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8.223243 - STRAUSS II, J.: Edition - Vol. 43
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The Johann Strauss (1825-1899)

Edition, Volume 43

Johann Strauss II, the most famous and enduringly successful of 19th-century light music composers, was born in Vienna on 25 October 1825. Building upon the firm musical foundations laid by his father, Johann Strauss I (1804-1849) and Joseph Lanner (1801-1843), the younger Johann (along with his brothers, Joseph and Eduard) achieved so high a development of the classical Viennese waltz that it became as much a feature of the concert hall as of the ballroom. For more than half a century Johann II captivated not only Vienna but also the whole of Europe and America with his abundantly tuneful waltzes, polkas, quadrilles and marches. The thrice-married 'Waltz King' later turned his attention to the composition of operetta, and completed 16 stage works besides more than 500 orchestral compositions - including the most famous of all waltzes, The Blue Danube (1867). Johann Strauss II died in Vienna on 3 June 1899.

The Marco Polo Strauss Edition is a milestone in recording history, presenting, for the first time ever, the entire orchestral output of the 'Waltz King'. Despite their supremely high standard of musical invention, the majority of the compositions have never before been commercially recorded and have been painstakingly assembled from archives around the world. All performances featured in this series are complete and, wherever possible, the works are played in their original instrumentation as conceived by the master orchestrator himself, Johann Strauss II.

[1] REITERMARSCH (Cavalry March) op. 428

On 17 February 1887 the Illustrirtes Wiener Extrablatt informed its readers: "Johann Strauss has finally found a libretto. The maestro who, since last summer has begun the composition of three libretti and then given up, has completely rejected 'Die Seelenwanderung' [The Spiritual Journey], 'Salvator Rosa' and the 'Schelm von Bergen' [Hangman of Bergen] and has decided on a libretto by Herr Victor Léon, who has become a renowned young man through the happy success of the "Doppelgänger" ['The Double': music by Alfred Zamara], performed in Munich and other cities. We are genuinely pleased that our favourite, Jean, can at last set to work, because any further delay would have robbed us of the enjoyment of a new Strauss work in the coming season too".

The libretto which had so fired the 61-year-old Strauss's imagination and led him to sign a contract with the relatively inexperienced Viennese librettist Victor Léon (the pseudonym of Viktor Hirschfeld, 1858-1940), was entitled Simplicius Simplizissimus, and was a treatment of H.J.C. von Grimmelshausen's famous novel of 1669 set at the time of the Thirty Years' War, Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus (Adventurous Simplicissimus). Léon's avowed goal was the "surmounting of operetta nonsense" - he was later the co-librettist of Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow, 1905) for Pranz Lehár! - and this coincided with Johann Strauss's desire to concentrate on more serious theatre fare. The composer intended to create a modern drama with music, though his contract of assignment (8 April 1887) with the theatre-agent Gustav Lewy describes "Simplicius (Simplicissimus)" as an "Operetta (comic opera)" and the work reached the stage of Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 17 December 1887 as Simplicius, an "Operetta in a Prelude and 2 Acts".

From the large store of melodies which he had lavished upon the score of Simplicius, the composer arranged six separate orchestral numbers which August Cranz duly published after the operetta's première - a waltz, a march, a quadrille and three polkas. Later, the Cranz publishing house issued two further works on themes from Simplicius: the Altdeutscher Walzer (Old German Waltz, 1888) and the Jugendliebe Walzer (Young Love Waltz, 1890). Among the first works to appear in print was the Reitermarsch, the first performance of which by the Strauss Orchestra was given under Eduard Strauss's conductorship in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein on 15 January 1888. A performance may, however, have taken place almost a month earlier on 18 December 1887 - one day after the première of Simplicius - when Karl Komzák II (1850-1905) conducted a concert with the Freiherr von Bauer Infantry Regiment No. 84 in the Vienna Volksgarten. The programme for this concert included the first performance of a work described as the "Simplicius-Marsch", although this was quite probably the Reitermarsch. The Reitermarsch itself proved very successful, and was immediately taken into the repertoire of other military bands stationed in and around the Austrian capital.

The greater part of Johann's score for Simplicius was created in Coburg in summer 1887, where the composer was living with the woman who was to become his third wife, Adèle Strauss (née Deutsch, 1856-1930). Strauss and his former wife, 'Lili' Dittrich (1850-1919), had earlier been granted a divorce by consent, but as the Roman Catholic Church would not recognise the dissolution of marriage, the couple sought to overcome this barrier by first converting to Protestantism and then acquiring the citizenship of Coburg-Saxe-Gotha as a prerequisite for entering upon a legally recognised marriage. (They finally achieved this goal on 15 August 1887, through the personal intervention of Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.) In one of his first letters from Coburg, written on 22 June 1887 to his lawyer friend Josef Trutter (1839-1911), Johann mentioned that he was "secretly slipping into my ['Simplicius'] score genuine Austrian shouts of jubilation". The score of Simplicius is punctuated throughout with examples of these joyous outbursts (in Viennese dialect: 'Juchezer'), for instance in the trio section (2B) of the orchestral Reitermarsch.

For the principal melody (theme 1A) of his orchestral Reitermarsch, Johann Strauss turned to the opening number of the prelude ("The Hermitage in the Woods"), the "Reiterlied" (Cavalry Song), sung by Josef Josephi (real name: Josef Ichhäuser, 1852-1920) in the rôle of the Hermit. The reviewer for the Fremden-Blatt (18.12.1887) wrote: "He [the Hermit] was a proud soldier before he took the hair shirt of a recluse, and his contemplative air changes fascinatingly into a fresh, stirring cavalry song when the long-forgotten sound of the trumpet of war reaches his ear". This enchanting melody ("Auf¡¦s Pferd!, auf¡¦s Pferd!" - 'To horse! To horse!') received spontaneous applause at the operetta's opening night, and was among several numbers which had to be repeated. As if predicting the public appeal of this "Reiterlied", Strauss ensured that it was reprised during the operetta's Act 2 Finale. The orchestral Reitermarsch comprises thernatic material from the following sources in Simplicius:

Theme 1A   -

Act 1 Reiterlied (No. 1): The Hermit, "Auf¡¦s Pferd! Auf¡¦s Pferd!"

Theme 1B   -

Continuation of the above aria

Trio 2A       -

Act 2 Entree und Chor (No. 8): Arnim, "D'rum sagt ich dir ade, ade, o Universität!" (in double time)

Trio 2B       ­-

Appears during Marcia section (2/4 time) of the Overture, but in op. 428 marked with 2/2 time signature.

(NOTE: The above analysis is based on the piano / vocal score of Simplicius, issued by the August Cranz publishing house in Hamburg. As this score describes the stage work as an "Operetta in 3 Acts" - rather than an "Operetta in a Prelude and 2 Acts" as shown on the first night playbill - Act 1 should be understood as synonymous with the Prelude.)

[2] WALZER-BOUQUET No. l (Waltz Bouquet No. l) o. op

Among all the compositions which Johann Strauss purportedly created for the American public, his Manhattan Waltzes occupy a unique position, for they alone achieved publication also in Vienna - albeit under a different title: Walzer-Bouquet No. 1.

Despite the sensation which Johann caused by his appearances at the World's Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival in Boston during summer 1872, he had been pilloried by the rival New York press throughout the festival. Not only did they ridicule his conducting style and disparage his music, but they were intentionally offensive in their more personal attacks upon him, the New York World (23.06.1872), for example, calling him "that nervous little Jew". In view of these deprecating remarks, it was perhaps surprising to read in the Boston Daily Advertiser on 4 July 1872: "New York has 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 ... Strauss will receive for his services in New York, the sum of $4,500 for the 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 joumey from Boston to New York. Vienna's hodophobic Waltz King 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 the 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 fraudulantly 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 1872: 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 (later issued in print as Manhattan Waltzes). The work, a compilation of melodies from five of his earlier published waltzes and featuring in the Coda a 23-bar quotation (in 4/4 time) from the song ¡§Old Folks at Home" (1851), words and music by Stephen Collins Foster (1826-64) and described by Foster as an ¡§Ethiopian Melody¡¨. 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 the 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 the waltzes by our own local writers".

The Manhattan Waltzes were first published by Oliver Ditson & Co. of Boston (with offices - as C.H. Ditson - also in New York) in 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. Only when Ditson reissued the Manhattan Waltzes in 1873, however, was the work furnished with an Introduction: in Gems of Strauss it commences with the opening waltz number.

Whether Strauss himself ever read the New York reviews of his Manhattan Waltz 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.

On 1 January 1873, the Viennese attending Eduard Strauss's New Year's Day ¡§Promenade Concert¡¨ with the Strauss Orchestra in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein were able to read on their programme sheet: ¡§New, for the first time: 'Walzer Bouquet', compiled from earlier waltzes and first performed at the Boston Music Festival, by Johann Strauss¡¨. The pastiche work, which did not appear again at Eduard's concerts, differed in only one respect from the Manhattan Waltzes published in America: the 23-bar quotation from Stephen Foster's ¡§Old Folks at Home¡¨ was omitted from the Coda. The error in the programme of ascribing the venue of the first performance of Manhattan Waltzes to Boston rather than New York was repeated when C.A. Spina's successor, Friedrich Schreiber, published Walzer-Bouquet No. 1 towards the end of January 1873. The elegant title page presents a bird's-eye view of Boston, together with the legend: ¡§This waltz was first performed under the direction of the composer on the occasion of the great Music Festival in Boston¡¨. As published, Walzer-Bouquet No. 1 comprises 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) - final 13 bars of apparently freshly composed material

The present performance of Johann's Walzer-Bouquet No. 1 utilises the orchestral performing material published by Friedrich Schreiber, which presents the quoted source works in their original instrumentation.


(Love's Messenger. French polka) op. 317

Devotees of the posthumous Johann Strauss operetta Wiener Blut (Vienna Blood, 1899) will recognise the opening melodies of the composer's French polka Postillon d'amour from Act 1 of the stage work: calling to the housemaid, Anna, the Count's personal valet, Josef, emerges on-stage singing "Ich such' jetzt da, ich such' jetzt dort¡¨ (No. 1A), which is based on themes 1A and 1B of the orchestral polka. In constructing this aria, the arranger of Wiener Blut, Adolf Müller junior (1839-1901), turned to an orchestral polka which the Waltz King had composed at the height of his creative powers more than three decades earlier, in 1867.

Overshadowed by the events of summer 1866, when the army of the Danube Monarchy had been decisively defeated at Königgrätz by the might of Prussian military forces, the Vienna Carnival of 1867 had opened in lacklustre mood. For their part, the three Strauss brothers strove magnificently to overcome this public malaise, and for 10 March 1867 announced their annual "Carnival Revue" of all the compositions they had written for that year's carnival festivities. The tally of newly-composed dances was impressive: from a total of twenty-five works on the programme, Johann contributed five, Josef eleven and Eduard eight. Not content with this already enormous offering, both Johann and Eduard had supplemented their cache of dances with brand new compositions - Johann's bonus works being the quick polka Leichtes Blut (op. 319) and the French polka Pastillon d'amaur (op. 317), the latter almost certainly having being composed expressly for his forthcoming concerts at the Paris World Exhibition. It seems, however, that there was insufficient time during the concert to perform all the advertised pieces, the more so since (according to the Neues Fremdenblatt, 11.03.1867) "everything had to be repeated", and Pastillon d'amaur remained unbaptised. The work is next announced as being on the programme of a concert in the Volksgarten on 17 March 1867, given by the Strauss Orchestra under Johann, Josef and Eduard Strauss, although there is no specific mention of this being the polka's first performance. Perplexingly, however, we learn from the notes of the usually reliable Pranz Sabay, a horn-player with the Strauss Orchestra, that Pastillon d'amaur received its première at the orchestra's concert in the Volksgarten on 24 March 1867. The situation grows still more confused with the disclosure in Josef Strauss's diary that the polka was first played by the Strauss Orchestra under Johann's direction at a concert in the Volksgarten on 31 March 1867. Since, however, Josef also gives the same date for the première of the polka Leichtes Blut (see above), it seems he may have been mistaken. Johann's publisher, C.A. Spina, delivered the first piano edition of Pastillon d'amaur (with a cover illustration portraying a love letter and Cupid's bow and quiver of arrows) to the music dealers on 1 May 1867, and its orchestral edition a few days later, on 7 May 1867.

Pastillon d'amaur was among the dances which Vienna's Waltz King took with him to the French capital for his appearances during the World Exhibition. Johann had made arrangements with the 'Royal Prussian Director of Music', Benjamin Bilse, to share the conducting of the latter's excellent 60-man orchestra, and on 29 May and 31 May 1867 the two men joined forces to give a pair of concerts at the Theatre Italien in Paris. It seems to have been at the second of these concerts that Johann introduced his polka Postillon d'amour for the first time in France: writing in Le Figaro on 2 June 1867, the reporter Eugène Tarbé described the novelty as being "among the successes" of the evening, alongside Strauss's polka-mazurka Lob der Frauen op. 315 ("Hommage aux dames") and the waltz Nachtfalter op. 157 ("Les Phalènes de la nuit").

[4] SIMPLICIUS-QUADRILLE (Simplicius Quadrille) op. 429

Johann Strauss had been deeply hurt by the public's rejection of his operetta Simplicius, following the critical praise lavished upon it in advance of its première at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, on 17 December 1887. The composer's disappointment was all the more acute since the new piece had played to full, and apparently appreciative, houses during its early performances. Strauss had initially intended this stage treatment of H.J.C. Grimmelshausen's picaresque novel, Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus (1669), as a modern drama with music, and he had only reluctantly later permitted it to be described as an operetta. As a youngster, the novelist Grimmeishausen (c.1622-1676) had in real life been kidnapped by Hessian soldiers, and with them had seen life in the Thirty Years' War (1618-48). As a result of this youthful experience, his novel, concerning the naïve child Simplicius, is described by the Encylopædia Britannica (1947 edition) as being "in large measure the autobiography of its author, and describes in uncompromising realism the social disintegration and the horrors of the Thirty Years' War". Such generally heavyweight fare was not what Vienna's theatregoers had come to expect of the man who had given them Die Fledermaus (1874), Eine Nacht in Venedig (1883) and even Der Zigeunerbaron (1885), and Johann Strauss could only watch with dismay as their interest declined from day to day, until the directrix of the theatre, Alexandrine von Schönerer, was forced to remove the piece from the repertoire.

Among the six separate orchestral numbers which Strauss arranged from the score of Simplicius (and to which the Cranz publishing house later added a further two waltzes) was a quadrille. In spite of the warlike subject of his operetta, Johann did not lose sight of the fact that, as a dance piece, his Simplicius-Quadrille was destined for the pleasure of carefree couples in the ballroom. As such, for the most part he cleverly contrived to select lighthearted melodies for his quadrille, even though most were composed to accompany bellicose texts. This point is apparent from an analysis of the material used to construct the Simplicius-Quadrille:

No. 1 Pantalon     -

Act 2 Introduction (No. 6): Chorus, "Trommeln dröhnen, 's ist ja Tag" ('Drum roll, it's already daybreak'); continuation of this number; Act 3 Glockenlied (No. 14): Piùl animato section sung by Ebba, "Und Alles was geschied" (' And everything that happened') - played in double time

No. 2 Été             -

Act 2 Introduction (No. 6): Chorus of cavalry lads, "Komm' Marketend' rin" ('Come, camp-follower'); Act 1 Entrée-Couplet (No. 2): von Grübben, "Die Astrologie betrügt mich nie" ('Astrology never deceives me')

No. 3 Poule          -

Act 2 Introduction (No. 6): Allegro section sung by Tilly, "Als einst der Kriegsgott nachgedacht" ('When once the god of war considered'); continuation of this number; Allegretto section for chorus, "Wer weiss, ob's nächste Morgenroth" ('Who knows whether the next dawn')

No. 4 Trénis         -

Act 3 Chor und Couplet (No. 11): "Er plündert uns, er raubt uns aus" ('He plunders us, he robs us'); second theme of Trénis section untraceable in the published piano / vocal score

No. 5 Pastourelle  -

Act 1 Finale (No. 5): Haidvogel and chorus, "Vorwärts, vorwärts" ('Forwards, forwards'); second theme of Pastourelle section untraceable in the published piano / vocal score; Act 2 Finale (No. 10): Hildegarde and Arnim, "Welch' unverhofftes, süsses, niegeahntes Glück" ('What unexpected, sweet, never dreamt-of happiness')

No. 6 Finale         ­-

Appears in Marcia section of the Overture, and again during Act 2 Finale (No. 10) with note values doubled; Act 2 Introduction (No. 6): Chorus, "Soldatenhandwerk" ('Soldiers' work')

With the sole exception of the waltz Donauweibchen op. 427 (Volume 11 of this CD series), which he conducted for the first time himself, Johann Strauss left it to his brother, Eduard, to perform the individual orchestral pieces arranged from the score of Simplicius. In the case of the Simplicius-Quadrille, this was played for the first time as the final item on the programme of Eduard's Sunday afternoon concert with the Strauss Orchestra in the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein on 19 February 1888. Announced as a "Carnival Revue", the concert also featured the first performance of another dance piece based on themes from Simplicius: Soldatenspiel, Polka française (op. 430, Volume 42).

(NOTE: The aforegoing analysis of op. 429 is based on the piano / vocal score of Simplicius, issued by the August Cranz publishing house in Hamburg. As this score describes the stage work as an "Operetta in 3 Acts" - rather than an "Operetta in a Prelude and 2 Acts" as shown on the first night playbill - Act 1 should be understood as synonymous with the Prelude.)

[5] WILDE ROSEN. WALZER (Wild Roses. Waltz) op. 42

On 17 August 1847 the Viennese journal Der Wanderer informed its readers that Johann Strauss Son had composed a waltz entitled Wilde Rosen, dedicated to the publisher Moritz Saphir, and would conduct it for the first time at a charity festival organised by Herr Kolb in the grounds of 'Zur goldenen Birne', one of the oldest and most popular residential taverns on Vienna's Landstrasse. For some reason the event did not take place. Instead, the first performance of Wilde Rosen took place on Sunday 22 August 1847 in the "excellently furnished main salon" of the Vienna-Gloggnitz Railway Station (later the Südbahnhof on the Wieden Gürtel). The advertisement carried by the Wiener Zeitung (20.08.1847) for this event described it as being "a Festival of Splendour including a ball, in celebration of the rapid progress of Austrian industry with regard to the railways". J. Kwiatkofsky, the festival's organiser and proprietor of a nearby coffee-house, additionally promised a mechanical moving tableau comprising "dazzling illuminations and skilfully designed machinery called: Festive Railway Train from Trieste via Vienna to Hamburg". Regrettably, because of high winds, this presentation - well ahead of the completion of the actual railway connection between the Mediterranean resort of Trieste and the North German city of Hamburg - failed to operate correctly on the appointed evening, and the festival was rescheduled for the following Sunday, 29 August 1847 (see note on Fest-Marsch op. 49, Volume 30 of this CD series).

Despite the weather conditions affecting the external illuminations on 22 August 1847, the huge crowd in the surrounding park was able to enjoy performances by the Prince Gustav of Wasa Infantry Regimental Band (No. 60), under Bandmaster Joseph Resniczek, and the Hungarian Music society conducted by Kovácz Joszi. Inside the Vienna-Gloggnitz Railway Station the problems experienced with the illuminations had led to a delay in the appearance of Johann Strauss and his orchestra, so Kovácz and his band deputised in his stead. The young Kapellmeister was given a tumultuous reception upon his eventual arrival at 10.30pm, whereupon he played a selection of his most recent compositions, including the first performance of his waltz Wilde Rosen. The reviewer for Der Wanderer (25.08.1847) reported that the new work met with an enthusiastic response.

The first piano edition of Johann's Wilde Rosen was issued by H.F. Müller on 13 Decernber 1847, and bore the previously announced dedication to the author, journalist and critic Moritz Gottlieb Saphir (1795-1858), who from 1837 also edited the Viennese satirical comic paper Der Humorist. Strauss's choice of waltz title derived from a comprehensive cycle of more than one hundred love-poems which the Hungarian-born Saphir had first published in 1834 under the collective title of "Wilde Rosen (an Herta)" - Wild Roses (to Herta). Saphir had subsequently added to the number of poems in the collection, at one point finding himself in serious dispute with Johann Nestroy (1801-62) who alleged that the poems were nothing but plagiaries. Strauss had good cause to be grateful to Moritz Saphir; on several occasions when Strauss Father and son had been in public dispute - for example, in early 1847 over the issue of the younger man's right to perform the Overture to Meyerbeer's opera Vielka - Der Humorist had openly supported Johann junior. The editor of Der Humorist gladly accepted the dedication of Wilde Rosen: six years later, in 1853, Johann dedicated a further waltz to Moritz Saphir - Wiener Punch-Lieder op. 131 (Volume 3 of this CD series).

The waltz Wilde Rosen is an utterly enchanting discovery. From the opening bars of its coquettish Introduction, it is characterised throughout with a joyousness especially apparent in Waltz 2B. As H.F. Müller seems to have published no orchestral material for the work (despite a later announcement that "correct copies" of the parts were available), Professor Ludwig Babinski started instrumenting the piece from the piano edition for this Marco Polo recording. Sadly, he died from a stroke before he could finish the task, and the instrumentation was completed by Arthur Kulling.


(The Pigeons of St Mark's. French polka) op. 414

While Johann Strauss was working on his operetta Eine Nacht in Venedig (A Night in Venice), his wife Angelica ('Lili') - who had selected the libretto for the new work - left him and moved in with the young director of the Theater an der Wien, Franz Steiner. For this reason Strauss quite understandably insisted on a different venue for the première of his latest operetta. After discussions with other Viennese theatres failed to produce any practical result, a contract was instead signed with the Neues Friedrich-Wilhelmstädtisches Theater in Berlin, and the date for the world première was eventually set for 3 October 1883. By this time the composer had been granted a divorce by consent from 'Lili', and was openly living with the widowed Adèle Strauss (née Deutsch). When the composer travelled to Berlin for the rehearsals of Eine Nacht in Venedig, Adèle travelled with him, but on 20 September 1883 she notified Johann's friend Josef Priester: "I must tell you, in confidence, that we have every reason to be afraid of the public's verdict with regard to the book [by F. Zell and Richard Genée]. Not a trace of wit, still less of an interesting situation or an absorbing plot!". In the event, these fears proved fully justified, and the première was given a decidely unfavourable reception. Six days later, however, on 9 October 1883, the audience at the Theater an der Wien for the first Viennese production of the new operetta took the hurriedly and much-revised stage work to their hearts and adjudged it a triumph.

Act 3 of Eine Nacht in Venedig takes place before the moonlit cathedral in St Mark's Square in Venice, a backdrop which 'Lili' Strauss had specifically chosen. The libretto calls for a colourful carnival procession comprising representations of all forms of Venetian life, including the famous pigeons of St Mark's. Portrayed by a 'Taubenchor', a group of ladies attired in short, white feather costumes, they enter in pairs, fluttering around the revellers and singing their delicious chorus "Die Tauben von San Marco". Johann Strauss later made use of the title and one of the themes from this number for his purely orchestral French polka, Die Tauben von San Marco, which appeared in print from his publisher, August Cranz, at the beginning of December 1883. In theme 1A of this highly effective polka, Strauss uses the clarinets to provide the 'cooing' of the pigeons (effected in the operetta by the ladies' chorus), a device later extended to almost the entire orchestra in the Coda section. The composer drew the thematic material for his polka exclusively from Acts 2 and 3 of his operetta: these sources may be identified as follows:

Theme 1A   -

Act 3 Finale (No. 17b), Ladies' chorus (= "Pigeons' chorus"): "Ein gutes Beispiel geben wir". Originally in 4/8 time, but quoted in op. 414 in 2/4 time

Theme 1B   ­-

Act 2 Duett (No. 10), Annina and Duke of Urbino: Duke, "Sie sagten meinem Liebesfleh'n"

Trio 2A       -

Act 3 Spottlied (No. 16), Annina and ladies' chorus: based on accompaniment of section sung by Annina to the words "Es fanden sich genug"

Trio 2B       -

Act 3 Spottlied (No. 16), Annina and ladies' chorus: continuation of aforegoing to the words "Schaut euch nicht um, der Herzog geht um!"

Perhaps because the composition of Eine Nacht in Venedig was associated with so much personal heartache in his private life, Johann Strauss paid scant attention to the first performance of the six dance pieces (opp. 411-416) he had arranged from its score. He left it to his brother Eduard to present a concert performance (Musikverein, 14 October 1883) of the Overture to Eine Nacht in Venedig, together with a group of couplets from the operetta "arranged in polka form by Eduard Strauss", and the Eine Nacht in Venedig-Quadrille op. 416 (Hofburg, 4 February 1884). Johann himself only troubled to present one work in person: the Lagunen-Walzer op. 411 (Musikverein, 4 November 1883). Responsibility for the first performance of the remaining dances based on melodies from the operetta fell to the military bands stationed in Vienna. Thus it was that the string orchestra of the Wilhelm I, Deutscher Kaiser und König von Preussen (William I, German Emperor and King of Prussia) Infantry Regiment No. 34, under Bandmaster Karl Sebor, gave the first performance of the polka Die Tauben von San Marco at its concert in the Vienna Volksgarten on Sunday 3 February 1884. A decade later, the piece took its place alongside other non-waltz melodies by Johann Strauss (from opp. 398, 413, 401, 419, 377, [414], 416, 421 and "Mild sang die Nachtigall" from Der Zigeunerbaron), suitably adapted into three-quarter-time, for Carl Michael Ziehrer's potpourri, Verborgene Perlen Walzer über Motive von Johann Strauss (Hidden Pearls, Waltz on Themes by Johann Strauss) op. 467. Ziehrer and his orchestra played this entertaining work for the first time at Stalehner's establishment on 13 October 1894 to celebrate Strauss's Golden Jubilee.


(On the Dance Floor. Musical Illustration of the Painting of the Same Name by Franz Defregger) op. 454

The work of the Austrian genre painter Franz von Defregger (1835-1921), representing the rustic life of the Tirolese and the struggle of Tirol for freedom from foreign domination, met with success from the first. Today, the paintings of Defregger, himself a native Tirolese, are to be found in most German museums, and he is also represented in the New York Museum of Art.

In April 1892, Franz von Defregger's oil painting, correctly entitled "Ankunft auf dem Tanzboden" (Arrival on the Dance Floor), was on view at an art exhibition in Vienna's Künstlerhaus. The Neue Freie Presse carried a review of this exhibition in its edition of 7 April 1892, in which it stated: "Defregger's latest painting, 'Auf dem Tanzboden', is certainly the best the artist has produced in recent years. Although he has already handled the subject once before, this is no repetition; it contains a series of happy, cheerfully depicted figures, [and] is very clearly composed, with charming use of light and harmonious colours". This painting passed into the ownership of the art-loving Johann Strauss and inspired him to a composition on a major scale, intended as a musical illustration of Defregger's painting. This plan was never fully realised, for the manuscript preserved in the Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek, Vienna, breaks off where a waltz should start, leaving only the extended Introduction. The autograph score reveals that Strauss progressed as far as writing the first few bars of the opening waltz, but then crossed them out and substituted the ending with which the published opus 454 concludes.

It is also interesting to note that Strauss originally insisted on using a zither in performances of Auf dem Tanzboden, and wrote to his brother, Eduard: "The Defregger piece absolutely demands a zither player". However, in the autograph full score there is a remark indicating the use of two flutes "in the event of no zither being available": it is this version which has been performed on this Marco Polo recording. Strangely, in view of Johann's insistence on the inclusion of a zither, there is no mention of a zither player's participation at the première of Auf dem Tanzboden at the Musikverein on 22 October 1893, when Eduard conducted the Strauss Orchestra during his Sunday afternoon concert. In its report of the event, the Fremden-Blatt (24.10.1893) merely stated: "Johann Strauss's new composition, 'Auf dem Tanzboden', was received with jubilant applause". The critic for the Deutsche Zeitung (25.10.1893) filed a far more detailed account of the performance: "Last Sunday in the Musikverein a unique composition by Johann Strauss was played. It is a musical illustration of the well-known picture by Defregger , 'Auf dem Tanzboden'. This musical genre picture begins quietly and sways, with a gentle Ländler rhythm, in a graceful melody from which a merry 'shout of joy' briskly rises. At one point there sounds a hearty beat of the drum - is someone supposed to have been thrown out by the 'bouncer'? In any case, this episode helps considerably to calm the mood, for the little piece ends again in a very peaceful piano. The charming composition was received with great applause; it had to be encored about eight times".

Gustav Lewy's publishing house did not issue Strauss's Auf dem Tanzboden until 4 March 1894. The first piano edition, which bears the composer's dedication "To the great master, Franz Defregger, in veneration", is further adorned with a delightful cover illustration reproducing Defregger's painting together with portraits of the artist and Johann Strauss. This is interesting since, prior to the publication of opus 454, Lewy had written to Defregger outlining his ideas for the title page illustration. Defregger responded to Lewy in a letter written from Munich on 7 January 1894: "Since maestro Strauss has been so kind as to dedicate a piece of music to me, I do not have the slightest hesitation and can, with a clear conscience, give my permission for my picture ['Auf dem Tanzboden'] to be shown on the title page". Significantly, in view of the final cover design, he continued: "However, I would not be in favour of my own portrait appearing if J. Str[auss] also wishes his to be on the title page".

In due course, Franz von Defregger responded to Strauss's dedication of Auf dem Tanzboden with a return gift, a painting entitled "Tanz auf der Alm" (Dance on the Mountain-Side Pasture), which he inscribed (in translation): "Strauss plays violin today - To the great maestro Johann Strauss from his grateful admirer, Franz v. Defregger". This painting hung in the study of Strauss's home. The following year, when Johann Strauss and his wife Adèle visited Munich to sit for the German painter Franz von Lenbach (see op. 463, Volume 33 of this CD series), they also passed some time with Defregger, on one occasion all four of them sharing a box at the Rezidenz-Theater for a performance of Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro, conducted by Hermann Levi (1839-1900).

[8] QUADRILLE NACH DEN MOTIVEN DER OPER: DES TEUFELS ANTHEIL (Quadrille on themes from the opera 'The Devil's Share') o. op

The music of Daniel François Esprit Auber (1782-1871) loomed large in the repertoire of the elder Johann Strauss (1804-49), whose concerts during the 1830s and 1840s frequently included one or more of the French opera composer's overtures. Auber's music also played an important rôle in the fledgling career of the younger Johann Strauss, who was anxious to prove himself and his orchestra fully proficient at interpreting more serious fare alongside dance music. Conscious that much depended upon his choice of items for his début concert in October 1844, Johann junior commenced his programme with the overture to La Muette de Portici (The Mute of Portici, 1828), the opera which contributed significantly to Auber's European reputation, while the overture to another Auber opera, La Sirène (1844), was also played.

An announcement in autumn 1847 that a new version of Auber's opera La Part du Diable (The Devil's Share) was to be produced in Vienna was thus greeted with considerable interest by both Johann Strausses. First staged at the Paris Opéra-Comique on 16 January 1843 to a libretto by A.E. Scribe, the opera was mounted at the Theater an der Wien on 23 September 1847 as Des Teufels Antheil (German text by Börnstein and Gollmick). This production, conducted by Albert Lortzing, survived just three performances before being dropped by the theatre's director, Franz Pokorny. On 25 September 1847 the management of the k.k. Hofopern-Theater mounted a different version of Des Teufels Antheil on the stage of the Kärtnerthortheater, and this performance met with applause and favour from the public. (A further production of Auber's opera opened at the Theater in der Josefstadt on 6 November 1847, while an earlier, vaudeville-style production had been seen at the Theater an der Wien as early as 23 October 1843 - just nine months after the Paris world première.)

Aside from the competition between the theatres over Auber's opera, Vienna's musical life witnessed a further contest concerning Des Teufels Antheil - one between Strauss Father and Strauss Son. While rehearsals were under way at the Theater an der Wien and the Kärtnerthortheater, the newspapers announced that both Strausses were preparing quadrilles on themes from the opera: according to Der Wanderer (16.09.1847), the younger Johann planned to present his Des Teufels Antheil-Quadrille at a charity festival at the Wasserglacis on 18 September 1847, while a later issue (20.09.1847) of the same paper stated that Johann senior had just completed his Des Teufels Antheil-Quadrille and hoped to perform it before the opera's opening night. Fate was not on the side of the younger man, however, and Strauss Father proved the victor, introducing his quadrille at a soiree in the 'Sperl' dance hall on Saturday 25 September 1847 - the very day the Kärtnerthortheater began its run of Des Teufels Antheil. The Wiener Allgemeine Theaterzeitung (30.09.1847) viewed these activities, and those of Strauss Father's enterprising publisher, with enthusiasm: "'Der Antheil des Teufels' underwent a fairly long period of preparation [in the theatres], but at the k.k. Hofoperntheater at least the success crowned the lengthy effort. Now Herr Haslinger has had the idea of achieving a great success without lengthy preparation: And behold! With devilish haste he has organised the publication of the new Strauss quadrille from this opera, which was first played on Saturday. - The arrangement was ready on Sunday, engraved on Monday, printed on Tuesday, and since yesterday [= 29.09.1847] it has been available for sale. If the devil does not have a share in such swiftness, there is something wrong!".

The unaccustomed haste with which Haslinger's publishing house strove to issue Strauss Father's Des Teufels Antheil-Quadrille doubtless reflected the announcement that Strauss Son had compiled a rival dance piece. But the younger Johann had encountered an obstacle, as Der Wanderer disclosed on 2 October 1847 - at the same time poking fun at a competing publication: "It is remarkable what critics know. Often they see and hear things which are not noticed by anybody else at all. Thus the critic of the 'Theaterzeitung' [30.09.1847] reports on the arrangements of melodies from Auber's opera 'Des Teufels Antheil', and says, amongst other things: 'Strauss Son has also provided a quadrille, but Strauss Father has produced the best [version] with his quadrille'. Now, that raises the question of how the critic knows this since it happened that, because of an indisposition, Strauss Son has not yet performed his quadrille in public, and will not give it its first hearing until tomorrow [= 3.10.1847] at Dommayer's. The critic must have been dreaming. Or else ...!".

Johann the younger duly performed his Des Teufels Antheil-Quadrille, as announced, on 3 October 1847 at Dommayer's Casino in the suburb of Hietzing. Not only must the young Kapellmeister have been bitterly disappointed that Vienna's critics ignored his latest composition, but it seems he experienced some difficulty in finding a publisher for the piece as the Haslinger edition of his father's quadrille was already on sale. Finally the small publishing house of A.O. Witzendorf, situated in Vienna's Graben, took up Johann's quadrille and issued it hors de série (thus, without opus number) on 14 October 1847. A comparison between the quadrilles Strauss Father and son compiled from themes in Des Teufels Antheil reveals a large number of duplications in the selection of music they each utilised from Auber's score. The following synopsis identifies the figures (= sections) where the two quadrilles share common themes:

Johann Strauss Son o. op

Johann Strauss Father op. 211

Figure 1:   Pantalon A & B

                 Pantalon C



Figure 6:    Finale A

Figure 1:    Pantalon B

Figure 3:   Poule A & B


Figure 3:    Poule A

Figure 4:   Trénis A


Figure 1:    Pastourelle A

                 Trénis B


Figure 6:    Finale B

Figure 5:   Pastourelle B


Figure 5:    Pastourelle B

Figure 6:   Finale A


Figure 2:    Été B

                 Finale B (2/4 time)


Figure 3:    Poule C (6/8 time)

As Witzendorf¡¦s publishing house issued only a piano version of Johann Strauss's Quadrille nach den Motiven der Oper: Des Teufels Antheil, the conductor Christian Pollack has prepared an orchestral arrangement for this present recording.

[9] TRIFOLIEN. WALZER (Trefoil. Waltz) o. op

   (Johann II, Josef and Eduard Strauss)

On 1 November 1864 the 21-year-old 'Pretender' to the Waltz King's throne, Carl Michael Ziehrer (1843-1922), conducted the first performance of his waltz Tanz-Brüder (Dancing Brothers, op. 28) at a concert in Vienna's Dianabad-Saal. Ziehrer's publisher, Carl Haslinger - who was formerly the Strauss brothers' publisher before an altercation separated the parties - duly announced the piano edition of the work a month later, on 3 December 1864. Is it conceivable that the title of Ziehrer's waltz sparked an idea in the inventive mind of the ever-resourceful Johann Strauss, resulting in the startling announcement which appeared in the Neue Freie Presse on 19 December 1864: "The Strauss brothers are composing a 'Trifolien-Walzer' for the 'Hesperus Ball' on 13 February [1865] in the Dianasaal"?

All three Strauss brothers were members of the Vienna Artists' Association, 'Hesperlis', and although Johann and Josef had each separately contributed music to previous 'Hesperus' festivities, Trifolien marked the very first occasion on which Johann, Josef and Eduard had collaborated on a single work. On 15 February 1865, two days after the 'Hesperus Ball', the Fremden-Blatt remarked that the new Strauss waltz had received "lively applause" at its première, the conducting of which had fallen to the youngest brother, Eduard, at the head of the Strauss Orchestra. The first public performance of the Trifolien Walzer followed on Sunday 19 February 1865, when the Strauss Orchestra played it at a concert given by Johann, Josef and Eduard Strauss in the Vienna Volksgarten.

According to the Wiener Zeitung (15.02.1865), the inside cover of the dance cards issued at the 'Hesperus Ball' pictured a "really charming drawing of three gnomes endeavouring to entice music from a double bass", one astride the upper bouts (shoulders) of the instrument while the other two operate the bow. Perhaps mirroring the order in which the Strauss brothers' contributions appear in the composition, the unnamed artist has positioned the three gnomes in descending order of age. It was presumably this same piece of artwork which adorned the first piano edition of the Trifolien Walzer which the C.A. Spina publishing house delivered to the music dealers on 17 February 1865. The waltz bears the composers' dedication "To the Artists' Association, Hesperus".

Trifolien did not find unanimous appeal, despite the "lively applause" reported by the Fremden-Blatt. Providing proof of the subjectivity of musical appreciation, the critic for the Wiener Zeitung (15.02.1865) drew attention to the three gnomes pictured on the 'Hesperus Ball' dance card and noted: "If this was a prophetic comment on the waltz 'Trifolien', newly composed by the three Strauss brothers, it was fulfilled by the lack of success of the united efforts of the brothers".

In composing the Trifolien Walzer, the brothers chose to divide the workload fairly equally amongst themselves: Johann (1825-99) provided Waltz No. 1, Josef (1827-70) Waltz No. 2 and Eduard (1835-1916) furnished not only Waltz No. 3 but also the Introduction and the cleverly-contrived Coda. The three-part waltz was probably short: as Johann Strauss recounted much later, the Trifolien Walzer presented to the publisher C.A. Spina was too short and the brothers were required to extend their own contributions. This would explain the untypical waltz form of Trifolien, with each of the three waltz sections possessing a trio. A particularly fascinating aspect of Trifolien is that it affords the listener the opportunity to judge the very different compositional style each brother stamped on his music, for example the 'floating' melody in the Trio of Waltz 2 which could only have been written by Josef. The title of the waltz derives from the Latin noun Trifolium, meaning 'a three-leafed herb', but here specifically referring to the three-leafed clover, Trifolium pratense. The allusion is therefore made between the trifoliate leaves of the clover and this tripartite collaboration by the Strauss brothers. It is to be regretted that Johann, Josef and Eduard subsequently undertook only one further collaboration, when they joined forces for the lively Schützen-Quadrille (Sharpshooters' Quadrille, Volume 44 of this CD series) in summer 1868.

[10] HERRJEMINEH-POLKA FRANÇAISE (Goodness gracious me. French polka) op. 464

On three separate occasions Gustav Davis (real name: Gustav David, 1856-1951), an officer in the military, turned his hand to the writing of operetta libretti. He collaborated with the journalist Max Kalbeck (1850-1921) for Johann Strauss's Jabuka (1894) and then single-handedly provided the libretto for Johann Strauss's penultimate stage work, Waldmeister (Woodruff), which opened at Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 4 December 1895. Later he collaborated with Hugo Wittmann (1839-1923) for Adolf Müller junior's General Gogo (1896).

One of the principal characters in Waldmeister is Erasmus Müller, a dialect-speaking Professor of Botany from Saxony, whom Davis shaped specifically for the leading tenor buffo of the day, the great Alexander Girardi (1850-1918). The increasingly temperamental Girardi, however, required considerable persuasion before he would agree to accept the rôle, and the proceedings led the Viennese humorous weekly journal Figaro to dub the operetta "Waldmeister, oder der Girardi-Krise" (Woodruff, or the Girardi Crisis). In the event, Eduard Hanslick felt moved to write in his first-night review of the operetta (Neue Freie Presse, 6.12.1895): "Of the gentlemen [of the cast] Girardi, as the Saxony professor, is in the foreground through his irresistible drollness; he is the comic soul of the entire piece". (Later, reviewing the rôle of Erasmus Müller in the Berlin première of Waldmeister, The Musical Courier stated on 11 June 1896: "He has an excruciatingly ludicrous manner about him ¡K [Eduard] Steinberger made me laugh till my sides ached".) Erasmus Müller's constant lament is "Herrjemineh!" ('Goodness gracious me!'), and it is this 'catchphrase' which suggested itself to Johann Strauss as the title for the playful French polka which he based on melodies from the Waldmeister score. The thematic sources for opus 464 may be specified as follows:

Theme 1A & 1B   -

Act 2 Finale (No. 14), Erasmus: "Da nimmt man Se den Moselwein, den Moselwein geschwind", followed by chorus section: "Nu deckt man's zu und lässt's in Ruh'"

Trio 2A & 2B       -

Act 2 Terzett (No. 13), Pauline and Jeanne: "Herrjemineh, Herrjemineh, was thut man nicht aus Liebe!" (with rhythm amended to double-time)

As was the case with all but one of the six separate orchestral numbers which Johann crafted from his melodies in Waldmeister, it fell to his brother, Eduard, to conduct the Strauss Orchestra in the first performance of the Herrjemineh-Polka. The charming dance piece - announced on the programme as "Herrjemine [sic!], French polka after the couplet from the operetta 'Waldmeister'" - was played as the fourth item in Eduard's St Stephen's Day concert at the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein on Thursday 26 December 1895. Eduard included the work in several subsequent concerts; later, if not entirely forgotten, it was sadly neglected. Nevertheless the Herrjemineh-Polka, a work based on the most successful of Strauss's later operettas, remains one of the most cheerful creations of its composer's twilight years.

Programme notes © 1995 Peter Kemp. The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain.

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

Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra (Košice)

The East Slovakian town of Košice boasts a long and distinguished musical tradition, as part of a province that once provided Vienna with musicians. The State Philharmonic Orchestra is of relatively recent origin and was established in 1968 under the conductor Bystrik Rezucha. Subsequent principal conductors have included Stanislav Macura and Ladislav Slovák, the latter succeeded in 1985 by his pupil Richard Zimmer. The orchestra has toured widely in Eastern and Western Europe and plays an important part in the Košice Musical Spring and the Košice International Organ Festival.

For Marco Polo the orchestra has made the first compact disc recordings of rare works by Granville Bantock and Joachim Raff. Writing on the last of these, one critic praised the orchestra for its competence comparable to that of the major orchestras of Vienna and Prague. The orchestra has contributed many successful volumes to the complete compact disc Johann Strauss II and for Naxos has recorded a varied repertoire.

Christian Pollack

The Austrian conductor Christian Pollack was born in Vienna and now lives in Lucerne. He studied violin, viola, organ and composition at the Vienna Academy of Music, followed by conducting studies with Hans Swarowsky and Sergiu Celibidache, making his début as a conductor in 1971 at the Regensburg Theatre. There followed engagements in Aachen, Klagenfurt and Vienna, before his appointment as principal conductor in Lucerne. His activities have included guest appearances with the Radio Orchestra of the Südwestfunk in Baden-Baden, the Nuremberg and Essen Operas and the Vienna Volksoper, and musicological research, particularly in the field of Viennese dance music and the works of the Strauss family.

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