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8.225254 - STRAUSS I, J.: Edition - Vol. 4
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Johann Strauss Snr • Edition • Vol

Johann Strauss Snr • Edition • Vol. 4

 

[1] Schwarz’sche Ball-Tänze, Op. 32, (im Saale zum Sperl Cotillons nach beliebten Motiven aus der Oper: Die Stumme von Portici)

(Schwarz Ball Dances at the Sperl, Cotillons, after favourite melodies from the opera La muette de Portici)

 

In the 1830s the distinguished actor Carl Schwarz (1768-1838) from the Imperial Court Theatre organized at least two society balls every Carnival for his colleagues on the Vienna stage, his friends and acquaintances. Schwarz always chose the best ball-rooms in proper rotation, together with music directors. For his ball at the Sperl it was the turn of Johann Strauss, who dedicated a new composition to the organizer and presented it at his own benefit ball on 25th November 1829 at the Sperl, together with his Charmant Waltz, The Composer’s Best Fancy. The work was carefully chosen. At society balls great store was set by figure dances, prepared by dancing-masters and arranged for the ball evening.

 

Contredanses came into fashion in Vienna in the eighteenth century. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart too did not disdain to write such compositions for balls at the Redoutensaal at which he himself was a keen dancer. In his ball-dances for Carl Schwarz, Johann Strauss put together five sections in triple time, each with a trio, and after the fifth section a long coda. He took the melodies from the music written by Daniel François Auber for his opera La muette de Portici (The Mute Girl from Portici), first performed at the Grand Opéra in Paris on 2nd February 1828. Always up-to-date in his music, Strauss presented important melodies from the opera in his Cotillons before the first performance of the opera at the Josephstadt Theatre in Vienna on 9th April 1829.

 

[2] Charmant-Polka (Charming Polka)

Johann Strauss’s Charmant Polka is the first of five polkas preserved in the Vienna City and District Library. It appeared with the Charmant Waltz in the collection The Composer’s Best Fancy, Op. 31, in 1829. It is conceivable that the polka was performed for the first time together with the waltz at the Catherine Ball, a benefit for Strauss, on 25th November 1829 at the Sperl.

 

The composer was particularly interested in presenting himself to the public at the Sperl as a versatile musician and composer. Although this unpublished polka is not especially striking, it predates the arrival of the Bohemian polka in Vienna by ten years. The latter were first presented in Vienna in 1839 by the Prague conductor Perger. From then onwards Strauss wrote only polkas following the Prague model. The first work in the latter series, which continued until 1849 (Alice Polka, Frederica Polka) was the Sperl Polka, Op. 133, of 1842.

 

[3] Vive la Danse! Walzer, Op. 47 (Vive la Danse! Waltz)

 

In the middle of the catastrophic year of 1831, Johann Strauss organized a summer festival for his benefit at the Dommayer in Hietzing. The Viennese were still living happy and carefree lives, despite the threat of an outbreak of cholera approaching Vienna from Poland. Friends of Strauss’s music took every opportunity to hear and dance to the Waltz King’s new compositions. To this end a festival was announced at Dommayer’s to celebrate Strauss and enjoy his new waltzes.

 

The novelty of the occasion is perfectly expressed in the title Vive la Danse!. Strauss had written a charming waltz which, after a short introduction, consisted of five numbers and an expressive and almost rollicking coda. The skipping melody of the first part immediately puts the listener under its spell with its infectious good humour. The subsequent well-crafted waltz numbers, consisting of sixteen- and eight-bar periods, increased the success of the new composition. The summer festival at Dommayer’s brought the composer, who presented his work with inimitable verve and élan, complete success.

 

The waltz Vive la Danse! was also triumphant six years later, when Strauss presented the work at the Gymnase musical in Paris to a public that included the greatest contemporary masters of French music: Adam, Auber, Cherubini, Halévy, Meyerbeer and the dance-master Philippe Musard, among whom Strauss achieved unanimous approval and full recognition.

 

[4] Fortuna-Galopp, Op. 69 (Fortuna Galop)

 

Since Strauss had taken over the music at the Sperl in October 1829, the establishment run by Johann Georg Scherzer in the Leopoldstadt had been at the height of its popularity. One of the consequences was that on 9th January 1834, Scherzer had to extend the Sperl by opening the Fortuna Room. It was a spacious ball-room, splendidly fitted out and Strauss, of course, played on the opening evening. The event was crowded and Strauss, as was expected, brought with him a new composition. It was a cheerful galop, with the title Fortuna Galop.

 

The new work had immediate success and was danced with enthusiasm, as far as was possible in the overcrowded room. Strauss had thought up a rapid galop with, after four introductory bars and an energetic signal for the dance to begin, two sixteen-bar sections with electrifying melodies. After the usual da capo, came a novelty, a 22-bar coda that forced the unaccustomed dancers to a special feat of endurance.

 

It goes without saying that the new Fortuna Polka was immediately popular and had to be played at all the subsequent balls in the Fortuna Room. The publisher Tobias Haslinger was able to offer the piano version of the work on 5th February 1834, and one may take it that he did good business with the Fortuna Polka. A few years later the Krenn publishing-house brought out a new edition by Max Schönherr. This version, too, won immediate popularity.

 

[5] Heiter auch in ernster Zeit, Walzer, Op. 48 (Cheerful too at a Serious Time)

 

In the years 1830 and 1831 the people of Vienna were haunted by several disasters. In February 1830 the Danube, then a single channel in Vienna, burst its banks and submerged the surrounding districts under a metre of water. Johann Strauss’s family, too, had to take refuge.

 

In the summer of 1831 a cholera epidemic from the Polish-Russian war zone spread to Austria, and moved without impediment from Cracow to the densely populated districts on the Danube. In August it was apparent that cases of cholera would occur in Vienna. Primitive remedial measures were sought in vain to keep the epidemic away, and the prayers and consolatory texts that appeared in the Wiener Zeitung were of no use. Far too late the Emperor Franz I ordered the construction of drainage channels to hold back, as far as possible, the centre of the epidemic.

 

In this situation Johann Strauss organized at the Sperl an evening entertainment ‘in aid of those in distress or in need of help in the present circumstances’ and repeated there on 24th August 1831, when the disaster was announced, the waltz that he had first offered at his benefit summer festival at the Sperl under the title Wien, wie es ist (Vienna, as it is), to which he now gave the title Cheerful too at a Serious Time.

 

This charming, heartening work, which had been greeted in the summer with great public enthusiasm, had to preserve its magic. It was once again met with decided approval. During this really serious period, when the Wiener Zeitung regularly published announcements of the victims of the epidemic, the sick and the dead, the thrilling energy and positive mood of this music was absolutely necessary.

 

It served the same purpose too in 1846 when a business crisis was announced in Austria and the news reached Vienna of men starving in the provinces. Johann Strauss took the waltz out of the archive and again put it on his musicians’ desks. Then, once again it provided a positive mood, comfort and inspiration. The Strauss motto is always valid, ‘Cheerful too at a Serious Time’.

 

[6] Original Parademarsch (Wiener Bürger-Marsch Nr. 1)

(Original Parade March: Vienna Citizens’ March No. 1)

 

In 1832 Johann Strauss was appointed bandmaster of the Honourable First Citizens Regiment. This was a great distinction. The regiment counted 6600 men and presented an imposing sight when it marched out on parade or for Corpus Christi with its music.

 

In 1832 Johann Strauss received from the regiment only a payment for participation in the Corpus Christi procession. On this occasion, at any rate, the Original Parade March without opus number was provided, and the music was copied by the copyist Franz Flatscher, dated 1833. In this year Strauss received an honorarium for ‘three parades with the band’. It is not certain at which of these parades he had this march performed. At all events it is a joyful, cheerful work that, performed at a lively tempo, was first played after the ceremonial parade.

 

Whatever happened, the Original Parade March was and is an interesting, really Straussian piece, certainly received with appreciation.

 

[7] Das Leben ein Tanz oder Der Tanz ein Leben! Walzer, Op. 49

(Life a Dance or Dance a Life! Waltz)

 

In early autumn 1831 cholera broke out in Vienna and the suburbs with full force. The official Wiener Zeitung regularly published the number of sick and dead. The epidemic first diminished with the beginning of the cold season.

 

On 23rd November 1831, Johann Strauss promptly organized at the Sperl the traditional Catherine Ball, which also marked the end of the year’s dance entertainments. Since these balls were generally well attended, Strauss chose this evening for his benefit. For this occasion he composed a particularly highly-treasured waltz to which he gave the title Life a Dance or Dance a Life!. After a 23-bar introduction he moved into a waltz in a steady rhythm, as much as to signify that life in Vienna was again cheerful and light-hearted.

 

This five-part work, ending with an effective coda, was one of the composer’s masterpieces. The whole magic of Biedermeier Vienna is expressed in its melodies. At the first performance the work was received with enthusiasm and often repeated. Strauss’s son Johann used the first waltz melody from Life a Dance in his little potpourri    Music from the Raimund Period, that he conducted in the German Volkstheater on the occasion of the unveiling of the memorial to the actor, playwright and theatre-director Raimund. He understood very well that his father had expressed the whole magic of the Biedermeier in his Opus 49.

 

[8] Launen-Polka (Caprice Polka)

 

It may be assumed that the early Caprice Polka, which is preserved as No. 3 of the five polkas in the Vienna City and District Library, was written together with the Vienna Caprice Waltzes, Op. 6, in 1827. The simple structure of the composition suggests that it belongs to the earliest works of the young composer. It shares this connection with the Charmant Polka, composed and performed in 1829 together with the Charmant Waltz, part of The Composer’s Best Fancy.

 

Nevertheless the Caprice Polka is a pleasing work that differs markedly from the Bohemian polkas that Johann Strauss wrote from 1842, (for example the Sperl Polka, Op. 133) following the Prague pattern. The polka as a couple round-dance has, to be sure, a precursor that could have been established in the 1820s. Johann Strauss was able to follow this tradition, before the Bohemian polka became known in Vienna from 1839. In this respect the Caprice Polka is an interesting contribution to the history of Austrian dance-music.

 

 

[9] Cotillons nach beliebten Motiven aus der Oper Die Unbekannte (La Straniera), Op. 50

(Cotillons on favourite melodies from the opera La Straniera)

 

Hardly had the Court Opera by the Kärntnerthor introduced the opera La Straniera to the Vienna public on          24th November 1831 (the first performance of Vincenzo Bellini’s work had taken place at La Scala, Milan, on    14th February 1829), but Johann Strauss was already in the ball-rooms with his Cotillons. The first performance of the Cotillons must have taken place before the première of the opera at the Court Opera, since the publisher Tobias Haslinger was able to announce the publication of the work on 25th November 1831.

 

Strauss’s music starts without introduction, launching into the first of five triple-time numbers, of which four have a trio. Strauss knew well enough why he had to hurry so much with the performance and publication of his Cotillons. His friend Joseph Lanner also brought out in late autumn 1831 his Cotillons under the title Bekannte Töne einer Unbekannten (Known Music of an Unknown), full of melodies from the opera (the piano version was announced on 3rd February 1832).

 

Since Bellini’s opera soon disappeared from the stage, the Cotillons of neither composer had a long life, but they were certainly welcome for the ball season of 1832. In the waltz business it was important to be up-to-date. Strauss and Lanner both understood this very well.

 

[10] Venetianer-Galopp, Op. 74 (Venetian Galop)

 

Johann Strauss performed his Venetian Galop on 21st July 1834 at the repetition of his successful festival of 1833, A Night in Venice, in the Imperial Augarten. It was a gamble to repeat a festival that had attracted many people, but Strauss and his assistant ‘Lamperl-Hirsch’ were not disappointed. Once again there was a large and satisfied attendance.

 

The Venetian Galop had, at this night among the scenes of Venice, great and deserved approval and lively acceptance. The work, which starts with four energetic bars and the delicate sound of the castanets before the galop proper begins, has Strauss’s verve and thus enlivens both the dances and those who hear it.

 

The success of the piece persuaded the publisher Tobias Haslinger to issue the galop on 18th November 1834 both in a piano edition and for orchestra. Later, however, it was only seldom played.

 

[11] Hof-Ball-Tänze, Walzer, Op. 51 (Court Ball Dances)

Ihro Majestät Anna Maria Carolina, der jüngeren Königin von Ungarn gewidmet

(Dedicated to Her Majesty Anna Maria Carolina, Queen of Hungary)

 

In 1831 Anna Maria of Sardinia was married to the Crown Prince, the epileptic Ferdinand, who had already been crowned King of Hungary. It was certainly no love-match. All those concerned, as well as the people of Vienna, were clear that Anna Maria of Sardinia, who was already 28, was offered as a victim in this marriage, but she had nothing to regret. Ferdinand may not have been in full command of his intellectual powers, but he made up for this deficiency by his good nature. Furthermore he had a marked understanding of music. In 1832 Queen Anna Maria took part in the Court Ball in Vienna. Johann Strauss, who was entrusted for the first time with the music of the ball, took the opportunity to dedicate his Court Ball Dances Waltz to her. Presumably the waltz was played at the ball. The first public performance was on 29th February of leap year 1832 at the Sperl.

 

The first part of the waltz, in the seldom used key of E major, offers a cheerful melody of three quavers and a crotchet in the interval of an octave and is one of the composer’s most original inspirations. Since the subsequent five waltz sections and the coda include amusing and carefully instrumented melodies, the Court Ball Dances belong to the most interesting, favourite works of Johann Strauss. They contributed already in 1832 to his later nickname of ‘Waltz King’.

 

[12] & [14] Galopp Nr. 1 und Nr. 2 aus Die Stumme von Portici

(Galop Nos. 1 and 2 from La muette de Portici)

 

The opera La muette de Portici was first performed in Vienna at the Josephstadt Theatre on 9th November 1829. This followed the first performance of the work at the Paris Grand Opéra on 29th February 1828, after the delay of a year. Since Auber’s work was a complete success, perhaps the strict censorship of the system created by the State Chancellor Prince Metternich had prevented a prompt transfer of the work.

 

The two Galops, No. 1 in D major and No. 2 in G major, are both without an introduction and are orchestrated very simply with a third violin in place of a viola. They were composed and performed very soon after the first performance of the opera in Vienna. An exact date of the first performance cannot be ascertained, since in 1829 the first performances of compositions of the still little known conductor Strauss were not reported in the newspapers. That would soon change. With the galops from La muette de Portici it was not so long. It may be supposed that the Galops were danced with enthusiasm at the latest at Carnival 1830. They have the requisite verve and dash.

 

[13] Bajaderen-Walzer, Op. 53, (Sr. königlichen Hoheit dem durchlauchtigsten Herrn Carl Ludwig, Herzoge von Lucca, Infant von Spanien ec.ec in tiefster Ehrfurcht gewidmet)

(Bayadère Waltz, dedicated to His Royal Highness the Most Serene Charles Louis, Duke of Lucca, Infante of Spain, etc, etc., in deepest respect)

 

Daniel François Esprit Auber’s opera Le dieu et la bayadère reached the Vienna Court Opera Theatre at the Kärntnerthor on 3rd February 1832. The interesting figure of the Indian temple dancer, who, following tradition, was also a prostitute, aroused the interest of opera-goers. Since it was difficult for the Court Opera in the prudish years of the Emperor Franz I to bring a bayadère onto the stage, Auber’s opera had no lasting success. Auber’s music, in spite of this, won through. Johann Strauss did not miss the opportunity to compose a Bayadère Waltz. The work was played at many balls in Carnival 1832, as well as at the Philharmonic Society Ball on 15th February, at which Strauss and his musicians played the dance music.

 

Strauss’s Bayadère Waltz, consisting of a twelve-bar introduction, four waltz sections with trios and an interesting coda that repeats the melodies of the first waltz, is at least near Auber’s melodies. For his contemporaries the relationship between the melodies of Strauss’s Bayadère Waltz and Auber’s was obvious. Already in 1832 this fact was discussed, when the appearance of the waltz in Tobias Haslinger’s edition was announced in the Wiener Zeitung on 19th May. The canny publisher had already, in March 1832, presented Strauss’s Bayadère Galop, Op. 52, to the Philharmonic. It must be acknowledged that Tobias Haslinger contributed to the fame of his composer Johann Strauss, whose compositions he exported to many countries.

 

Later the Bayadère Waltz disappeared from dance repertoire and from the programmes of Strauss concerts. That was a shame, as the original melodies of the first waltz alone had certainly also pleased later generations of music-lovers.

 

Franz Mailer

English version by Keith Anderson

 

Music for the repertoire recorded on this CD is available for hire at Musikverlag Doblinger, Vienna

The editions used on this recording are from the Christian Pollack Archive


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