About this Recording
8.225366 - CONTEMPORARIES OF THE STRAUSS FAMILY, Vol. 2 (Czech Chamber Philharmonic, Georgiadis)

Contemporaries of the Strauss Family • 2


Much of the music of the Strauss family has been recorded and is well known, but there were many other talented composers who produced a large amount of popular music in a similar vein in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This second album provides an orchestral compilation taken from a small fraction of what was the popular music of the day. Extensive research by The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain went into this selection, and John Georgiadis, the conductor of this series, has reconstructed some works from original archive material, and in a few cases made entirely new orchestrations. The inspiration has been a desire to remind us of some of the forgotten, yet glorious melodies that were created by many of the central European light music composers, whose music provided an escape for the population from the daily hardships of life. This unique compilation also celebrates the Fiftieth Anniversary of The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain, which has done much to keep alive the popular music of this era.

Iosef Ivanovici (1845–1902)

No apology is needed to include more of Ivanovici, as his music has been neglected for far too long. Having had a military career he was an expert creator of marches, and Erzherzog Carl Ludwig [1] is a typical example. The galop was another of his favourite dance forms, and John Georgiadis has orchestrated Flink in der Wind [5] from the original piano score. The last example is a charming polka mazurka, L’Odalisque [11] recreated from the original handwritten manuscript.

Paul Lincke (1866–1946)

Paul Lincke derived many of his dance pieces from his operettas and revues, and when his melodies are heard they are often recognised, but without any idea of where they came from. The waltz Im Walzerrausch [2] (Whirl of the Waltz) from Halloh! Die große Revue is a good example. Another hitherto unrecorded overture to the 1904 operetta Berliner Luft [16] concludes the recording. It contains the famous march of the same name, which always features in the Berlin New Year Concert.

Carl Zeller (1842–1898)

Zeller was a Viennese civil servant who became famous for two operettas, which are still favourites on the stage, Der Vogelhändler and Der Obersteiger, and also some songs from a posthumous third, Der Kellermeister, still sung from time to time. He is represented here by the polka mazurka Schön Frau [3] from Der Obersteiger, which includes several characteristic melodies.

Julius Fučik (1872–1916)

The most famous Czech composer of popular light music, Julius Fučik stands quite apart from most other bandmasters in his originality and style, and is without question one of the great figures of Central European light music. Many of his marches and waltzes are still played, particularly by wind bands, but he was equally at home composing for both wind and string orchestra. Two items are included, one, the well known march Die Regimentskinder [4], hitherto only recorded by military band, and for Fučik fans a real discovery, the unknown humorous march Um Mitternacht [13]. Note how the trombones reflect cats at midnight.

Oscar Fetrás (1854–1931)

Fetrás was perhaps known best for his waltzes, although he wrote over 200 works, mostly dance pieces. He composed the potpourri to Johann Strauss’s operetta Die Göttin der Vernunft (On Stage with Johann Strauss Vol 2 [Marco Polo 8.225075]). The descriptive waltz Blauer Augen, Blaue Himmel [14] receives its première on this disc.

Karl Komzák II (1850–1905)

Already the subject of two recordings on the Marco Polo label [8.225174 and 8.225327], Karl Komzák Jr. was the best known of the three generations of Komzáks, all of whom carried the same name. This confusion has also affected the cataloguing of Komzák works as in some cases it is not possible to identify which generation wrote which piece. Included here are a polka française Blond Poste Restante [6] which is often played in his home town of Baden bei Wien, and a charming gavotte Die Lautenschlägerin [9].

Franz von Suppé (1819–1895)

Suppé is well known for his many overtures, and many of his works have been recorded for Marco Polo in six volumes [8.223863-65, 8.223647-48, 8.223683, 8.223730]. As one of the operetta giants of the second half of the nineteenth century he must be included, and his Niccolo [7] march is taken from his posthumous operetta Das Model, which gathered together many of Suppé’s unused melodies.

Juventino Rosas (1868–1894)

A contemporary of Johann Strauss II, but without any known connection, the talented Mexican composer Juventino Rosas is now properly recognised in his home country. Like Ivanovici, he wrote one world famous waltz, Over the Waves, again commonly mistaken as a waltz by Johann Strauss. Most of his other works have been sadly neglected. He died tragically at only 26, so cutting short what might have been an enormously successful career. The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain recorded his Carmen waltz a few years ago in its “Spirit of Vienna” series, and Ensueño Seductor [8] is the third Rosas waltz to be recorded with a full orchestra, in a new arrangement, by John Georgiadis.

Josef Hellmesberger, Jr. (1855–1907)

Fidele Brüder [10] is the march from his most successful, but now sadly forgotten hit operetta Das Veilchenmädel, which contains many of Hellmesberger’s most brilliant melodies. Both the waltz and the overture have been recorded, but not the march. It is certainly one operetta that deserves revival. The only recording of works exclusively by Hellmesberger was issued on the Marco Polo label [8.225021] in 1996. The composer is not to be confused with Richard Heuberger, a contemporary, who wrote the operetta Der Opernball and whose overture to another operetta Ihre Excellence is available as a Naxos download [9.70228].

Joseph Labitzky (1802–1881)

Father and son August Labitzky were prominent Czech musicians who were resident in Kalovy Vary, the father becoming known as the Bohemian Waltz King. He was also of the first generation of composers and toured extensively with his orchestra throughout Europe, including England, with compositions dedicated to towns and personalities. His music is still played in the same spa resort today, but is rarely heard elsewhere. His Immergrün [12] galop must have been well known at the time as it was included in a medley that was played for years in the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. Another of his compositions, the Albert Waltz is available as a Naxos download [9.70228].

Johann Schrammel (1850–1893)

A second Schrammel march which had been fully orchestrated, was located in an old archive. No other recording of this hitherto unperformed march S’gibt nur a Weaner Luft [15] march has been found, so this recording is another world première.


This production would not have been possible without the dedicated support of a number of people and institutions, above all John Georgiadis, who arranged and restored much of the music. The archivist Franz Neuwirth of the Wiener International Operetten Gesellschaft helped locate much of the original material, the soprano and musician Pauline Pfeffer of Operetten-Salon in Vienna assisted in the initial research, also the conductor Bohumír Hájek, and researcher Thomas Jelinowicz of The Czech Johann Strauss Society (Fučik and Labitzky), Friedhelm Kuhlman of the German Johann Strauss Society (Oscar Fetrás), and Apollo-Verlag, who were kind enough to assist in the provision of compositions by Paul Lincke.

John Diamond
Chairman, The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain

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