About this Recording
8.225283 - STRAUSS I, J.: Edition - Vol. 7

Johann Strauss Snr • Edition - Vol. 7

[Track 1] Mittel gegen den Schlaf (Cure for Sleep), Walzer, Op. 65

Johann Strauss performed his waltz Mittel gegen den Schlaf for the first time on 28 August 1833 at the Sperl. The summer festival he had arranged there had the title 'Sperl in Floribus'. The festival was very vividly described by the prominent journalist and later director of the Royal and Imperial Court Burgtheater, Heinrich Laube, in his book Reise durch das Biedermeier (Journey through the Biedermeier). There he provided a chapter with the title 'Sperl in Floribus', so that his description can be exactly dated. He was not only impressed by the enthusiasm of the dancers, but also by the fascination that Strauss, as conductor and leading violinist, held for his musicians and the guests at the festival. Laube called him 'the Austrian Napoleon' and enthusiastically described how he dominated the public with almost demonic intensity.

That Johann Strauss had called his dedication waltz Cure for Sleep was actually superfluous, since he saw to it, as conductor, that no visitor to the summer festival could think of sleep and really would not want to. The Theaterzeitung in its notice of the festival was able to state with certainty that 'the festival at the Sperl lasted into the early morning'.

Johann Strauss's waltz allowed and allows no thoughts of fatigue and sleep. An introduction, which starts in the fastest tempo, Presto, and after a few tuneful transitional bars leads to a high-spirited first waltz section, is followed by five further waltzes, of which the third and fifth must have particularly set the dancers flying, just as Heinrich Laube described it for his contemporaries and posterity in his study. The extensive coda, too, allowed the visitors to the summer festival no chance of sleeping.

When the work appeared from the publisher Tobias Haslinger on 12 November 1833, Heinrich Laube was no longer in Vienna. He could not acquire a copy of the piano edition and therefore forgot the title of the work, at the first performance of which he had been present at the Sperl, Cure for Sleep.

[Track 2] Jugendfeuer-Galopp (Fire of Youth Galop), Op. 90

Before Johann Strauss started out on his great concert-tour to Prague, Leipzig, Northern Germany, Holland and Belgium on 2 September 1836 he arranged on 22 August at The Golden Pear a summer assembly under the title Humoristisches Lebensbild (Humorous Picture of Life). He was clearly delighted at the coming journey, and saw the assembly as a farewell festival. On 25 August 1836 the Theaterzeitung reported the evening at The Golden Pear: 'On Monday, 22 August, Herr Strauss gave a kind of farewell festival before his journey. As usual, everything that Herr Strauss arranges is uncommonly brilliant. So too was this evening. As far as the music is concerned, Herr Strauss took pains, through the energetic performance of his splendid waltzes, to electrify the proceedings, as he played his newest work again with his whole soul. There were also galops, which were received with a storm of applause.'

The reporter did not give the name of the new set of galops, but from the announcements and other reports it seems that on 22 August 1836 Strauss presented his Jugendfeuer-Galopp (Fire of Youth Galop). This was issued by Tobias Haslinger in a plain edition on 7th November 1836 as Op. 90 and advertised in the Wiener Zeitung. That this cheerful work was 'received with a storm of applause' can be no surprise. The fire of youth promised by the title pervades the two-part work, ending with a spirited finale. Fiery violin semiquavers and bold dashes of melody, which only subside in a quieter trio section, stamp the character of the work. It is much livelier than the similarly named fast polka of his son Eduard, which was first performed on 22 November 1882. There is certainly a technical progress, but in music every era has its own masterpieces.

[Track 3] Emlék Pestre - A nemes magyar Nemzetnek ajánlva

Erinnerung an Pesth (Souvenir of Pest), Walzer, Op. 66 - Der edlen ungarischen Nation gewidmet (Dedicated to the noble Hungarian people)

In 1833 Johann Strauss travelled with his musicians for the first time in his career as a conductor. On 12th March 1833 he gave a guest performance in Pressburg (Bratislava), and on 5 November he went on to Pest. The lessee of the Redoutensaal, Péter Fischer, had invited him to give a guest performance. On 7 November he appeared for the first time before the public in the Redoutensaal. He offered a cleverly chosen programme that included not only his own compositions but also the Radetzky March. This aroused the enthusiasm of the many Hungarians present.

It was not only the Hungarian newspapers that printed notices of this appearance. The Vienna Theaterzeitung also published a notice on 16 November: 'Hardly had this Mozart of the waltz, Beethoven of the cotillon, Paganini of the galop, Rossini of the medley, stepped onto the platform of the Redoutensaal Amazon Room than a great torrent of applause broke out from every corner. Herr Strauss had to struggle with unusual delays, but conquered with the first stroke of the bow.'

The second appearance in the same room of the Pest Redoute on 10 November also released a storm of acclaim and enthusiastic notices. This annoyed the contributor to Der Sammler. He met the report of the theatre paper of 16 November with an article in which he fired off: 'And who is this genius of an artist? A fiddler who composes waltzes and marches and puts together quodlibets! Everyone who hears the words 'art' and 'artist' so frivolously used and desecrated, when Strauss plays, must feel real indignation'. On 19 December in the same paper the contributor Sigmund Schlesinger countered with: 'I wager Herr Strauss is neither so lacking in modesty nor so presumptuous as to be responsible for the many mistakes that journalists make in their praises'.

It is possible that Sigmund Schlesinger could be referred to in a draft of a letter by Johann Strauss, preserved in the Vienna Philharmonic Society archive. It says, among other things: 'I have nothing to do with them calling me an artist, a thing I never posed as. The harmony of all united in joy is my only aim'. Johann Strauss had, incidentally, already announced that when he gave his Op. 63 waltz the title Der Frohsinn mein Ziel (Cheerfulness My Aim).

It is noticeable how, after a relatively short period of activity, Strauss could arouse such controversy. This was also evidence of his popularity. It is naturally somewhat incidental that all these occurrences should have come about with the Emlék Pestre waltz. Naturally the work reflects the same impression as was given by the performance by its composer on 27 November at the Katharine-Ball at the Sperl. In the introduction of this master-waltz Strauss uses a genuine Hungarian dance, a Lassu, in sixteen bars, before the swaying, typically Viennese waltz begins. The second waltz section is rather playful and the coda, too starts with the same motif, before the return of the first waltz section in conclusion.

When the waltz Souvenir of Pest appeared from Tobias Haslinger on 18 January 1834, the controversy occasioned by the Strauss concerts in Pest was forgotten. Now every music-lover could see for himself this product of the tour, a masterpiece by the thirty-year-old Johann Strauss.

[Track 4] Cachucha-Galopp, Op. 97

In July 1837 the celebrated dancers Fanny and Therese Elssler visited Vienna. On 18 and 19 July they both danced in the ballet Sylphide to a sold-out Court Opera Theatre. On 22 July, Fanny Elssler inserted for the first time into the opera Die Ballnacht (The Night of the Ball) a Cachucha, a Spanish dance that she had brought with her from Paris. The public was immediately seized with enthusiasm. On 23 and 25 July Fanny had to dance the Cachucha three times. When the sisters travelled back to Paris again on 5 August, they left Vienna in a Cachucha fever.

Johann Strauss reacted quickly. He wanted to make use of the enthusiasm for the Cachucha. He hurriedly wrote his Cachucha Galop. On the original score of the work is the note: 'This galop was composed in one hour for the opening of the ball, copied by the copyist, played without rehearsal, greeted with extraordinary applause and repeated three times. Adolf Müller.'

The ball mentioned took place on 7 August 1837 at The Golden Pear in a summer festival under the title 'Flora's Festival of Joy'. Two days later the work appeared from Tobias Haslinger. Now all Vienna could dance the Cachucha Galop. It was heard at every ball, as long as the Cachucha craze lasted. In October 1837 a contributor in the Theaterzeitung complained: 'What have we not all suffered from this Cachucha! The Cachucha piano-pounders have destroyed all our ear-drums with it.' When, however, in the theatre in Vienna the corpulent Wenzel Scholz performed the Cachucha in the costume of Fanny Elssler, the public had had enough. Johann Strauss, however, had enjoyed his success. The Cachucha part of the work, accompanied by castanets, and the coda offer original melodies and Strauss skilfully filled out the trio section.

The original Cachucha Galop survives in this form and can still delight listeners, also as a souvenir of the 'divine' Fanny Elssler.

[Track 5] Gabrielen-Walzer, Op. 68

Sr. kaiserlichen Hoheit, dem durchlauchtigsten Prinzen und Herrn Anton Victor, Erzherzog von Österreich in tiefster Ehrfurcht gewidmet (Dedicated to His Most Serene Imperial Highness Prince Anton Victor, Archduke of Austria, in profoundest respect)

The introduction, starting with a gentle tremolo, may contribute to the fact that this charming work was later described by imaginative writers as a 'waltz of the dead' and taken as the occasion for horror stories. Contemporaries knew nothing of this. It is unthinkable that Strauss would have dedicated to Archduke Anton Victor, the brother of the Emperor Franz I and patron of the Vienna Philharmonic Society a composition that had such disagreeable associations. As the popular Archduke was also patron of the Society for the Support of the Impoverished Blind, the first performance of the Gabriel Waltz took place on 20 January 1834 at what the Viennese called the 'Blind Ball' on 20 January 1834.

The work is charming and provides in its five waltz sections some attractive melodies, easy on the ear, but cannot be classified as a masterpiece. It was also not repeated again by Johann Strauss himself and his sons. Nevertheless it is worth hearing the waltz once again.

[Track 6] Boulogner-Galopp, Op. 104

nach Motiven aus der Oper Die Botschafterin von D. Auber (on motifs from Auber's opera The Ambassadress)

Johann Strauss performed the Boulogne Galop and the waltz Freuden-Grüsse (Joyful Geetings) for the first time on 13 January 1839 at the Sperl. This was his first appearance after his extended concert-tour to France and England. Strauss, completely exhausted from the strains of this tour, returned to Vienna on 16 December 1838, but recovered with astonishing speed.

He must have brought the Boulogne Galop with him from his journey. The opera The Ambassadress with music by Daniel-François-Esprit Auber, was first given in Vienna on 23 July 1839 at the Josefstadt Theatre. Since the first performance of the work, its original title L'Ambassadrice, had already been given on 21 December 1836 at the Paris Opéra-Comique, Strauss could have made himself familiar there with melodies from the work.

The tribute to the French city of Boulogne becomes understandable when it is remembered that Strauss stayed there in September 1838 and won great success with his concerts.

[Track 7] Pfennig-Walzer (Penny Waltz), Op. 70

In 1834 there was great advertising in the Wiener Zeitung for the new Penny Magazine. This was a Leipzig production that published articles on many problems, particularly subjects of physical and natural science, in popular scientific form. The copies of the magazine, printed on poor paper, were cheap. Tobias Haslinger immediately seized on the fashion and issued a Musical Penny Magazine that was at first bought with similar enthusiasm. It was, nevertheless, predictable that the demand for this cheap product would not last long, and so it came about.

Johann Strauss seized the opportunity and arranged a Penny Magazine Ball on 5 February 1834 at the Sperl for his benefit. A dedication waltz was needed. Strauss performed for that event a relatively simple, but obviously not 'cheap' (that is, primitive) composition. Naturally he also followed the fashion and called the work the Penny Waltz. An introduction of eleven bars is followed by five waltz sections (the third has 67 bars, the prescribed repetitions included). In the cheerful coda there are contrasting loud and soft dynamics, providing an interesting conclusion.

The publisher Tobias Haslinger issued the Penny Waltz on 14 May 1834 in a separate and careful edition and not in the Musical Penny Magazine. He provided the piano edition with a very charming, elegant title-page. The fashion for various penny magazines was almost over, yet at Carnival in 1834 the Penny Waltz gave the dancers much pleasure.

[Track 8] Der Carneval in Paris Galopp, Op. 100 (The Carnival in Paris)

Widmung: Den schönen Pariserinnen (Dedication: To the fair ladies of Paris)

On 4 October 1837 Johann Strauss and his musicians travelled from Vienna to Paris. They passed through Munich, Ulm, Stuttgart, Carlsruhe and Strasbourg, in all of which Strauss gave concerts or arranged balls, before reaching Paris. After arriving there he gave his first concert on 1 November 1837 at the Gymnase Musical. In the front rows were all the leading composers who lived and worked in Paris: Auber, Halévy, Adam, Berlioz, Cherubini and Meyerbeer.

The verdict came very soon. The audience was full of enthusiasm for Strauss and his musicians. That night Reichmann, a member of the orchestra, was able to write to Vienna: 'We have triumphed. And what did the great slaughter cost, that our master achieved with his baton? Some horse-hair, resin for a sou and some blowing from full cheeks.'

The subsequent engagements of the Strauss orchestra in Paris brought complete success. On one occasion Nicolò Paganini came to a concert. Strauss greeted him. Paganini stood up and embraced the Viennese musician. The public was enthusiastic. Since everyone respected Paganini for his presence and his gesture, he too won the acclaim of the public. On 27 and 28 January 1838 there was a masked ball at St Honoré. Johann Strauss used the opportunity and presented on 27 January presented a new galop that he called The Carnival in Paris and gallantly designated it a tribute to the 'fair ladies of Paris'. He sent the score to Vienna, so that Tobias Haslinger could publish it on 12 February 1838. The Viennese were already informed of the proceedings in Paris. On 10 February the Theaterzeitung (No. 30) had published a contribution which, among other things, said: 'On 27 January Strauss and the conductor Dufresne directed their united orchestras in alternation. After the Viennese composer wrote a spirited galop, Le carneval de Paris, hommage aux dames, for this night, the dance was arranged for piano and given out free to the ladies present. Everyone was enchanted by the gallantry of the Viennese conductor.'

On 19 February 1838 the Theaterzeitung (No. 36) announced the appearance of Carnival in Paris from Tobias Haslinger: 'This galop bears the stamp of originality. French vivacity is combined with German geniality. Particularly lovely is the first part of the trio, with the second part an irresistible invitation to the dance.' Little can be added to this verdict of a contemporary. After four introductory bars the galop begins with a lively motif, followed, after the repetition, by a charming melody in the second part. It continues with spirited passages of sixteen bars respectively that can certainly be described as 'an irresistible invitation to the dance'.

[Track 9] Iris-Walzer, Op. 75

Dem hochgebornen Herrn Carl von Gervais, kais. russ. Hofrath und Botschafts-Sekretär am k.k.Hofe

hochachtungsvoll gewidmet (Most respectfully dedicated to the Honourable Herr Carl von Gervais, Imperial Russian Counsellor and Embassy Secretary at the Royal and Imperial Court)

The first performance of the Iris Waltz was at the Iris summer festival on 27 August 1834 at the Sperl, held as a benefit for Johann Strauss. Strauss, of course, conducted the music himself for this evening. There was the now usual crowd of visitors and C.F. Hirsch, 'Lamperl-Hirsch', was able again to use all his artistry in lighting. He saw to the 'fairy' illumination of the garden.

The title of the summer festival pleased the public. Irises were the flowers that, together with larkspur and clematis, were blossoming in every garden. This corresponded with the Biedermeier period that then enchanted people. All these circumstances led to the success of the Iris summer festival at the Sperl and of the Iris Waltz.

The work was issued by Tobias Haslinger on 18 November 1834 and found many buyers. The piano edition, which had an evocative title-page, is today a much sought after and admired rarity. The work that certainly played an important rôle in the customary music of the Biedermeier, after a short introduction of twelve bars, offers a charming waltz, consisting of five sections and an extended coda which quotes the melody of the first and fifth waltz section and offers a rapid stretta.

The Iris Waltz is perhaps no masterwork, but Johann Strauss later was happy to repeat it often in his concerts and balls in Berlin.

[Track 10] Original-Parade-Marsch, Op. 73

The 'Vienna Citizens' March' was issued by Tobias Haslinger as Original Parade March, Op. 73, on 27 June 1832. On the title-page of this edition Johann Strauss was for the first time designated 'Conductor in the Honourable First Citizens' Regiment'. The first performance of the work took place not at a parade but on 15 October 1832 at the Sperl. The return from the sale of the march was spent, like the return from the ball at the Sperl on 15 October 1832, on funds for the poor.

The march, in the traditional form with an Allegro marcia framing a Trio, offers vigorous melodies to which one could dance just as well as march. At the ball at the Sperl the march was danced. It is no longer known whether it was also used for a parade of the Citizen Guard in the Inner Burghof. In the newspapers of 1832 no report of a parade is found.

[Track 11] Erinnerung an Berlin (Souvenir of Berlin), Walzer, Op. 78

Ihrer königlichen Hoheit, der durchlauchtigsten Frau Auguste, vermählten Prinzessin Wilhelm von Preussen, gebornen Prinzessin von Weimar etc. etc. etc., in tiefster Ehrfurcht gewidmet (Dedicated to Her Most Serene Royal Highness Auguste, Princess Wilhelm of Prussia, née Princess of Weimar etc. etc. etc. in profoundest respect)

At the end of October 1834 Johann Strauss with his thirty musicians undertook a concert-tour, a bold venture in the existing circumstances, to Berlin. Nevertheless, he knew that the fame of his name and enthusiasm for his waltzes and galops had already made some way there. He trusted that there would be audiences enough at his performances and that the financial risk was justifiable. Furthermore, he was assured that he would certainly find well-disposed patrons.

So it turned out. On 12 November 1834 Johann Strauss, after some preparation, gave an evening musical entertainment at the Royal Theatre. That this possibility was open to him was already a mark of distinction. A numerous audience attended that very quickly burst out in stormy applause at the performance of the energetic Viennese conductor.

In consequence on 15 November the Intendant of the Royal Court Theatre arranged a ball in the same building. On 18 November Strauss was responsible for the dance music at the King of Prussia's ball. Now he was able to arrange for the next evening a benefit concert in the Royal Theatre that was equally successful. For 20 November the Russian envoy invited Strauss to his palace, on 22 November the orchestra played at an evening dance for Prince Carl of Prussia. On 25 November there followed a concert in the Königstadt Theatre. During the course of this concert Strauss was invited immediately after the end of the event to the castle of Prince Ludwig of Prussia. There the members of the court were gathered to experience the Viennese conductor in that capacity and as a composer. The King presented him with a gift of money and the Tsar of Russia, there as a guest, with a gold snuff-box. The trip to Berlin had been worthwhile. Strauss returned to Vienna by way of Leipzig, Dresden and Prague.

At home the reports of the success of this journey had been followed with attention - and envy. The view was immediately spread that these reports were exaggerated and had been overrated. Johann Strauss paid no attention to jealousy of this kind and on 14 December 1834 again gave a concert in Vienna. On 28 January 1835 he profited from the opportunity of the charity ball of the Austrian court, attended by many people, for the benefit of the Society for the Support of the Impoverished Blind, held at the Sperl, to offer for the first time a new waltz with the title Souvenir of Berlin. This he dedicated to Princess Auguste of Prussia, née Princess of Weimar. The artistically inclined wife of the future Emperor Wilhelm I was to play an interesting part also in the life of the younger Johann Strauss. The Theaterzeitung was able to note on 31 January 1835 that 'the new waltzes were received with great applause. They come from the acknowledged genius of this distinguished expert of our dance music'.

On 26th February the Theaterzeitung made use of the appearance of the composition from Tobias Haslinger for the declaration: 'These dances of the beloved composer flatter the ear and set our feet in involuntary motion'.

An unauthorised edition of the waltz in Berlin raised interest in this work. Thus the Souvenir from Berlin became a high point in the creative output of the gifted composer.


Franz Mailer

(English version by Keith Anderson)

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