 July 1860 (= 9 July, Russian calendar). The fair copy of the score which the composer sent for engraving purposes to his Viennese publisher, Carl Haslinger, suggests that Strauss provided for the participation of a small chorus (of Tyrolean singers?) even at the first performance of the polka. The manuscript score, which was prepared by a copyist, is for orchestra and four-part male chorus and bears on its title page the wording (in translation): "Polka Mazurka (champêtre) for Orchestra and Vocal Part by Johann Strauss". The singers did not, however, receive a text: their vocalisation of "La, la, la, la, la" merely follows the melodic line of the polka-mazurka.

Johann also conducted the first performance of this jolly work in Vienna, when he featured it on 25 November 1860 at a concert given with his brother Josef in the Volksgarten marking his first public appearance since returning from Russia. On this occasion the work was announced (in translation) as a "Polka-mazurka in the style of a Ländler (rustic), with tile participation of a 14-voice male chorus". Carl Haslinger issued the original version of the polka-mazurka (without vocal refrain) in a piano edition on 10 December 1860, and the printed orchestral parts - erroneously entitled Polka-Mazur (champêtre) - followed in April of the following year. During 1861 Haslinger's publishing house also released, as No. 9 in its series of "Liederkranz" (Garland of Songs), an arrangement of the Polka Mazurka champêtre for four-part male chorus (2 tenors, 2 basses) / vocal quartet and two horns. This time the work had a text by the writer Ludwig Foglar (1819-89), with whom Johann had become acquainted at Haslinger's house concerts during the 1850s, and had been given the title "Woklingen die Lieder". Though undeniably elegant, Foglar's text is nevertheless rousingly patriotic. The first three verses exhort:

"Wo klingen die Lieder/da laßt euch gern nieder!/

Zögert nicht, Glanz und Licht/schmückt die Welt wieder.

 

Und schliesset nur fest den Bumd/Herz an Herz und Mund an Mund,/

dass ein froher Reigentanz/sei unser Leben ganz.

 

Frei und einig/Hand in Hand/hütet das Heimatland.

Treu in Noth und Tod,/wenn ein Feind ihm droht!"

 

('Where songs ring out/sit yourself down happily!

Do not hesitate, brightness and light/adorn the world again.

And form a firm alliance/Heart to heart and mouth to mouth,/

So that our whole life will be/a happy round dance.

Free and united/hand in hand/keep watch over our motherland.

Loyal in peril and death,/if it is threatened by an enemy!')

Foglar's lines conclude optimistically:

"Friede walte, Freude gestalte/

Freiheit, Freiheit erhalte die Wen! Ja!"

('Peace hold sway, Joy create/

Freedom, freedom preserve the world! Yes!')

It is not known whether Foglar's choral version was professionally performed at the time. Later the Wiener Männergesang-Verein (Vienna Men's Choral Association) occasionally included it in the programmes of their concerts, and even recorded it commercially in 1968 with the Niederösterreichische Tonkünstlerorchester under Norbert Balatsch. Nevertheless, despite such occasional performances, "Wo klingen die Lieder" has remained virtually unknown.

[2]        MANHATTAN WALTZES o.op

Despite the phenomenal personal success reaped by Johann Strauss from his conducting engagement at the World's Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival in Boston during June and July 1872, the composer did not cherish fond memories of his one and only visit to the United States of America. As he recounted more than two decades later to Otto Eisenschitz, the reporter for the Deutsche Zeitung (4.02.1894): "Nobody could have kept me there any longer. This hurrying and scurrying all over the place! The railways, which run along the street, frightened me. I thought I would surely go crazy. I hastened as quickly as I could to my hotel, grabbed my bags, travelled to New York and straightaway boarded ship again. I was happy [only] when I was sitting once more in my quiet home in Vienna!".

 

Whether as the result of the passage of time, or through a mischievous desire to dramatise his account for the benefit of Herr Eisenschitz, Strauss omitted to mention that he had travelled from Boston to New York for the express purpose of giving some further, highly lucrative, concerts. In its edition of 4 July 1872, the Boston Daily Advertiser had announced: "New York was engaged Herr Johann Strauss to give three concerts at the Academy of Music in that city on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings of next week. He is to have an orchestra of sixty New York musicians ¡K Strauss will receive for his services in New York, the sum of $4,500 for tile three concerts". Although The Boston Herald had stated as early as 11 June 1872 that "All of the artists, including the foreign bands, are under express contract not to perform at any other place in the country besides the Coliseum at Boston", this rule appears to have been relaxed, since Strauss, the English pianist Arabella Goddard (1836-1922), the Viennese soprano Minna Peschka-Leutner (1839-90) and the Band of the Grenadier Guards (under Bandmaster Dan Godfrey, 1831-1903) all accepted engagements in New York upon the termination of the Boston Jubilee.

On 6 July 1872, two days after the World's Peace Jubilee had officially closed, a benefit concert for Strauss was held at the 'Coliseum'. Directly afterwards, Strauss and his wife boarded a train for the journey from Boston to New York. Vienna's Waltz King, habitually apprehensive of travel, did not enjoy the experience, allegedly confiding (in German) to the reporter for the New York Sun (13.07.1872): "I want to mention something else to you that's perfectly awful, monstrous. There are no Fahnwächter (flagmen) on tile railroads here. Why, it's perfectly monstrous". Jetty Strauss added: "My husband says he'd rather be killed at once, and be done with it, than to take another trip on an American railroad. He knows he'd be a dead man, anyhow".

 

Despite the sweltering temperature inside the auditorium, huge crowds flocked to Johann's performances at the Academy of Music, at that time the largest theatre in New York. (The Consolidated Edison Building today stands on the site.) The success of the opening concert on 8 July was marred when an unscrupulous promoter fraudulently advertised a "Grand Ball" to be conducted by Strauss in Central Park. When the hoax was revealed, someone vindictively placed a letter in The New York Herald on 9 July 1972: purporting to be from Johann, and complete with his forged signature, the letter ridiculed America and its people. To stem the flood of angry editorials which ensued, Strauss was forced to publish a refutation in The New York Herald on 12 July. In the meantime, the second concert on 10 July was so well received that the editor of The New York Herald (12.07.1872) pleaded with Strauss to extend his stay in America, observing prophetically: "The time is rapidly coming when the verdict of the American public will be as necessary to great artists as that of Paris or St. Petersburg at present". Johann had no intention of changing his plans, but he did have a special treat for the audience at his final "Grand Orchestral Concert" with "The Finest Orchestral Ensemble in America" at the Academy of Music on 12 July, when he presented the première of his Manhattan Waltz. The work is, in reality, a compilation of melodies from five of his earlier published waltzes and featuring, in the Coda, a quotation from the song "Old Folks at Home", words and music by Stephen Collins Foster (1826-64).

The reviewers, though recognising the work as a pastiche, responded in markedly differing fashion to the novelty. The New York Times (13.07.1872) considered "Herr Strauss' new 'Manhattan Waltz' was proven an excellent specimen of dance music, but its rehearsal did not show that it contained any but well-worn ideas, whereof the treatment, if satisfying, was almost too familiar. The introduction, as the final movement, of 'Way Down the Suwanee River' [the first line of Stephen Foster's song] commended the composition, however, to tile audience, and the whole work was listened to once more amid unmistakable evidences of gratification". The New York Herald (13.07.1872), perhaps recalling the unfortunate earlier events of the week, and keen to resuscitate the journalistic 'duel' between the Boston and New York writers, was somewhat more blunt. After noting that Strauss had dedicated the Manhattan Waltz to the city of New York, the reviewer continued: "It is partly a rehash of a few old themes of the composer, with a commonplace arrangement of 'The Old Folks at Home'. It is entirely unworthy of the mind that conceived 'An der Schoenen, Blauen Donau'. Mr. Strauss has evidently been pushed to write something out of compliment to America, and smarting under the humiliation he underwent in Boston, the first experience he had in our country, he took revenge in composing 'The Manhattan Waltz', a work inferior to many of tile waltzes by our own local 1uriters".

 

The Manhattan Waltzes were first published by Oliver Ditson & Co. of Boston (with offices - as C.H. Ditson - also in New York) m a collection entitled Gems of Strauss. The 225-page edition was announced in September 1872, and such was its success that by 10 May 1873 Ditson had sold fifteen thousand copies. However, only when Ditson reissued the Manhattan Waltzes in 1873, as part of a further selection of the composer's compositions, entitled Strauss Dance Music, was the work furnished with an Introduction" m Gems of Strauss it commences with the opening waltz number.

Whether Strauss himself ever read the New York reviews of his Manhattan Waltzes is doubtful: on the morning they appeared, he and Jetty entertained a large number of friends at the Clarendon Hotel before sailing for Europe later that day aboard the Nord-Deutsch Lloyd steamship Donau - never to return to the United States. Three days after Johann's departure, the New-York Daily Tribune (16.07.1872) published a letter, allegedly written by the composer, endorsing the pianos of the New York manufacturer, Weber. The letter was sent from the Clarendon Hotel and dated 2 July 1872 - two days before Johann had even left Boston for New York. It was therefore with a degree of justification that one of Vienna's journals wrote that July: "Even" though he may have been so enthusiastically fêted in America, Johann Strauss¡¦s real friends are in Vienna".

 

With one notable exception, Johann's Manhattan Waltzes are thematically identical with the work first performed m Vienna by Eduard Strauss and the Strauss Orchestra on 1 January 1873 m the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein as Walzer Bouquet Nr. 1, and subsequently published there under that title. (See Volume 43 of this CD series.) While there are clear divergences between some of the tempi and dynamic markings shown in the printed editions of Walzer Bouquet Nr. 1 and the Manhattan Waltzes - for example, Waltz 1B of Manhattan is marked with the Italian instruction "Vivace. Sempre staccato" (Lively. At all times staccato), while in Walzer Bouquet Nr. 1 it is simply marked with the equivalent German term "Lebhaft" (Lively) - the major difference between the two works is to be found m their respective Coda sections. Whereas Walzer Bouquet Nr. 1 concludes with 13 bars of apparently freshly composed material, the Manhattan Waltzes feature a 23-bar quotation (m 4/4 time) from "Old Folks al Home" inserted immediately before these final 13 bars.

The title page of Stephen Foster's song, first published by Firth, Pond & Co. in 1851, read: "Ethiopian Melody As Sung by Christy's Minstrels Written and Composed by E.P. Christy". (Christy frequently attached his name to other people's works.) The song became popular in a short time. In 1854, Firth, Pond & Co. published a collection edited by Foster and entitled "The Social Orchestra for Flute or Violin: A Collection of Popular Melodies arranged as Solos, Duets, Trios and Quartets". The quartets were for flute, two violins and bass. Included among the quartets was a piece called Old Folks Quadrilles, the first of the five figures being a dance arrangement of "Old Folks at Home". This Marco Polo recording of the Manhattan Waltzes features Jerome D. Cohen's orchestration of the waltz based on the original piano edition published m 1873 by Ditson. Mr. Cohen comments: "In the piano version of 'Manhattan', the Foster quotation is rather pedestrian: I felt that something more dance-like was needed, so turned to 'The Social Orchestra" and modified Foster¡¦s dance setting".

 

As published by Oliver Ditson & Co., the Manhattan Waltzes comprise material from the following source waltzes by Johann Strauss:

Introduction - Based on the first 4 bars of theme 1A of Bürgerweisen (op. 306), followed by part of the Introduction to Telegramme (op. 318)

 

Waltz 1A

- theme 1A from Bürgerweisen op. 306

Waltz 1B

- theme 1B from Bürgerweisen op. 306

Waltz 2A

- theme 4A from Wiener Bonbons op. 307

Waltz 2B

- theme 4B from Wiener Bonbons op. 307

Waltz 3A

- theme 1A from Freuet euch des Lebens op. 340

Waltz 3B

- theme 3B from Illustrationen op. 331

Waltz 4A

- theme 5A from Die Publicisten op. 321

Waltz 4B

- theme 4B from Die Publicisten op. 321

Coda

- Coda of Bürgerweisen (op. 306) - Wiener Bonbons (theme 4A) - Illustrationen (theme 3B) - 23 bars from ¡§Old Folks at Home¡¨ (Stephen Foster)

- final 13 bars of apparently freshly composed material.

 

[3]        STRAUSS' CENTENNIAL WALTZES (SÄCULARFEST WALZER) o.op

On 4 July 1776, the American Congress adopted the famous Declaration of Independence, signifying the complete and formal separation of its thirteen colonies from Britain. A century later, the United States resounded as the nation joyfully celebrated this great turning-point in American history.

Among those musicians offering congratulations from overseas was Germany's Richard Wagner, whose Grand Centenniol Inauguration March was first played at the 1876 World Exhibition in Philadelphia. It is quite understandable that Johann Strauss might also have wanted to commemorate the American Independence centenary since, despite having made only one visit to the New World (to conduct in Boston and New York during 1872) he continued to enjoy undiminished popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. Vienna's newspapers shed no light on whether he was invited to return to America for the centennial festivities, but the summer of 1876 found him on a lengthy concert tour of German cities; indeed on 4 July 1876 he was participating at a "Grand Music Festival" in the Stadt-Park in Berlin, at which the Chicago composer S.G. Pratt conducted his own Universary Overture, written to commemorate the centenary celebrations in America.

It would seem that Vienna's Waltz King may indeed have provided a commemorative composition for America's celebrations. Strauss' Centennial Waltzes (Säcularfest Walzer) were duly published by W.H. Cundy of 1317 Washington Street, Boston. The title page of the first piano edition bears the inscription: "Respectfully Dedicated to the Citizens of the United States on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th. 1876", while the first page of music announces: "These Waltzes are arranged for Orchestra, and may be obtained by addressing the publisher". Both the piano edition and the orchestral parts (the latter instead entitled Centennial Waltz and loaned for this recording from the Archives of The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain) merely attribute the waltz to "Strauss". What is more perplexing, however, is the disclosure on the piano copy that W.H. Cundy registered the work with the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington in 1874 - two years before the Independence Centennial. A search of the Viennese press for 1874 and 1876 yields no corroborative evidence to support Johann Strauss's authorship of the waltz, and one is thus forced to look elsewhere to substantiate this contention.

It was in 1969 that Dann Chamberlin, an American member of The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain, unearthed a piano score of the music at the Boston Public Library. The work, apparently comprising original themes by Vienna's Waltz King, proved unknown to present-day Strauss scholars and caused a great deal of interest worldwide Later, the Centennial Waltzes were analysed by Norman Godel in his study of Strauss's 'American' compositions for the British Strauss Society's journal Tritsch-Tratsch (No. 55, 1988). As with Strauss's Autograph and Engagement waltzes, Godel recognised "the touch of the master's hand ¡K both in construction and in thematic content". He further observed of Centennial that "the waltz themes have characteristics very similar to those of 'Engagement', which although again just attributed to 'Strauss' was published by White & Goullaud as a pair with 'Autograph', and the latter was attributed to 'Johann Strauss' by Hammond & Co., the London publishers of much Strauss music". Godel, who considered Centennial, Autograph and Engagement "definitely superior" to other 'original' American Strauss waltzes which have been found, notes that all three have in common the extent to which off-beat rhythms have been introduced into several themes, as well as the fact that, unusually, they only repeat their main theme (1A) in their respective Codas.

If one assumes that Strauss' Centennial Waltzes did genuinely flow from Johann's pen, then there is a distinct possibility that the composition may have been given its first performance during the period of Philadelphia's Centennial International Exhibition. On 11 May 1876, the German-born American conductor Theodore Thomas (1835-1905) commenced a series of "Summer Nights Concerts" with his orchestra at the Women's Centennial Music Hall in Philadelphia. The press published full programme details of only a few of these concerts, but from these it is clear that Thomas played a number of unfamiliar items from the Viennese dance repertoire, including several by members of the Strauss family Perhaps Johann's Centennial Waltzes were amongst these.

A further question remains unanswered: why was only one of the waltzes which Johann purportedly created for America ever published in Vienna? (See note accompanying Walzer-Bouquet Nr. 1, Volume 43 of this CD series.) Constantly pressured for new music by American publishers, it seems likely that he furnished some of them with rough sketches to be concocted into full length waltzes by their house arrangers. But what of works like Strauss' Centennial Waltzes, which the composer had more than adequate time to construct, but which nevertheless lack the spark of genius which permeates other waltzes written around this period, like Wiener Blut op. 354, Carnevalsbilder op. 357, Bei uns z'Haus op. 361 and Wo die Citronen blüh'n! op. 364? Did Strauss perhaps consider his compositions for the far-off New World mere trifles, unworthy of publication and performance in Vienna? If that was indeed the case, it is unfortunate that he could not foresee a world shrunken by jet travel. Had he done so, he might have taken greater pains with his waltzes for America.

The orchestral performing material which W.H. Cundy published for Strauss' Centennial Waltzes unusually lacks parts for oboe and bassoon. For this reason, the conductor and arranger Jerome D. Cohen created one oboe and two bassoon parts for inclusion in this Marco Polo recording.

[4]        STRAUSS' ENCHANTMENT WALTZES o.op

"Johann Strauss, whose presence as Conductor of his own exquisite Waltzes has proved to be one of the most entrancing musical events that has ever taken place in America ¡K".

 (Boston Post, 24 June 1872)

"Then came Strauss, the magnetic and irresistible Strauss, the high potentate of chassés and forward two, the autocrat of the empire of the waltz, whose appearance is always the signal for glances of pleasure, a buzz of interest and a hearty round of applause".

(Boston Globe, 22 June 1872)

 

"The waltz may be considered 'concert', but it is the true child of the ball room, and in its native air it is filled with a fresh and vigorous life, which works in it a veritable transformation. That which was ordinary before now becomes seductive, and what was fascinating is endowed with an indescribable witchery ¡K We have had a new revelation of the beauty and sweetness and charm of the dance".

(Boston Daily Advertiser, 27 June 1872, reporting on Strauss's conducting at the Jubilee Ball of 26 June)

Such newspaper reports testify to the almost magical spell which Johann Strauss was able to weave over his audiences whenever he appeared on the conductor's podium at the World's Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival at Boston during summer 1872. Yet the spell he cast extended far beyond the boundaries of America: it was indeed a universal enchantment, and it is this idea which George Willig & Co. hoped to convey in the dance they published in Baltimore with the title Strauss' Enchantment Waltzes.

 

Of all the compositions which Vienna's Waltz King is purported to have created for his 1872 visit to America, Strauss' Enchantment Waltzes present the greatest problem for the Strauss researcher. So markedly inferior in content is this work compared with Johann's other 'American' waltzes written at this time, that Strauss's authorship is rightly questioned. Moreover, the piece displays none of the hallmarks which distinguish the composer's genius at this highly inventive period of his life. The facts, as known, are as follows:

George Willig & Co. do not appear to have registered Strauss' Enchantment Waltzes with the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington until 1875, three years after Johann's visit. (In the Unite States of America, copyright registration for musical compositions was not established until the late 1870s.) Quite possibly, however, the waltz was published before this date: for example, Johann's Manhattan Waltzes (o.op) were published in summer 1872, though not registered until 1873. Nevertheless, if the waltz was published in 1872 or 1873, one may fairly question why registration was so delayed. Despite substantial press coverage of the Boston festivities, no mention has yet been found regarding a performance of Strauss' Enchantment Waltzes. The work belongs to that group of 'American' waltzes comprising original themes, rather than being a pastiche fashioned from melodies in previously published waltzes. Perhaps significantly, in view of the doubts concerning its authorship, nowhere is the composer specifically named: while Johann Strauss is, by inference, the author of the piece, the cover and first page of the piano score merely quote the title Strauss' Enchantment Waltzes.

 

The George Willig & Co. piano edition of Strauss' Enchantment Waltzes was discovered in the Library of Congress in autumn 1983 by Dann Chamberlin, an American member of The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain, and later analysed by another member, Norman Godel, who published his results in the Society's journal Tritsch-Tratsch (No. 56, 1988) Godel harbours serious doubts as to the authenticity of the waltz, citing, for instance, the fact that too many themes conclude with uninspired endings. Highlighting the similarity between the endings of themes 2A and 3B, and between 1A, 1B, 2B, 4A and 5B, Godel states: "This repetition of almost the same ending in several successive themes tends to become monotonous to the point of irritation". After studying numerous examples of endings in other waltzes by Johann Strauss, Godel finds that the most frequently occurring of those in Strauss' Enchantment Waltzes "must be regarded as untypical of a Strauss waltz".

 

Until such time as firm evidence is gathered which authenticates the provenance of Strauss' Enchantment Waltzes, a question mark must inevitably hang over the authorship of the work. Only further research may determine whether the waltz is perhaps the work of the Strasbourg-born "Strauss of Paris", Isaac Strauss (1806-88), a composer and music director to the Court of Napoléon III, whose largely unexplored catalogue of published waltzes - often confusingly bearing the attribution to "Strauss" or "J. Strauss" - may hold the solution to the issue of this and other 'American' Strauss waltzes. This possibility is given greater credence by the fact that a volume of Viennese Strauss family compositions published in America during 1872 does indeed include, and erroneously attribute, a work (the Orpheus Quadrille) by Isaac Strauss. It should be added, however, that no waltz by the title of Enchantment (or its various translations) is listed under Isoac Strauss's compositions in the voluminous Universal-Handbuch der Musikliteratur, compiled by Franz Pazdirek and J.P. Gotthard (Vienna, 1904-10).

In the absence of any published orchestral parts for Strauss' Enchantment Waltzes, the American musicologist, composer and arranger, Jerome D. Cohen, has prepared the orchestral performing material for this Marco Polo recording from the published piano edition. In so doing, he has attempted to enhance the 'Straussian' elements of the piece by small harmonic and melodic changes to the main body of the waltz and 'Finale' (= coda), and by minimising the crochet, dotted crochet, quaver rhythmic pattern of the original.

[5]        AUF DER ALM. IDYLLE (On the Alm. Idyll) o.op

Johann Strauss celebrated the 19th birthday of his stepdaughter Alice (1875-1945) with a house ball at his elegant 'Palais' in Vienna's Igelgasse on 20 January 1894. For the occasion he collaborated with the civil servant and writer Ludwig Dóczi (1845-1919), librettist of his grand opera Ritter Pásmán (1892), in the preparation of a unique musical 'ladies' gift'. Entitled "20.Jänner 1894"/"Ein Gstanzl vom Tanzl" (20 January 1894 / A Verse for Dancing), this little work consisted of a simple rustic melody of just 38 bars, complemented by a modest little rhyme. (See note accompanying "Ein Gstanzl vom Tanzl", Volume 50 of this CD series.) In addition to this privately printed edition for voice and piano, Strauss also prepared an arrangement for 24 musicians, although it remains uncertain whether this latter version was performed at the house ball. What is certain, however, is that each orchestral part bore the inscription (in translation): "For the birthday of my dear daughter Alice", a dedication which also appears on the inside of the 'ladies' gift'.

The composer subsequently made a second orchestral arrangement of "Ein Gstanzl vom Tanzl", extended to 54 bars and written for 29 musicians. In this form the work was given its première on Sunday 11 February 1894 in the Vienna Musikverein, played by the Strauss Orchestra under the direction of Johann's brother Eduard, and appeared on the printed programme as: "Auf der Alm. Idyll by Johann Strauss". The beguiling simplicity of the piece appealed to audience and reviewers alike, with the critic for the Neue Freie Presse (13.02.1894) observing in his report filed on 12 February: "In Eduard Strauss's concert, which took place yesterday (Sunday) in the Musikverein-Saa1, there was an entire collection of novelties. Above all, a charming piece of music by Johann Strauss, 'Auf der Alm', caused a sensation and had to be played three times. A draught of fresh mountain air, combined with the elegance of polite society, wafts through this little idyll, which the maestro composed for a specific occasion in his own home. The novelties by Eduard Strauss [Wiener Type, Polka française (later published as op. 291) and two works which remained unpublished, Eine kleine Skizze, Polka Mazur and Extra-Beilage, Polka schnell] also received well-deserved applause".

 

In view of such popularity, it was hardly surprising that Auf der Alm featured again on the programmes of Eduard's Sunday concerts in the Musikverein on 18 February and 4 March. The continuing success of this unusual composition led Eduard to produce an extended version, which he introduced during his final concert of the season at the Musikverein on Sunday 18 March 1894, prior to his departure on a concert tour to St Petersburg. On this occasion the programme read: "New. 'Auf der Alm', Idyll (after a theme by Johann Strauss) by Ed. Strauss".

 

It is not known what became of Eduard's arrangement: it is not listed in the catalogue of the Strauss Orchestra's musical archive which Eduard compiled after his retirement in March 1901. This present recording is based on the version for 29 instruments preserved in the collection of the Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek under the title Auf der Alm.

 

The title of Strauss's musical "Idyll" refers to the picturesque River Alm, which flows from the tranquil Almsee in the Salzkammergut region of Upper Austria for about 30 miles / 48km before joining the swift-running River Traun, which itself flows into the Danube a few miles west of Linz.

[6]        STRAUSS'ENGAGEMENTWALTZES o.op

Strauss' Engagement Waltzes belongs to that group of compositions which Johann Strauss is said to have 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, as was an edition for reduced (i.e. theatre) orchestra comprising violins 1 & 2, viola, cello, bass, piccolo, flute, oboes 1 & 2, clarinets 1 & 2, bassoons 1 & 2, horns 1 & 2, trumpets 1 & 2, trombone, timpani and percussion.

When the recording of Strauss' Engagement Waltzes was made for Volume 46 of the Marco Polo J. Strauss Jr Edition, the White & Goullaud orchestral material was regrettably unavailable and Jerome D. Cohen therefore prepared an orchestration on the basis of the published piano score. More recently, however, a copy of the original White & Goullaud orchestral parts has come to light in the possession of William Austin, an American member of The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain, who has kindly made this material available for this present recording. (The presence of ink stamps imply that these parts were once owned by the Ross Jungnickel Symphony Orchestra and may have been originally sold by George Willig & Co., No. 1 North Charles Street, Baltimore, publisher of Strauss' Enchantment Waltzes.) Jerome Cohen observes of the 1873 orchestration: "There are significant differences between these parts and the piano score I used as the basis for my arrangement; for example, the very end of the Coda is considerably longer and has a greater build-up than in the piano version. Even on the basis of a brief examination of these parts when I received them in December 1994, I was convinced that the orchestration was not Strauss's. After having recorded the work, I am still convinced that it was not orchestrated by Strauss. It's a good orchestration, but too many things occur which are uncharacteristic. For example, one finds many more countermelodies and/or moving inner voices than are usually found in a Strauss waltz: 'Engagement' these are to be heard in waltzes 1A, 1B, 2A, 4A and 5B. The viola pizzicato figure in 5A is very surprising. Strauss tended to use the cello for such figures, and it would be a series of rising arpeggios rather than up and down. Perhaps the greatest reason for suspicion is that the scoring is very dense. Strauss's orchestration tended toward transparency".

 

[7]        FAREWELL TO AMERICA.WALTZ o.op

In the immediate wake of Johann Strauss's sole visit to the United States of America in summer 1872, when he conducted on numerous occasions in Boston and New York, no less than seven publishers issued waltzes purportedly written by Vienna's Waltz King. Only two from the total of nine compositions published are known to have been performed by Strauss during his American trip - the Jubilee Waltz and the Manhattan Waltzes. It is a matter for conjecture whether the remaining works published were written by Strauss in America, or completed by him after his return to Vienna and submitted by post. A third possibility is that some of the publications had nothing to do with Strauss himself, but were compiled by opportunistic publishers anxious to benefit from Johann's visit and the attendant clamour for new Strauss music.

Farewell to America, unlike its companion piece Greeting to America (Volume 46 of this CD series), is a pastiche waltz comprising melodies from previously published works by the Waltz King. Common to both works is a quotation from "The Star-Spangled Banner" + - in Greeting to America it appears in the Introduction while in Farewell to America it features as a pianissimo statement in the Coda. The thematic material used for Farewell to America is drawn from the following published Strauss waltzes:

Introduction

- Introduction to Carnevals-Botschafter op. 270

Waltz 1A

- theme 1A from Wiener Punschlieder op. 131

Waltz 1B

- theme 1B from Spiralen op. 209

Waltz 2A

- theme 2B from Gedankenflug op. 215

Waltz 2B

- theme 2B from Gedankenflug op. 215

Waltz 3A

- theme 1A from Controversen op. 191

Waltz 3B

- theme 4B from Controversen op. 191

Waltz 4A

- theme 5A from Promotionen op. 221

Waltz 4B

- theme 2B from Petitionen op. 153 (Josef Strauss)

Coda

- 15 bars from Coda of Feuilleton op. 293

- theme 1A from Wiener Punschlieder op. 131 - 24 bars Andante quotation from ¡§The Star-Spangled Banner¡¨ (music: J. Stafford Smith) - final 15 bars from Coda of Carnevals-Botschafter, extended to 17 bars by insertion of 2 separate bars¡¦ rest

The presence of a waltz theme by Josef Strauss (Waltz 4B) may possibly indicate that Farewell to America was compiled, not by Strauss himself, but by a house arranger for the publisher, Oliver Ditson. This possibility is given greater credence by the fact that many Strauss family compositions published outside Vienna merely credited authorship to "J.Strauss". An arranger unfamiliar with the Strauss catalogue of works might well have assumed that 'J.Strauss' was the famous Johann, rather than his younger brother. It is worthy of note that not one of the waltzes comprising Farewell to America is known to have featured in any of Johann's programmes in Boston or New York in 1872, and all date from the period 1853 to 1864. Especially interesting is the fact that the publisher, Oliver Ditson, who was one of the principal backers of the Boston Jubilee, was also the publisher of Dwight's Journal, a periodical which regularly denounced the festival as "humbug".

 

The first piano edition of Farewell to America was registered with the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington in 1872 by the publishers, Oliver Ditson & Company of Boston. Since no orchestral material seems to have been published - at least, none has been found - this present recording features a reconstruction by the American conductor and composer Jerome D. Cohen, based on Ditson's piano edition of the waltz and on the original published sets of orchestral parts for the individual waltzes comprising it. In this form, Farewell to America was first performed by the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Rudolph Schlegel, at the Memorial Hall, Plymouth, Massachusetts on 1 April 1989.

Johann and his wife, Jetty, prepared to bid 'Farewell to America' on 13 July 1872, bound for Bremerhaven, Baden-Baden and, eventually, Vienna. As they waited for the Nord-Deutsch Lloyd steamship Donau to depart, Johann spoke to a journalist for The New York Times. The interview, published under the heading "Departure of Johann Strauss for Europe", appeared in the paper the following day and read, in part: "Mr Strauss said that he bade farewell to the people of the United States with the kindest feelings. He should always remember this country with delight, especially the city of New York, of which he spoke very enthusiastically, calling it a 'second Paris', He expressed a desire to once again publicly thank the press in general for the courtesy and goodwill it had invariably extended toward him since his advent at the Boston Jubilee".

 

+ Though popularly considered America's long-term national anthem, it was not until 1931 that an Act of Congress formally adopted "The Star-Spangled Banner" (known popularly as "The Stars and Stripes") as the national anthem of the United States of America. The melody associated with this piece was composed in England by John Stafford Smith (1750-1836) as a club song ("Anacreon in Heaven") for the Anacreontic Society (1766-94), an association of musicians in London. During September 1814, with America at war with Britain, an American lawyer named Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) composed the poem The Star-Spangled Banner, apparently having in mind the tune of "Anacreon in Heaven", a melody often employed before in American patriotic songs. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica (1947 American edition): "After Key's return to shore [he had been detained aboard a British flagship during the bombardment of Baltimore], 'The Star-Spangled Banner¡¦ was set up in type and distributed throughout Baltimore, where it attained an almost instantaneous popularity. Less than a week afterward it was published with an account of its authorship in a Baltimore newspaper, and soon the song was known and sung throughout the nation".

 

[8]        ROMANZE Nr 2 IN G-MOLL (Romance No. 2 in G minor) op. 255

The enormous success of Johann Strauss's first summer concert series at Pavlovsk in 1856 persuaded the management of the Tsarskoye-Selo Railway Company in St Petersburg to extend their contract with the Viennese Kapellmeister, initially for a further two seasons. Accordingly, on 5 December 1856 (= 23 November 1856, Russian calendar), Johann appended his signature to the contract binding him to appearances at the Vauxhall Pavilion in Pavlovsk for the summer months of 1857 and 1858. The contract made a number of stipulations, amongst them that, while "the choice of classical, operatic, garden- and dance-music pieces is left to Herr Strauss, in this he is to follow the taste of the local audience and, apart from his own compositions, is also to perform the most popular and latest compositions of other famous masters, with a full orchestra and under his personal direction".

"The taste of the local audience" in mid-19th century Pavlovsk was reflected in the six musical 'romances' which Johann was to compose between 1860 and 1865. Two of these, Romanze Nr. 3 (1863) and Romanze Nr. 4 (1864) remain unpublished. Of the four which were published, the first two (in D minor and G minor) probably originated in Pavlovsk during the summer of 1860 and first appeared in piano editions by A. Büttner of St Petersburg. It has not so far proved possible to trace performances of either work in Russia during 1860, although both featured on numerous occasions in Johann's Pavlovsk programmes for 1861 - Romanze Nr. 2 being heard for the first time that year (according to the orchestra's diarist F.A. Zimmermann) at Strauss's concert on 25 June (= 13 June, Russian calendar).

On 21 November 1860 the Fremden-Blatt newspaper announced that Johann Strauss planned to give the first Viennese performance of Romanze Nr. 1 and Nr. 2 together at his concert in the Vienna Volksgarten on 25 November, an event marking his first public appearance since his return from Russia. Since, however, a further advertisement for the same concert in the Fremden-Blatt of 23 November omits the two romances from the list of new compositions which Johann was scheduled to play, and neither work is mentioned in the detailed review of the concert which was published in Der Zwischen-Akt on 27.11.1860, it seems highly probable that Johann decided against playing the two pieces on this occasion. Instead, both romances featured on the "Programme of novelties" which Johann and Josef Strauss presented at the 'Sperl' dance hall on Saturday 1 December 1860.

The evident popularity of musical romances in Russia at that time was not shared by Johann's regular publisher in Vienna, Carl Haslinger. A ready market for Strauss's dance music ensured that such compositions moved swiftly from his shelves: romances by Vienna's 'Waltz King' were a different matter. Not until almost a year later, in October 1861, did Haslinger publish the work, when he included it in the collection "Neuigkeiten für das Pianoforte, 14.Abt. No. 141" (New Pieces for Pianoforte, Volume 14, No. 141). The delay in publishing the Romance in G minor might also explain Haslinger's error in allotting to it the opus number 255, which he had also assigned to Strauss's St Petersburg Quadrille nach russiscllen Motiven, published that same month. The Haslinger piano edition of Johann's Romanze op. 255 carried no dedication, but a report in Der Zwischen-Akt a year earlier, on 8 November 1860, mentioned that Johann had composed two romances during his recent Pavlovsk visit, adding that "one is dedicated to the Grand Duchess of Oldenburg and the other to the Princess of Mingrelia". Since the first of the two works (op. 243, see Volume 14 of this CD series) bears the dedication to Catherine Dadian, mother of the ruling Prince Nikoiai of Mingrelia, it is clearly the Romanze Nr. 2 in G-moll which the composer dedicated to the Grand Duchess Elisabeth Pauline Alexandrine of Oldenburg (1826-96) - a fact confirmed by the dedication on the Russian Büttner edition of the work to "Sa Altesse Royate Madame la Grande Duchesse d'Oldenbourgh". The dedicatee, the fourth daughter of Joseph, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, was the wife of the Grand Duke Nicholas Friedrich Peter of Oldenburg (1827-1900), whom she had married in 1852 and by whom she had two sons and a daughter.

Regrettably, Haslinger did not issue a printed orchestral edition of the Romance in G minor, nor was one published in Russia. For that reason, Max Schönherr's arrangement of the piece for cello, harp and orchestra, dating from the late 1960s, was used for the recording on Volume 37 of the Marco Polo J.Strauss Jr Edition in February 1992. That same year, however, Dr Thomas Aigner of the Vienna Institute for Strauss Research located a manuscript copy of the orchestral score, together with a handwritten set of parts - both dating from 1861 - at the State Shostakovich Philharmonia Library in St Petersburg. This material has been made available for this present recording of the Romanze. After comparing the Schönherr edition with the manuscript score, the conductor Jerome D. Cahen notes that the manuscript reveals "remarkable economy of writing, with not a single wasted note. We cannot tell from the manuscript whether the original orchestration was by Strauss, but the quality and imagination of the instrumentation is such that it could easily have been". Moreover, Schönherr's orchestration is larger and uses sustained winds at the outset, whereas the manuscript is extremely delicate with just a pizzicato accompaniment to the cello for the first 14 bars. Horns are limited to just six bars in the entire piece. Cohen also draws a parallel between the manuscript score and Wagner's technique of orchestration, whereby the 'colourr' of the piece is radically altered by the mere addition and subtraction of instruments.

[9]        LIEBESBOTSCHAFT-GALOPP (Love's Errand. Galop) o.op

From music for the ballet Aschenbrödel (Cinderella)

 

The music for the ballet Aschenbrödel (Cinderella) was the last work which Johann Strauss undertook. Although original ballet sequences had successfully featured in a number of the composer's earlier stage works, notably Ritter Pásmán (1892), Die Fledermaus (1874) and Indigo und die vierzig Räuber (1871), Strauss had not previously felt inclined to develop his musical ideas into a full-length ballet score. Occasional prompting by friends and colleagues had been to no avail until Dr Rudolph Lothar (1865-1943) suggested organising a "Prize Competition" to secure an original ballet libretto for the Waltz King. Strauss was agreeable to Lothar announcing details of the competition in his magazine Die Wage (The Scales) and to the selection of the winning material by a panel of influential judges, although he reserved the right of final decision.

On 5 March 1898 Die Wage published details of the competition, the winner of which would receive a cash prize in addition to the honour of having his libretto set to music by the world's most celebrated Composer of light music. By the closing date of 1 May 1898, 718 entries had been received by the magazine from all over the world. In its issue of December 1898, Die Wage published the result of the competition the judges and Johann Strauss had chosen the draft for a subject entitled Aschenbrödel, submitted under the pseudonym 'A. Kollmann' by Carl Colbert from Salzburg. The winning libretto was an updated version of the well-known fairy story of the wicked stepmother and her two daughters who do their cruel best to prohibit the stepchild, 'Cinderella', from going of the ball at the palace. The prince in the fairy tale was transformed into the head of 'The Four Seasons' department store ('Gustav'), the wicked stepmother appeared as the head milliner ('Madame Leontine') with her ugly and indolent daughters ('Yvette' and 'Fanchon'). The stepdaughter, 'Grete' ('Cinderella'), was turned into a general errand-girl and junior milliner in Gustav's store.

Johann Strauss began work on the ballet with enthusiasm. Working with evident facility he drew up a large number of sketches and, according to contemporary accounts, had more or less completed Act l of the ballet and the prelude to Act 3 (Volume 41 of this CD series) when, on 3 June 1899, he passed away. Only after some hesitation did his widow, Adèle Strauss, decide to entrust completion of the score to the respected ballet composer Joseph Bayer (1852-1913). After numerous frustrations, the première of Aschenbrödel finally took place in Berlin at the Königliches Opernhaus (Royal Opera House) on 2 May 1901. Not until 4 October 1908, at the Hof-Operntheater (Court Opera Theatre - today, the Staatsoper) was a production seen in Vienna.

It seems Bayer did not confine himself solely to completing Strauss's unfinished musical score for Aschenbrödel, but also played a part in arranging several dance pieces based on melodies from the score. These works were duly copyrighted by the publisher Josef Weinberger in 1900 and subsequently issued in various editions, including piano, full string orchestra, military band and salon orchestra. Although these arrangements are certainly skilful and betray a practised hand, the precise extent of Bayer's involvement has yet to be determined. In the case of the lively Liebesbotschaft-Galopp, for example, the arranger of the piano edition is credited as Rudolf Raimann (1861-1913), although it is unclear whether Raimann or Bayer was responsible for preparing the orchestral edition of this piece. The Liebesbotschaft-Galopp presents thematic material from the following sources in the ballet:

Theme 1A

- Act 1 'Marsch' (with modified ending). To avoid the unwelcome attentions of Franz, the store owner's vain and idle brother, Grete has taken refuge behind a Japanese screen. As Franz attempts to peer around the screen, the young milliners surround him, intent on throwing him out of the workroom door.

 

Theme 1B

- Act 1 ¡¥Liebesbotschaft-Galopp¡¦. Gustav's personal valet, Piccolo, enters the workroom, bearing a large cardboard box containing two domino outfits for the ball. (Madame Leontine eagerly seizes them for Fanchon and Yvette ¡K)

 

Trio 2A

- Act 2, Allegretto opening music. The curtain rises on a ballroom in Gustav's house, where the final figure of a quadrille is being danced (NB: this melody also features in the 'Finale' figure of the Aschenbrödel-Quadrille Volume 49 of this CD series.)

 

Trio 2B

- Act 1 ¡¥Liebesbotschaft-Galopp¡¦. Continuation of passage quoted in theme 1B.

(The above analysis and story synopsis are based on the first edition piano score of Aschenbrödel, published by Josef Weinberger, Leipzig, and copyrighted in 1900. It was first published at the time of the ballet's première in Berlin.)

This performance of the Liebesbotschaft-Galopp utilises the printed orchestral material originally published by Josef Weinberger.

[10]           TAUBEN-WALZER (Doves Waltz) o.op

From music for the ballet Aschenbrödel (Cinderella)

 

At the invitation of Adèle Strauss (1856-1930), widow of Vienna¡¦s celebrated Waltz King who had died on 3 June 1899, several friends gathered together with representatives of the press in the Spiegelsaal (Hall of Mirrors) of Berlin's Zentral Hotel on the afternoon of 1 May 1901. As regulations prohibited their attendance at dress rehearsals in the Königliches Opernhaus (Royal Opera House) for the following day's world première of Johann Strauss's ballet, Aschenbrödel (Cinderella), those present were given the opportunity of hearing some of the principal numbers performed at the piano by Adèle's son-in-law, Professor Richard Epstein (1869-1919).

Aschenbrödel, Johann Strauss's final work, had remained unfinished at the time of the composer's death. The man charged with its completion was a Viennese, Joseph Bayer (1852-1913), formerly a violinist in the orchestra at the Hof-Operntheater and the composer of some 22 ballet scores, amongst them the hugely successful Die Puppenfee (The Fairy Doll, 1888). By the time Bayer was commissioned to complete Aschenbrödel, he held the prestigious post of Director of Ballet at Vienna's Hof-Qperntheater. Only a thorough analysis of Strauss's extant sketches and the manuscript full score of Aschenbrödel will reveal the extent of Bayer's involvement in the preparation of the ballet for production. In this regard Julius Korngold (1860-1945), music critic for the  Neue Freie Presse and father of the composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957), made some pertinent remarks in his review (6.10.1908) of the first Viennese production of Strauss's ballet, which opened at the Hof-Qperntheater on 4 October 1908. In this he observed: "It appears that Strauss only left behind individual sections of the music in a completed state, most of them indeed in the first act, just sketches of other parts and then material without any note of his intentions. Indeed, it is probable that this material was not quite sufficient and that older, unused work had to be drawn upon. Thus Herr Bayer had to sift, arrange, group, to follow the text, so often altered, from the point of view of the drama, and also to orchestrate much of it, indeed very much of it".

 

In Aschenbrödel, the familiar fairy story is brought up to date by giving it a contemporary setting at carnival time in a turn-of-the-century department store, (¡¥The Four Seasons¡¦). The prince in the fairy tale become the store-owner, 'Gustav', while the wicked stepmother is reincarnated as 'Madame Leontine', the head milliner, along with her two daughters, Fanchon and Yvette - neither of whom can be classed an adornment to society - and her persecuted stepdaughter, the general errand-girl 'Grete' ('Cinderella'). Crucial to this re-telling of the fairy tale are Grete's beloved pet doves. Not only does the scenario call for her to perform an enchanting dance with them (Act 1), but during her absence at the ball in Gustav's home they helpfully arrange a large trayful of assorted flowers by type and colour - a time-consuming task which Madame Leontine had set her stepdaughter before herself leaving for the ball with her two daughters. According to Adèle Strauss, if a report in the Neue Freie Presse on 4 October 1908 is to be believed, Johann was already on his death-bed and suffering from a high fever when he composed the 'Tauben-Walzer' (Doves Waltz), a melody heard during the ballet's Act 1 Finale.

Josef Weinberger, the publishers of Aschenbrödel, endeavoured to capitalise on public interest in this posthumous work by the Waltz King by issuing, in addition to a piano score of the ballet, seven separate dance pieces based on melodies from the stage work. These comprised two waltzes, two polkas, a galop, a march and a quadrille, and were marketed in editions for various instruments, including full string orchestra, salon orchestra and piano solo. On the face of it, these individual dance works seem to have been compiled from the Aschenbrödel score by Joseph Bayer, although Rudolf Raimann (1861-1913) is named as arranger on the piano editions of two pieces. Under the circumstances, it was not surprising that several of the most charming themes in three-quarter-time were gathered together and published with the title of Tauben-Walzer. (The melody of the 'Tauben-Walzer' composed by the ailing Strauss and featured in the Act 1 Finale provides the Introduction for the separately-issued Tauben-Walzer.) The sources of the melodies contained in the Tauben-Walzer may be summarised as follows:

Introduction

- Act 1: The first 8 bars quote the 'Langsamer Walzer', heard as Grete fetches her doves and proceeds to feed them. As they "coo" their appreciation she tries on the golden shoes, which have proved too small for either of her stepsisters; the next 8 bars are based on this theme - all 16 bars accompanied by a dreamlike tremolo effect; the Allegro section quotes from the last 6 bars of the Act 2 Allegro passage, immediately preceding the 'Egyptian Slave-Girls' Dance'; 'Langsames Walzertempo' quotes directly from the Act 1 'Langsamer Walzer', as above.

 

Waltz 1A & 1B

- Act 3 'Monogramm-Tanz', performed as part of the 'Trousseau-Divertissement' during the closing entr'acte in the bridalwear department of 'The Four Seasons' store. (NB: This melody also appears in 2/4 tempo as the Trio of the Piccolo-Marsch. See Volume 42 of this CD series.)

 

Waltz 2A & 2B

- Act 2: Part of the' Aschenbr6del-Walzer' All present at the grand ball in Custav's home begin waltzing after Crete is chosen as 'Queen of the Ball'.

 

Waltz 3A & 3B

- Act 3 ¡¥Walzer¡¦, performed as part of the ¡¥Trousseau Divertissement¡¦ during the closing entr¡¦acte in the bridalwear deparmtent of ¡¥The Four Seasons¡¦ store.

 

Waltz 4A & 4B

- Act 1 'Langsamer Walzer'. Left alone after her stepmother and stepsisters depart for the ball, Grete collects her doves and feeds them. She tries on the golden shoes, discarded by Yvette and Fanchon, and attempts to 'make believe' by dancing with a tailor's dummy and then by flirting with her own reflection in the mirrors of the millinery workroom.

 

Coda

- Commences with a continuation of the Act 1 'Langsamer Walzer' (as immediately above), then recapitulates previously used material.

(The above analysis and story synopsis are based on the first edition piano score of Aschenbrödel, published by Josef Weinberger, Leipzig, and copyrighted in 1900. It was first published at the time of the ballet's première in Berlin.)

Although the Josef Weinberger publishing house announced the issue of orchestral performing material for the Tauben-Walzer, it has not proved possible to trace a set for this Marco Polo recording. This present orchestration of the waltz was made by the American conductor Jerome D. Cohen on the basis of the published piano score of the Tauben-Walzer and utilising the full orchestral score of the Aschenbrödel ballet. Mr Cohen's orchestration of this waltz was given its world première performance on 31 July 1996 at the Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, U.S.A., by the Minnesota Orchestra under its assistant conductor, William Eddins. The performance was part of the Minnesota Orchestra's "Viennese Sommerfest", a month-long festival.

[11]           PROEMADE-ABENTEUER. POLKA MAZUR

(Promenade Adventure. Polka-mazurka) o.op

From music for the ballet Aschenbrödel (Cinderella)

 

After Johann Strauss's death in June 1899 the task of completing his score for the ballet Aschenbrödel (Cinderella) fell to Joseph Bayer (1852-1913), Director of Ballet at the Vienna Hof-Opemtheater (Court Opera Theatre) and himself an acclaimed composer of ballet music. That much is known. What is less certain is the degree of Bayer's involvement in arranging from the Aschenbrödel score the seven individual dance pieces - the Aschenbrödel-Walzer, Tauben-Walzer, Probirmamsell. Polka française, Promenade-Abenteuer. Polka mazur, Liebesbotschaft-Galopp, Aschenbrödel-Quadrille and the Piccolo-Marsch - all subsequently issued by Josef Weinberger's publishing house.

The Waltz King's widow, Adèle Strauss (1856-1930), pronounced herself not entirely satisfied with the results of Bayer's labours regard to the completed score of Aschenbrödel, feeling that some of Bayer's orchestrations failed to live up to the highly individual style of her late husband. Julius Korngold (1860-1945), Eduard Hanslick's successor as music critic of the Neue Freie Presse, however, took a more objective view of Bayer's musical arrangement. In his review (6.10.1908) of the first Viennese production of Aschenbrödel, he wrote: "How nice that this excellent musician, who owed so much to Strauss in his own ballets, should be able to pay much of it back to the maestro in this fashion ¡K Frequently, the comfortable potpourri-like style of his own ballets is noticeable and perhaps some of the Strauss melodies would have had more driving force if they had been worked through more carefully - a reflection which is not intended to diminish Bayer's achievements with 'Aschenbrödel'".

 

Korngold's remarks also have relevance to the seven separate numbers compiled from the score of Aschenbrödel and published by Weinberger in various instrumental arrangements, including full orchestra. The arrangements are undoubtedly skilful, but owe more to Joseph Bayer than to Johann Strauss. Whether Bayer alone orchestrated these dance pieces is unclear; the piano reductions of the Liebesbotschaft-Galopp and the Promenade-Abenteuer. Polka mazur name Rudolf Raimann (1861-1913) as arranger. Promenade-Abenteuer, itself, is compiled from the following melodies in the Aschenbrödel ballet score:

Introduction

- 4 bars modelled on 'Promenade-Abenteuer' section of Act 1. Elegantly attired, Fanchon and Yvette, Grete's (Cinderella's) step-sisters, have just returned from a stroll.

 

Theme 1A

- Act 3 'Mazurka', performed as part of the 'Trousseau Divertissement' during the closing entr'acte in the bridalwear department of 'The Four Seasons' store.

 

Theme 1B

- Act 3 'Ländler', 'bewegter' section performed as part of the 'Troussenu-Divertissement' during the closing entr'acte in the bridalwear department of 'The Four Seasons' store (NB: Dotted rhythms added to this passage in the Promenade Abenteuer. Polka mazur.)

 

Trio 2A

- Act 3 'Ländler' (immediately preceding 'bewegter' section), performed as part of the 'Troussenu-Divertissement' during the closing entr'acte in the bridatwear department of 'The Four Seasons' store. (NB: Dotted rhythms added to this passage, as 1B above.)

 

Trio 2B

- Act 2 'Mazurka-Tempo' section of 'Tanz der jungen Herren'. As they dance, the young men at the ball unsuccessfully endeavour to discover the identities of the two masked young ladies (Fanchon and Yvette).

 

(The above analysis and story synopsis are based on the first edition piano score of Aschenbrödel, published by Josef Weinberger, Leipzig, and copyrighted in 1900. It was first published at the time of the ballet's première in Berlin.)

Although the Josef Weinberger publishing house announced the issue of orchestral performing material for the polka-mazurka Promenade-Abenteuer, it has not proved possible to trace a set for this Marco Polo recording. This present orchestration of the polka was made by the American conductor Jerome D. Cohen on the basis of the published piano score of Promenade-Abenteuer and utilising the full orchestral score of the Aschenbrödel ballet.

[12]           "BAUERSLEVT' IM KÜNSTLERHAUS"

('Country Bumpkins in the Art Gallery')

Aficionados of the Waltz King's music were doubtless surprised to read the following item in the 10 January 1889 edition of the Wiener Tagblatt: "Johann Strauss has published in the New Year number of Lauser's 'Allgemeine Kunst-Chronik' an autograph symphonic poem set to the poem 'Bauersleut' im Künstlerhaus' by Lidwig Anzengruber, which is also reproduced in the New Year number of the 'Allgemeine Kunst-Chronik', embellished with a stylish illustration by T.v. Rybkovski". This announcement was unexpected, for Johann Strauss was at that time busy composing his grand opera Ritter Pásmán, and the primary focus of attention among Vienna's music lovers concerned news of its progress.

Somewhat pretentiously described as a "symphonic poem", "Bauersleut' im Künstlerhaus" was the first of two small improvisations by Johann Strauss on verses by the popular Austrian playright and novelist Ludwig Anzengruber (1839-89) which the Munich-based Allgemeine Kunst-Chronik was to publish. (The second was "D'Hauptsach" in 1894, also included on this CD.) Anzengruber was a writer of real genius, though restricted range, who achieved his greatest success with a series of realistic plays dealing with Austrian peasant life, perhaps most notably the witty comedies Die Kreuzelschreiber (The Cross Makers, 1872), Der G'wissenwurm (The Worm of Conscience, 1874) and Doppelselbstmord (Double Suicide, 1876). In its January 1889 edition, beneath an entertaining page-heading entitled "Künstler-Humor" (Artists' Humour), the Allgemeine Kunst-Chronik published Anzengruber's amusing poem "Bauersleut' im Künstlerhaus" alongside artwork by Thadeusz Rybkovski (1848- 1926) of a couple in peasants' attire standing puzzled and confused before a large painting. The ten verses of poem are written in Austrian dialect, beginning with the lines:

"Es soan zwoa alte Bauersleut'

In d' Weanstadt einikämma,

A Vetta thut¡¦s voll Freundlikeit,

Wo's z'schau'n gibt, mit hinnähma."

 

('There were two old country bumpkins

Came up to the city of Vienna,

Their cousin, full of good will,

Took them to see all the sights!)

Thanks to the kindness of their cousin, the two old rustics visit the art gallery on the Karlsplatz and amble around. Scarcely have they entered the second room when they find themselves in front of a not-too-daring picture of a naked beauty. The peasant's wife is beside herself at such shamelessness ("Well never, hubby, just look away!/Or your soul will be seriously damaged./There are painted ladies hanging there/Without a stich on their bodies!"), and they stumble into the next room - only to find themselves surrounded by a host of nude paintings. The peasant's wife loudly denounces such artistic effrontery, adding: "Whatever age I was,/I wouldn't let myself be painted like that,/Not willingly, and not if I was forced!/You'd have to pay me for it!". The final verse reads:

 

"'Daß i vor Oa'm söllt so hinsteh'n,

Dös war a Untafanga!' - 

'Na', sagt der Baua, 'laß' nur geh'n!

's wird's Koana si' valanga!'"

 

('And for me to stand like that before someone else,

That would be out of the question, too!'

'Huh', said the peasant, 'you can forget it!

No-one will ask you to do it!')

The dialogue between the old couple clearly appealed to Strauss's sense of humour, and he readily sketched out a Ländler-like melody in three-quarter time for these lines. The single-page autograph which he sent to the Allgemeine Kunst-Chronik for its first issue of 1889 incorporates only the text of Anzengruber's final verse, and it is therefore this which has been recorded for the present CD in an orchestral arrangement by Michael Rot.

[13]           "D'HAUPTSACH" ('The Main Thing')

In October 1894, nearly five years after the Allgemeine Kunst-Chronik had published "Bauersleut' im Künstlerhaus", the first of Johann Strauss's improvisations on verses by Ludwig Anzengruber (1839-89), the Munich journal published the Waltz King's setting of another poem by the Austrian novelist and playright. Entitled "D'Hauptsach", it was very different from its predecessor: in dealing with a serious subject, it called for a sympathetic treatment by the composer. While as a dramatist and novelist Anzengruber won acclaim chiefly for his witty comedies about Austrian peasant life, his output also encompassed works of a more serious nature, including the melancholy Der Meineidbauer (Tl1e Farmer Forsworn, 1872) and Das vierte Gebol (The Fourth Commandment, 1878), the latter being described as a 'problem play' and having affinities with Ibsen's A Doll's House (1879).

Like the amusing "Bauersleut" im Künstlerhaus", "D'Hauptsach" is written in Austrian dialect. The poem considers the secret behind every creative endeavour - inspiration:

"Woher mir's kimmt? Bei meiner Seel':

Ich rath's nit, wurd' ich noch so alt.

Ob's Oaner hernimmt, wo d'r wöll,

Nur haben, haben muß er's halt."

('Where do I get it from? By my soul,

I could not guess, however long I lived.

You'll get it from wherever you will,

You simply have to have it.')

Strauss's autograph sketch of this little improvisation appeared in the Allgemeine Kunst-Chronik during October 1894, at the time of the composer's Golden Jubilee celebrations in Vienna marking the 50th anniversary of his début as composer and conductor. This present recording presents the work in an orchestral arrangement by Michael Rot.

[14]           ENTRE-ACT ZWISCHEN 2. UND 3. AKT DER OPERETTE "FÜRSTIN NINETTA"

(Entr'acte between Acts 2 and 3 of the operetta Princess Ninetta)

 

On 16 February 1892 Johann Strauss contacted the librettist 'firm" of Julius Bauer (1853-1941) and Hugo Wittmann (1839-1923), authors of several successful stage works for Carl Millöcker (1842-99), and requested they furnish him with an "interesting, amusing book" as the basis for his next operetta. "Be assured", he wrote, "that, I am yearning for this moment - and will feel fortunate to set Wittmann and Bauer to music". The composer was at that time still recovering from the unequivocal failure of his grand opera Ritter Pásmán at the Hof-Operntheater in Vienna. Although he still hoped that his opera would achieve success at its first production at the Neues Deutsches Theater in Prague (24 April 1892), he already recognised the pressing need to write something of a more readily commercial nature. Around the middle of March 1892 Strauss reached a decision to compose a score to Bauer and Wittmann's book, entitled Fürstin Ninetta (Princess Ninetta). The Waltz King evidently made swift progress, for on 11 June 1892 the Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung reported that he had already completed Act 1 of the operetta.

Independently of his work on Fürstin Ninetta, and apparently as the result of sudden inspiration, on 1 April 1892 Johann composed his Neue Pizzicato-Polka (New Pizzicato Polka, op. 449,Volume 2 of this CD series). The following day he wrote to his brother Eduard (1835-1916), offering him this novelty piece for his forthcoming concert series at the Hansa-Saal in Hamburg during April and May. Then, in December of that year, Johann notified Eduard by letter: "The fate of the [new] 'Pizziato Polka' was decided today. It will go into the operetta by Bauer & Wittmann. There is a situation in it which requires nothing else by way of music. You can understand that I am happy that I do not have to create anything new for it". Johann had decided to include the work in the score of Fünstin Ninetta as an entr'acte children's ballet sequence forming the introduction to Act 3. What he neglected to inform his brother was that he had already composed an Andantino con moto entr'acte to be featured between Acts 2 and 3 which, because of the interpolation of the Neue Pizzicato-Polka, was now redundant. This orchestral interlude was therefore excised from the score of the operetta, but survived in the manuscript which is preserved in the Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek and which has been reconstructed for this present recording.

The Entr'acte commences with a brief introduction, and then presents material from the Tempo di Valse theme in Ninetta's 'Chanson' (Act 2, No. 10 in the Cranz piano/vocal edition of the score), sung in the operetta to the words "Mädchen sei schlau, schlimm ist's bestellt, wenn man als Frau geht durch die Welt¡¨ ('Maiden, be clever; it is seen as a bad thing if you go through the world as a woman'). This alluring melody is also to be heard as Waltz 2A in the orchestral Ninetta-Walzer op. 445 (Volume 22), which Strauss compiled from themes in his operetta.

Though cast from Fürstin Ninetta before the operetta reached the stage, Johann's Entr'acte is nevertheless of great value, not least because of its interesting instrumentation and contrapuntal melodic lines.

[15]           AN DER SCHÖNEN BLAUEN DONAU. WALZER

(By the beautiful blue Danube. Waltz) op. 314. Original text by Josef Weyl

At the beginning of July 1865 Johann Strauss returned to Vienna from a rest cure to find a letter from the highly prestigious Wiener Männergesang-Verein (Vienna Men's Choral Association) inviting him to participate in their 'Sommer-Liedertafel' (Summer Programme of Songs) scheduled for 17 July and requesting him to compose a new waltz for the occasion. Eighteen years had passed since he had written his waltz Sängerfahrten op. 41 (Volume 16 of this CD series) for the Association, but Strauss nevertheless declined the proposal. He gave his reasons on 8 July 1865 in a letter to the "Highly respected Committee" of the Wiener Männergesang-Verein "Since my contractual relations with the management in Pavlovsk, by whom I have been engaged and, on account of illness, was unable to be present there at the required time, have unfortunately become very hostile and probably will compel me to take legal action, it is impossible this year for me to accept your honourable and flattering invitation to participate in the concert taking place on the 17th of this month. However, I hereby commit myself next summer, if I am still alive, to make up for what I am now hindered from doing, and with pleasure I [will] offer the esteemed Committee a new composition - written especially for the purpose, as well as my personal participation. Yours respectfully, Johann Strauss".

 

This promise, at least for 1866, went unfulfilled, but during the summer or autumn of that year Johann - after prompting by the Association - certainly began sketching themes for the choral waltz, his first, which would eventually bear the title An der schönen blauen Donau. The military defeat of Austria by Prussian forces at Königgrätz (today, Sadowa) on 3 July 1866 cast a grim shadow across all sectors of the Habsburg Empire, and threatened to shroud even the carnival festivities of 1867. In view of the prevailing mood, the Wiener Männergesang-Verein decided to replace its traditional rollicking 'Narrenabend' (Fools' Evening) with a more sedate evening programme of songs. Strauss, in great haste, began to adapt his waltz sketches for performance by the Vienna Men's Choral Association at their 'Faschings-Liedertafel' (Carnival Programme of Songs), originally scheduled for 10 February 1867 in the Dianabad-Saal but later changed to 15 February. Initially the Association received a four-part unaccompanied chorus of four waltzes without Introduction and with a brief Coda (which appeared in print in January 1867), and shortly afterwards Johann submitted a hastily written piano accompaniment bearing the apology: "Please excuse the poor and untidy handwriting - I was obliged to get it finish within a few minutes. Johann Strauss". The Association's 'house poet', Josef Weyl (1821-95), by occupation a police official and a childhood friend of the composer, now added a text - at times witty, sometimes satirical, sometimes ironical - to the four waltzes and Coda, exhorting peasants, financiers, builders, landlords, artists and politicians to dance away their cares in the carnival celebrations. Weyl had already completed his task when Strauss submitted a fifth waltz section, requiring the poet to reword the text of the fourth waltz, set words to the fifth and add a revised text to the Coda.

Rehearsals began in mid-January, but by the end of the month the waltz still appears to have had no name, being referred to at most by the Association as "Waltz for chorus and orchestra by Johann Strauss, k.k. Hofballmusikdirektor". While widely accepted that the title An der schönen blauen Donau originates from the melancholy poem, "Stille Lieder" (Tranquil Songs) by Carl Isidor Beck (1817-79), it is not known who chose to give this title to Strauss's waltz. It should be noted that in Weyl's text there is no reference whatsoever to the River Danube. Only shortly before the first performance was it decided to furnish the new waltz with an orchestral accompaniment, and Strauss duly obliged, adding the beautiful, shimmering Introduction by which the work is now instantly recognised throughout the world. Since the composer and the Strauss Orchestra were performing at the Imperial Court on the night of the premiere (15.02.1867), the around 130-strong Wiener Männergesang-Verein were conducted by their chorus-master, Rudolf Weinwurm, and accompanied by the orchestra of the 'Georg V, König von Hannover' Infantry Regiment No. 42, which was temporarily stationed in Vienna.

Despite the excessive length of the evening's entertainment - a 5-hour long 'cabaret' in stiflingly hot conditions, with two rows of ladies sitting on chairs and over 1,200 male spectators standing behind them - An der schönen blauen Donau (the sixth of nine items on the programme) was enthusiastically applauded and repeated. Although the reviewer for Die Debatte und Wiener Lloyd (17.02.1867) felt that "only the text by Weyl left much to be desired", there can be no doubt that the acclamation accorded to the performance was due in some part to Weyl's witty contribution. The ironic tone of Weyl's lines is set in the very first verse:

"Wiener seid froh! -/Oho, wie so?/No so blickt nur um! -/

I bitt, warum?/Ein Schlimmer des Lichts -/Wir seh'n noch nichts./

Ei, Fasching ist da!/Ah so, na ja!/Drum trotzet der Zeit -/

O Gott, die Zeit/Der Trübseligkeit. -/Ah! das wär g'scheidt!/

Was nutzt das Bedauern/Das Trauern,/Drum froh und lustig seid."

 

('Viennese be joyful! -/Ho, ho, why so?/Just look around! -/

I ask you, why?/There's a glimmer of light -/But we see nothing yet./

Ha, Carnival is here!/Well, well, indeed!/So, defy this age -/

Heavens above, this age/Of dark depression. -/Ah! That would be the best thing to do!/What's the use of regrets/And mourning,/So be joyful and be merry.¡¦)

This mood of cheerful abandon in the face of adversity is continued in the second verse:

 

"Ehrt das Faschingsrecht,/Wenn auch noch so schlecht/Die Finanzen,/

Laßt uns tanzen;/Heut zu Tag schwitzt,/Wer im Zimmer sitzt,/

G¡¦rad so wie der Tänzer-Schwall/Auf¡¦n Ball.¡¨

 

('Honour the law of Carnival,/However bad things are/Financially,/

Let us dance;/These days you sweat/Just as much sitting in your room/

As you do on the crowded dance floor/At a ball.¡¦)

Few sectors of Vienna's populace escaped Weyl's jibes, with landlords and politicians seemingly bearing the brunt of his barbed observations:

"Ein dicker Hausherr, der ärgert sich sehr,/Es steh'n im Haus alle Wohnungen leer,/S'macht nix, er geht trotz seiner Gall/Halt doch auf¡¦n Maskenball./Fehl'n auch sechs Zinsparteien,/G'steigert wern d'Andern halt./Morg'n zieht a Künstler ein,/Der aber g'wiß nix zahlt./Pfand't man, ist's ärgerlith,/D'Leut hab'n nix hint und worn,/So denkt der Hausherr sich -/Und tanzt voll Zorn."

 

('A fat property owner is having a tough time,/ All the apartments in his building are empty,/It doesn't matter, in spite of his troubles/He's off to the masked ball./Even though he's six tenants short,/The others will have their rent increased./Tomorrow an artist is moving in,/But he will certainly pay nothing./If you send in the bailiffs, it causes problems,/People have nothing at all,/That's how the property owner thinks -/ And dances angrily:)

"Setbst die politischen, kritischen Herr'n/Drehen weise im Kreise sich gern,/Wenn auch scheinbar bewegend sich keck,/Kommen doch sie niemals vom Fleck,/Wie sie so walzen, versalzen sie meist/Trotz der Mühen die Brühen im Geist/Wie's auch noten schreib'n noch so so exact,/Kommen's leider Gott stets aus dem Takt./D'rum nur zu/Tanzt ohne Rast und Ruh',/Nützet den Augenblick,/Denn sein Glück/Kehrt nicht zurück./Nützt in Eil'/Das, was Euch heut zu Theil,/Denn die Zeit entflieht/Und die Rose der Freude verblüht./Drum tanzt ja tanzt."

 

('Even the political, critical gentlemen/Like to circle around judiciously,/While appearing to move boldly/They actually never budge an inch,/Like the way they waltz, they usually spoil/The fun in people's spirits - in spite of their efforts;/However meticulously they write their notes,/They are constantly, God knows, losing the rhythm./So, join in,/Dance without resting,/Seize the moment,/for its happiness will never return./Make haste to enjoy/What is your lot today,/For time is fleeting/And the rose of happiness is soon blown./So dance, yes dance.¡¦)

While newspapers such as the Constitutionelle Vorstadt-Zeitung and Das Vaterland made no mention at all about Strauss's new waltz, the many laudatory press reports which did appear utterly refute claims in the earliest Strauss biographies that the waltz 'failed' at its première. The critic of the Fremden-Blatt (17.02.1867), for example, observed: "The waltz was truly splendid, full of skipping melodies which flowed from the lips of the singers like a crystal - clear mountain spring and whose rhythmically flowing waves of melody magically added colour to the amusing highlights of the text. The composition was received with rejoicing¡K". The reviewer for Die Presse (17.02.1867) echoed his colleague's sentiments, adding prophetically: "The charming waltz, with its catchy rhythms, ought soon to belong to the most popular of the prolific dance-composer, and in fact formed the only untroubled high spot of the carnival song programme".

 

In planning this present recording of An der schönen blauen Donau, featuring Josef Weyl's original carnival - time choral text, the conductor Jerome D. Cohen wanted to capture a performance built around the raucous character of the words - to re-create, as closely as possible, the mood of the work at its première in February 1867. The result is a wonderfully buoyant and boisterous rendering of the world's most famous waltz, a waltz its composer justly dedicated to the world's most famous male voice choir - the Wiener Männergesang-Verein.

Programme notes © 1996 Peter Kemp. The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain.

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

Peter Kemp is also the author of The Strauss Family (Omnibus Press, London 1989), available also in German, Japanese, Hungarian and Chinese editions.

Adrian Eröd

The baritone Adrian Eröd completed his studies at the Vienna Music Academy in 1996 and boasts an operatic repertoire that ranges from Purcell (Aeneas) to Mozart (Guglielmo and Papageno) and to twentieth century baritone rôles that include those of Pelléas and Billy Budd. He is a singer of some versatility and couples work in the opera-house with recitals and performances in oratorio. Since 1995 he has been a member of the Vienna Chamber Opera and has won distinction in vocal competitions in Austria, Poland and Japan.

Slovak Philharmonic Choir

The Slovak Philharmonic Choir was formed in 1946 from the mixed choir of Radio Bratislava and has performed, over the years, a wide repertoire of music, ranging from the earliest choral works to the work of contemporary composers. The Choir, since 1990 directed by Jan Rozehnal, has performed under some of the most distinguished conductors, from Claudio Abbado and Lorin Maazel to Vaclav Talich and Yuri Temirkanov, and has appeared in concerts and festival performances throughout Europe, in addition to continuing collaboration with the opera-houses of Vienna, Strasbourg, Szeged, Bordeaux and Düsseldor. Recordings by the Choir include the oratorio The Legend of St. Elizabeth by Liszt for Hungaroton, awarded the Paris Grand Prix du Disque in 1974 and a number of works for Naxos and Marco Polo.

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 Stankovsky. 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 Khachaturlan 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.

Jerome D. Cohen

The American conductor, composer and arranger Jerome D. Cohen was born in Spokane, Washington, in 1936 and studied at the New England Conservatory of Music. His compositions and arrangements have been widely performed in the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe and include an orchestration of Debussy's Girl with the Flaxen Hair recorded by John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra and his Houghton Waltz, based on less well known melodies by Strauss and first performed by the Minnesota Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin. Jerome Cohen has conducted throughout the United States and has appeared as guest conductor in London's Royal Festival Hall. During his ten years as Music Director of the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, he won three national awards for "adventuresome programming". His reconstructions of the waltzes that Johann Strauss II composed for his 1872 visit to America can be heard on volumes 40, 46 and 47 of the Marco Polo Complete Strauss Edition. His Marco Polo conducting début was with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra in the critically acclaimed collection of French ballroom favourites, Les succès de la Danse (Marco Polo 8223801).


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