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8.555689 - Dance Music from Old Vienna
English 

DANCE MUSIC FROM OLD VIENNA

DANCE MUSIC FROM OLD VIENNA

Joseph Lanner / Johann Strauss II / Johann Strauss I / Josef Strauss

 

In the course of the nineteenth century Vienna won fame for its dance music and, above all, for the waltz, derived from Austrian country dances, transplanted to the ballroom and thence throughout Europe. The waltz craze owed a great deal to the performances of Joseph Lanner and the elder Johann Strauss, and then to the activities of the latter's eldest son, the younger Johann Strauss, who provided dance music for the court and for much of Europe.

 

Joseph Lannerwas born in Vienna in 1801 and little is known of his musical training. He showed remarkable early ability as a violinist, later matched by his gifts as a composer of dance music. At the age of twelve he was playing the violin in Michael Pamer's dance orchestra, in which the elder Johann Strauss played the viola. In 1818 he established a trio of two violins and guitar, an ensemble which Strauss joined the following year, to be followed by a cellist in 1820. In 1824 he expanded the quintet into a string orchestra. With this ensemble he delighted the Viennese public, with his landler, waltzes, galops and other dances that soon won wide popularity. He developed the waltz into a cyclic form, with an introduction, a sequence of five waltzes and a coda. The demand for his services were such that he divided his band, entrusting one of the ensembles to Strauss, with whom later differences arose. By 1830 the Viennese public had taken sides, favouring either Lanner or Johann Strauss. Relatively little of Lanner's work is heard today, from 209 published compositions, polkas, marches, galops and landler, and a number that remain in manuscript. In addition to these dances Lanner arranged opera arias and overtures and wrote a string quartet. He died in Vienna in 1843.

 

Lanner's Neue Wiener Landler (New Vienna Landler) [1] was published as Opus 1 in the summer of 1825 by Anton Diabelli. lt is a sequence of landler, the triple-metre country dance from which the faster waltz developed. His Bankett-Polonaise (Banquet Polonaise) [2] was first heard on 13th December 1838 at the Leopoldstadt Theatre in Vienna in a Musico-Dramatic Quodlibet. The Amazonen-Galopp [3] was published in Vienna in 1840. Paired with his Malapou-Galopp [7], it was written for the St Catherine's Festival Ball on 25th November 1839 at the Goldene Birne (Golden Pear). The Malapou or Love Dance, like The Bayaderes was the result of the sensation caused in London by the appearance in October 1838 of Indian dancers at the Adelphi Theatre, with Malapou, a love-dance of the Bayaderes, as exotic in their way as the mythical Amazons. The Steyrische Tanze (Styrian Dances) [8], Schubertian in character, were originally part of the divertissement Die Macht der Kunst (The Might of Art) on 22nd January 1841 at the Vienna Karntnertor Theatre, with melodies that appeared in many later Viennese songs. Lanner's Cerrito-Polka [9] takes its name from the Italian dancer Fanny Cerrito (1817-1909), the last of the great romantic ballerinas. In April 1836 she made her first guest appearance at the

Karntnertor Theatre and danced there again in 1841-42 in Amors Zogling (Cupid's Pupil), a divertissement she staged there herself, the inspiration for Lanner's polka. Lanner caused a sensation in November 1834 on his first tour to Hungary with his Pest Waltzes. On his third visit to Pest in November 1835 he played Die Werber (The Suitors) [10], waltzes of Hungarian flavour, coloured by the spirit of Vienna. The work soon became one of his most popular. Jagers Lust (Hunter's Delight) [12] was written for the ball season of 1834, for which he provided eight new works, including the present Jagd-Galopp (Hunting Galop), which delighted the public, with its opening horn-call and shot in the finale. The

Marien-Walzer (Maria Waltzes) [13] were written for a Grand May Festival at the Goldene Birne in spring 1839 and were dedicated to no less a person than the Russian Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna.

 

The elder Johann Strauss was born in Vienna in 1804 and first met Lanner in Michael Pamer's dance orchestra, before joining his quartet and briefly serving as second conductor in Lanner's newly established band. In 1825 he set up his own ensemble, with which he won great popularity. Ten years later he was appointed Music Director of Imperial Court Balls. He was, like Lanner, a pioneer in the new foffi1 of the waltz, to which he made a characteristic contribution in more than 250 works, establishing the instrumentation and form followed by his successors. He died in Vienna in 1849.

 

Salon-Polka [4] is one of only fourteen such dances written by the elder Johann Strauss, who, like Lanner, did not consider himself a master of the form.

Nevertheless, with his Sperl-Polka and Annen-Polka he brought popularity to this duple-metre Bohemian round dance. His third example of the dance was written for a Night Summer Festival in the Vienna Volksgarten in July 1844. In the Carnival of 1828 Strauss took over the direction of music for the Domling dance hall Zur Kettenbrucke on the Leopoldstadt bank of the Danube canal. His Kettenbrucke-Walzer [5] established him in the first rank of waltz composers of the time, the beginning of the rivalry between his supporters and those of Lanner. His Eisele- und Beisele-Sprunge [6] were first heard in 1847. The young Baron Beisele and his tutor Dr Eisele were two comic figures invented in the spring of 1846 by the editorial team of the Munich humorous magazine Fliegende Blatter (Flying Leaves) and the pair soon won enoffi1ous popularity. The magazine had them setting out on a journey through Geffi1any, with a stay in Vienna, where Eisele-Beisele fever reached its climax on 14th February 1847 with a ball at the Odeon, the occasion of Strauss's witty polka, which soon won wide popularity.

 

Discouraged by his father from considering a career in music, the younger Johann Strauss, born in 1825, acquired proficiency as a violinist and in 1844 set up his own dance orchestra, soon in competition with his father, whose ensemble he took over after the latter's death. Earning the title of Waltz King, he undertook concert tours abroad, travelling even as far as the United States. He was Music Director for the Court Balls in Vienna from 1863 to 1870 and developed the form of the waltz sequence: With the assistance of his younger brothers, whom he persuaded to join him, he did much to spread even further the popularity of Viennese dance music, and added significantly to the repertoire of operetta, before his death in Vienna in 1899.

 

The present release includes two famous examples of the work of the younger Johann Strauss. Pariser-Polka (Paris Polka) [14] was first heard in Paris on 20th February 1879 at the Cercle France International before a distinguished audience. In December of the previous year Strauss's operetta Blindekuh (Blind Man's Buff) had been withdrawn after sixteen performances in Vienna. In January the composer went to Paris and used material from the unsuccessful operetta in his new polka. The marriage of Archduchess Gisela, daughter of the Emperor, to Leopold of Bavaria was the occasion of great celebration in Vienna. For the Vienna Court Opera Ball on 22nd April 1873 in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein Johann Strauss conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in one of his most famous waltzes, Wiener Blut [15].

 

Josef Strauss, the second son of the elder Johann Strauss, was born in Vienna in 1827 and was persuaded by his brother to join him in the family enterprise, in spite of weakness of health and his training in architecture and engineering. He added to the repertoire of concert waltzes, polkas and other dances, with the perceptible influence of Liszt and Wagner. He left some 280 works in all, his career brought to an end when he collapsed during appearances in Warsaw in 1870 and was hurried back to Vienna, where he died.

 

The Polka Mazur Sehnsucht (Longing) is one of 46 such compositions by Josef Strauss in a form derived from a Polish folk-dance. These often seem to show the influence of Fryderyk Chopin. The present work was first performed at the Volksgarten in Vienna on 22nd July 1856.

 

Reinhold Rung and Johann Ziegler

English version by Keith Anderson

 

 

 


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