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8.225284 - STRAUSS I, J.: Edition - Vol. 8
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Johann Strauss I Edition, Vol. 8

 

[Track 1] Tausendsapperment-Walzer, Op. 61 (Devil Take It Waltz)

During the 1833 Carnival in Vienna the craze for dancing was particularly strong. According to the evidence of the writer of the folk-style Hans Jörgel Letters the large number of placards on which balls in Vienna were announced alone was confusing.

In spite of this Johann Strauss thought up something new to attract the interest of the public for his benefit ball on 13 February 1833 at the Sperl in Leopoldstadt. He had written a new waltz and invited visitors to the ball to find a title for the work. The idea proved very effective. Strauss was able to enjoy lively encouragement. All the rooms at the Sperl were overfilled and in the large ball-room there was such a press that barely a third of the dancers found enough room to move around.

At the entrance to the establishment every visitor had taken a slip of paper and was asked to write on it a title for the dedication waltz by the music director Johann Strauss. This waltz was played for the first time. When the coda was over, the chest was opened. A girl, blindfold, picked out a slip of paper. On this, to general astonishment, was Tausendsapperment-Walzer (Devil Take It Waltz). Although the guests immediately raised objection to this title for a charming Viennese waltz as unsuitable, and suggested other names, Johann Strauss kept to the proposed title and let the work be published by Tobias Haslinger as Opus 61 under the title Tausendsapperment-Walzer.

When Joseph Lanner copied the example of his successful rival Johann Strauss and also arranged for a choice of title, he had more luck. For his new waltz, which he introduced on 18 February at The Roman Emperor, the attractive title Flowers of Pleasure was given, confidently used for his Opus 73.

[Track 2] Ballnacht-Galopp, Op. 86 (Ball Night Galop)

On the same day as the Reise-Galopp (Journey Galop) appeared, on 15 February 1836 the publisher Tobias Haslinger also issued Strauss's Ball Night Galop. The themes of this plain but very effective work were taken by the composer from the opera Le bal masqué by Daniel-François-Esprit Auber. The first performance of the opera had been given on 27 February 1833 at the Paris Grand Opéra. The German version was given from 26 September 1836 at the Royal and Imperial Theatre at the Kärntnertor.

Johann Strauss very quickly arranged motifs from the opera and played them to visitors to the balls he organized. The Ball Night Galop was an occasional composition for the 1836 ball season and was subsequently seldom played.

[Track 3] Der Frohsinn, mein Ziel, Walzer, Op. 63 (Gaiety My Aim)

At the Sophia Festival on 16 May 1833 Johann Strauss played at the Tivoli. It was a glorious spring day, and the establishment was host to a large number of visitors. This was an ideal opportunity for Strauss to present his latest waltz. He gave the work the title Gaiety My Aim and confirmed with this title the motto that characterized his whole work as a composer and music director. It was always his aim to create and spread gaiety. He always achieved this goal, even in the year of crisis 1848 when, with his waltz Sorgenbrecher, Op. 230 (Worry Dispeller) at Carnival, shortly before the outbreak of the March revolution, he alleviated the very considerable worries of people in Vienna and once again achieved his goal of spreading gaiety.

On 16 May 1833 the supporting programme at the Tivoli helped his motto come true. After the first performance of his waltz, transparent balloons were released over the hill and wafted away into the night sky. Strauss, however, had actually no need of help of this kind. His waltz enchanted the public at the Sophia Festival, which was naturally a celebration for Archduchess Sophie, and for the wife of Archduke Franz Carl and mother of his sons Franz Joseph and Carl Ludwig.

The dedication waltz by Johann Strauss had no need to show off its merits by too great an outlay on musical effects. The work achieved its aim through a festive introduction (Andante) and, to begin with, a gently swaying first waltz, followed by a powerful continuation. This concentrated energy, which was a characteristic of Johann Strauss, already noted by Richard Wagner and soon to be described by Heinrich Laube as 'demonic', was communicated to the public, compelling the couples almost by magic to dance. The jaunty fifth waltz was followed by an extended coda in which the most effective parts of the work were quoted once more. Immediately before the powerful final chords Strauss had the trumpet and horn play a miniature yodel.

Naturally, the listeners were enchanted by Johann Strauss's new waltz. When they set out home after the end of the Tivoli festival, there were many visitors who felt sorry that Strauss did not play there more often. The glory days of the Tivoli, however, were over and things went down from then on not only for the little carriages that rolled down the Green Hill, but for the whole enterprise. This was not the case with Strauss. His glory days lay ahead, his fame increased further and spread steadily beyond the frontiers of the Empire. Strauss took the opportunity to achieve gaiety also in Germany and later too in Holland, France and England, and that was also his aim.

[Track 4] Paris-Polka (without Opus number)
Dedicated to H. Willis Esq.

Johann Strauss's Paris Polka was published in 1841 by R. Cocks & Co. in London. The piano edition has the inside title: Pariser-Polka/On English Airs. On the title-page of the edition it is noted that numerous compositions by Johann Strauss had already been issued by this publisher, up to the waltz Die Tanzmeister, Op. 135, (The Dance Master), first performed at the Katharine Ball at the Sperl on 24 November 1841, and Stadt- und Landleben, Op. 136, (Town and Country Life), first performed at a garden festival at the Sperl on 5 July 1841. As is clear from a letter that Johann Strauss wrote on 20 April 1839 to the Paris publisher Maurice Schlesinger, he had, before his tour to France and England in October 1837, reserved the right to choose a publisher for his new works in Paris and London. He then obviously made use of this right.

No performance of this certainly interesting if not sensational work is known. That it is a composition by Johann Strauss is witnessed by the fact that an original score of the work was found in the music section of the Vienna City and District Library. This made the present first performance of the Paris Polka possible.

Thanks are due to the English Strauss researcher Peter Kemp for the story of the work's origin. He offers the following information: 'The cheerful opening melody of the polka comes from The Ploughboy by William Shields (1787). The melodies of the two trios of the polka are songs from The Beggar's Opera by John Christopher Pepusch from 1828. (The first performance of the popular work took place in London on 9 February 1728.)' This may suffice for the understanding of this interesting composition by Johann Strauss.

[Track 5] Robert-Tänze, Op. 64, nach beliebten Motiven aus Meyerbeer's Oper "Robert der Teufel"
(Robert Dances, on favourite motifs from Meyerbeer's opera Robert le Diable)

On 29 July 1833 Johann Strauss celebrated one of the greatest successes of his comparatively short career as music director. On the evening of this day he arranged a diversion together with his friend and adviser (who might today be called 'manager') Carl Friedrich Hirsch, known as 'Lamperl-Hirsch' since he knew how to achieve magical lighting effects with various methods of gas or electric illumination. He demonstrated his knowledge most emphatically at the celebration in the royal Augarten on the evening of 29 July 1833. Johann Strauss arranged a summer festival for his benefit with the ambitious title 'A Night in Venice'. Lamperl-Hirsch accepted the challenge, conjuring up in the Augarten a façade that suggested Venice. The pictures of this festivity were so famous that they were later reproduced. There a façade may be seen decorated with very many lamps, with two high columns wreathed in burning lights. Above the columns were a winged lion and a statue of St Leopold. They could be taken by the observer to symbolize Venice.

This piece of scenery sufficed to impress the visitor, with the orchestra under the lively direction of Johann Strauss in front of it. The music on this evening was almost of minor importance. The Robert Dances on motifs from the opera Robert le Diable were a very interesting and important work. Giacomo Meyerbeer's opera, which was first performed at the Paris Grand Opéra on 21 November 1831, could be seen by the Viennese from 20 June 1833 at the Josefstadt Theatre. Johann Strauss was again very quickly off the mark with his Robert Dances. That Meyerbeer's opera was also very successful in Vienna was also to the benefit of Johann Strauss's Robert Dances.

Strauss had chosen his quotations very cleverly. For the first of the dances he took the short introduction and the second Air de ballet. Then he went into the romance "Eh ich die Normandie verlasse" (obviously in triple time). Further use was made of the duet "In dem Wechsel nur ist Leben" and "Fürchte meine Wuth", as well as the valse infernale "Noirs démons, fantômes", with effective accents on the third crotchet. A comprehensive coda concludes the work.

Clearly these dances were as successful as Meyerbeer's opera itself. They remained a long time in the Strauss orchestra repertoire and are still welcomed today.

[Track 6] Marianka-Polka (without Opus number)

The present polka is found among the five polkas preserved in the Vienna City and District Library in versions of the orchestral parts made by a copyist. Like the other compositions in this series it has the following instrumentation: one flute, one oboe, two horns, one trumpet, first and second violins and cello.

The polka is in D major and offers, after a four-bar introduction, the traditional structure and ends with a short coda. Although the work shows features typical of the later polka compositions of the older Johann Strauss, the well-known Strauss researcher Max Schönherr doubts whether this is an original composition by this composer. (Im Jahrhundert des Walzers, Verlag Universal-Edition, Vienna, 1954.)

The five polkas for which the copyist supplies the date 1st September 1841 are not identical to the famous Marianka Polka, Op. 123, which was performed for the first time on 1 June 1845 at a ball at Unger's Casino in Hernals and was published on 23 June 1845 by Tobias Haslinger's Widow & Son.

Since Johann Strauss never used a title twice, the doubts of the Strauss specialist are justified. Nevertheless it is interesting to meet this work for once.

[Track 7] Elisabethen-Walzer, Op. 71 (Elisabeth Waltz)
Dedicated with profoundest respect to Her Royal Highness Elisabeth Louise, Crown Princess of Prussia, née Royal Princess of Bavaria, etc. etc.

When Johann Strauss gave his Op. 71 the title Elisabeth Waltz and dedicated the charming work to the Crown Princess of Prussia, Elisabeth Louise, wife of the future King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, he surely knew that in November 1834 he would appear in concerts in Berlin. At the first performance of the work on 26 June 1834 at the Nocturnal Summer Festival at Donmayer's Casino in Hietzing his friends already guessed why the new waltz was dedicated to Crown Princess Elisabeth Louise. Strauss prepared his first guest appearances in Berlin particularly carefully. Much later it was maintained in a book that the journey of the thirty-year-old Viennese music director in November 1834 was a 'Flight to Berlin'. Naturally there can be no question of this.

It was very interesting and important that Johann Strauss had been able to include the then already famous Casino Donmayer in Hietzing, visited by high society, in his empire. There he took over from Joseph Lanner.

At the Nocturnal Summer Festival on 26 June 1834 Donmayer's salon and gardens were sold out. The setting for the first performance was worthy of the new waltz.

The Elisabeth Waltz is undoubtedly among the best works of Johann Strauss in the 1830s. The work, which, after an operatic introduction, starts with a swinging waltz melody, stayed deservedly in the orchestra's repertoire for many years and was also performed by his son, the younger Johann Strauss.

[Track 8] Militär-Quadrille, (without Opus number)

The Military Quadrille is an interesting work, preserved in the Vienna City and District Library not, unfortunately, as the composer's autograph, but in the work of a copyist. Despite a lively beginning, it is not on the level of the first quadrille published by Tobias Haslinger, the Vienna Carnival Quadrille, which was first performed on 21 January 1840 at the Sperl by the composer as lead violinist with his competent band of players.

This work is thought by some to be falsely attributed in a practice which has also been identified in relation to Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Under the name of a famous master new works were more easily exploited. That in the second part of the finale of the quadrille the once famous song "Latour, der erste Grenadier Frankreichs" ('Latour, the first grenadier of France') is used does not nullify this assumption. This song was also known to the copyist. Nevertheless as a work of the Vienna Biedermeier period this quadrille is still worth hearing.

[Track 9] Cotillons nach beliebten Motiven aus der Oper "Der Zweykampf", Op. 72
(Cotillons on favourite motifs from the opera The Duel)

The comic opera Le pré aux clercs with music by Louis Hérold was first performed on 15 December 1832 at the Opéra-comique in Paris. In Vienna this amusing work was given under the title Der Zweykampf oder Die Schreiberwiese (The Duel or The Writers' Field) on 17 October 1833 at the Josefstadt Theatre. Johann Strauss reacted to its success with his Cotillons, Op. 72, which was published on 26 July 1834 by Tobias Haslinger. The first performance of the Cotillons took place at Carnival 1834.

The work consists of No. 1 with Trio, No. 2 to No. 5 and an interesting 78-bar coda. It did not remain long in the repertoire, disappearing shortly after 1834. It is, however, good to hear it again, as it offers a splendid impression of music from the Biedermeier period.

[Track 10] Versailler-Galopp, Op. 107

In his concert tours to France in 1837 and 1838 Johann Strauss did not play at Versailles, but probably undertook an excursion there. The historic palace and the fine park (today a World Heritage site) were also famous then and certainly worth visiting. It is probable that Johann Strauss recalled this visit when he composed the galop, either in France or at the beginning of 1839 in Vienna. This work was mentioned for the first time in February 1839 in the Theaterzeitung. In the article it says: 'Johann Strauss has hitherto delighted us with four new compositions. These are the waltz Freuden-Grüsse (Greeting of Joy) and Exotische Pflanzen (Exotic Plants), the Boulogner and the Versailles Galop. It is difficult to give preference to one of these compositions, since they display the same abundance of charming ideas as one also finds in the earlier compositions of Strauss.'

Unfortunately the day and place of the first performance of the Versailles Galop are not given. It remains certain only that the work was published on 10 April 1839 by Tobias Haslinger. The Versailles Galop, though, is less charming than lively. After four bars (with an up-beat) an energetic melody starts, which in the second half of the galop is even livelier. This structure is also found in the Trio. The coda repeats the first part of the galop and ends with powerful motifs. Johann Strauss had, through the strains of his extensive travel, from which he had returned exhausted, lost nothing of his energy and creative power.

[Track 11] Rosa-Walzer, Op. 76
Dedicated with profoundest respect to the ruling Princess Esterházy of Galanta

On 26 June 1834 there took place in the Esterházy palace in Eisenstadt the handing over of the estate of Prince Esterházy of Galanta to Prince Paul Anton and Princess Rosa. The prince succeeded his father Nikolaus, who had died at Como on 25 November 1833, in all his offices. Three months later, on 22 September 1834, the spectacle had a splendid sequel. The whole nobility of Hungary gathered together to be present at the installation celebrations of the prince. The ceremonies of the church were displayed in the attendance of bishops, abbots and prelates. The people of Kismarton, the Hungarian name of Eisenstadt, were also present in crowds.

At three o'clock in the afternoon there was a banquet in the palace. In the great hall provision was made for four hundred people, and in the small hall for a further two hundred. Since in the Esterházy family the memory had not faded of the time when Joseph Haydn worked at Eisenstadt, care was taken to provide a musical programme. Nevertheless times had changed. Symphonies and table-music were no longer in fashion. The prince and princess had invited the band of the Wasa infantry regiment and, as a special surprise, Johann Strauss with his musicians. The two ensembles were ranged opposite each other in competition, as the correspondent of the Wiener Zeitschrift für Kunst, Literatur, Theater und Mode (Vienna Journal for Art, Literature, Theatre and Fashion) reported.

Johann Strauss had brought with him as a present a composition that the conductor of the Wasa regiment, Joseph Resnitschek, could not match. The work had the title Rosa Waltz, as the first edition by Tobias Haslinger on 20 January 1835 indicated, dedicated to the reigning Princess Rosa Esterházy. The waltz would have been first played on the afternoon of 22 September 1834 at the palace in Eisenstadt. The Viennese were able to hear the Rosa Waltz on 26 October 1834 at the Sperl on the occasion of a ball for the poor of the city.

The work has only a short introduction. Johann Strauss immediately opens up with a charming waltz. The use of a post-horn in the fourth waltz is interesting. Perhaps that was an allusion to the journey to Eisenstadt that had taken a few hours. In the comprehensive coda there is the surprise of a G flat sixth chord before a two-bar pause, followed by a final passage before the rapid conclusion. Strauss was already master of the means to achieve the greatest possible effect.

[Track 12] Gitana-Galopp, Op. 108 (Gypsy Galop)

Like Johann Strauss, Joseph Lanner also composed a Gypsy Galop (Op. 142). Both composers used an original Spanish gypsy melody that Fanny Elsler had danced in the ballet La Gitana. According to the verdict of contemporaries who heard the two works, Strauss was more successful with his galop. Whether on the occasion of the publication of Strauss's Gypsy Galop by Tobias Haslinger on 14 May 1839 there was a review of the work is uncertain, as the sources of events of this period are not fully preserved. The ballet La Gitana was performed on 8 December 1838 in St Petersburg, and the music of the ballet quickly became known in Vienna.

The Gypsy Galop by Johann Strauss brings, after a short and quite simple introduction, a quotation of the original melody from the ballet in which Fanny Elsler appeared on a number of occasions. The coda that Strauss composed is spirited and very effective. The Trio repeats in the second part not the quotation from La Gitana but brings in the following original melody by Strauss. The finale first brings in the repeat once more of the first part and closes with a very rapid ending. This was a masterpiece that later was often played and remains part of current repertoire.

Franz Mailer
English version by Keith Anderson


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