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ClassicsOnline Home » STRAUSS, Josef: Edition - Vol. 4
Josef Strauss (1827 - 1870)
 Osterreichischer Kronprinzen - Marsch (Austrian Crown Prince-March) op.59
the long-awaited Crown Prince was born, after two daughters, to the imperial couple
Elisabeth and Franz Josef von Habsburg-Lothringen. He was named Rudolph, after
the founder of the house of Habsburg. Elisabeth had gone into seclusion to await the birth at
Castle (Cf. Laxenburger Polka,
op. 60). When the news from Laxenburg reached the city, Emperor Franz Josef was so
happy about the birth of the successor to the Crown that, contrary to
tradition, he forthwith granted the newborn archduke the rank of colonel in the
army and head of infantry regiment No.19. From this time on, the regiment bore
the title of Crown Prince, Archduke Rudolph.
Perspicaciously, Josef Strauss took this opportunity to compose a commemorative march, but since he
wished to perform this work at his anniversary concert on 31 August 1858, in the Volksgarten,
he did not request permission
from the imperial palace to dedicate the work to the Crown Prince, but instead addressed the dedication
to the "Officer Corps of Regular Infantry Regiment No.19, Crown Prince
Rudolph." Thus he achieved his goal without having to await imperial approval.
Josef Strauss' Osterreichischer Kronprinzen-Marsch was performed for the
first time on 31
(this is substantiated by the notes of composer and horn
player Franz Sabay). The anniversary celebration, however, was postponed until 3 September owing
Fremden-Blatt newspaper reported on 5 September 1858 that three orchestras were hired, the public
having ten to twelve avenues on the esplanade at its disposal, all brilliantly illuminated. The
crowd in attendance was
in the merriest of moods.
The account of the party in the Theaterzeitung paper was quite
The entire garden was decorated brilliantly. Right at the entrance shone
an enormous sun, complete
with a fiery "Long Live Rudolph" in the middle. On both sides, identical images
of the coats of arms of the Austrian crown lands were installed.
- Listening pleasure was provided by three orchestras. Josef Strauss'
newest work, the "Crown Prince March," composed for this celebration, was
performed. With its fresh melody, it enjoyed such an enthusiastic reception that
it was replayed many times.
- Nearly 2,000 people filled the ample premises.
September 1858 the Osterreichischer Kronprinzen-Marsch had already been published by Verlag Haslinger.
 Vereins-Lieder. Walzer (Club Songs. Waltz) op.198
During the 1866 carnival season, the student ball at the Redoutensaal in
the Vienna Imperial Palace was primarily
youth-oriented. The Fremden-Blatt newspaper reporter had the
impression that the event had assumed the character of a ball given at a
private home, whose purpose, first and foremost, was dancing:
The ladies and gentlemen approached this purpose with the greatest
reverence; there was enthusiastic dancing to the strains of the Strauss
orchestra from 9 in the evening till 6 in the morning. The dedication waltz was
composed by Josef Strauss: he himself performed the work, which was titled
Vereins-Lieder and which was dedicated to the students of Vienna.
It was described as a "dance piece full of lilting rhythm" and had to be
replayed many times. The Spina
publishing-house, however, was in no hurry to put the score of the waltz on the market:
the student ball in the Redoutensaal took place on 6 February 1866, the piano music was
first issued on 21 April and the orchestra parts not until 20 September 1866. But the Viennese lost their desire to dance as a result of the defeat
of the Danubian monarchy's Northern Army in the war against the Prussians.
During the 1867 carnival, it took no less than a series of timeless masterpieces to
inspire them to dance once again. Thus, the Vereins-Lieder was eclipsed by, among
others, the waltzes Delirien (Delirium), op. 212, by Josef, or An der schonen blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), op. 314, and Kunstlerleben (Artist's Life), op.
316, by Johann Strauss, and was forgotten.
 Wiener Leben. Polka francaise (Viennese Life. French Polka)
The 1867 carnival season presented music directors and dance composers with a delicate problem: the defeat
of the Austrian Northern Army by the troops of the Prussian kingdom in the Battle of Koniggratz in the summer of 1866, which could have spelled the
demise of the Danubian monarchy, cast a pall on the people in the imperial
capital and residential city of Vienna. As the following year's carnival began, the
"usual jovial spirit," as one chronicler put it, was loath to appear. The costume
balls began without gusto, but finally, little by little, the traditional
carnival gaiety returned to the ball-rooms. Nonetheless, it was for this very
carnival season that the Strauss brothers wrote a series of masterpieces, which are
famous and popular to this day.
During the 1867 carnival revue, which was held on 10 March in the Volksgarten, the following works
were played: six new pieces by Johann Strauss, including the waltzes An der schonen blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), op. 314, and Kunstlerleben (Artist's Life), op.
316, as well as the quick polka Leichtes Blut (Light of Heart); eight new
compositions by Eduard Strauss and eleven dance pieces by Josef Strauss, including the waltzes
Delirien (Delirium), op. 212,
and Marien-Klange (Songs to Mary), op. 214, as well as the quick polka Jocus, op. 216. Despite the
overwhelming effort that was necessary to compose the traditional dedication pieces for the costume
balls, for which the Strauss
orchestra provided all the dance music, 'Pepi' Strauss also found time to compose a polka for the Monstre-Maskenball
held on 18 February 1867 with the theme 'Viennese Life' (Amor Hall, Strauss Orchestra) and 'Parisian
Life' (Flora Hall, military
band) at Schwender's. He titled the work 'Viennese Life: an appropiate name for a composition
to be played at the recreation centre in the suburb of Rudolfsheim, for the
balls at Schwender's were attended on average by 3,000 to 4,000 guests, who fanned out over the
two dance-halls and other
rooms of the huge colosseum-style building to enjoy folk-music and folk- singer recitals, as well as theatre
performances and 'tableaux vivants.' The "broad spectrum of Viennese
life thrived" at Schwender's even in difficult times, for one could at least forget one's
daily woes there for a few hours. Whether Josef Strauss himself performed his Wiener
Leben Polka for the first time at the ball cannot be determined with certainty
.Oddly enough, this work does not appear in his notes, nor in the chronicle
kept by horn-player Franz Sabay. This leads one to suppose that during this
evening at Schwender's only a secondary ensemble of the numerous members of
the Strauss orchestra was called in to play and that Edi Strauss directed the music for a while,
including the premiere of the Wiener Leben Polka. With the surfeit of novelties, 'Pepi's'
Wiener Leben did not receive immediate notice, but during the 1867 summer season it had a prominent place on the Strauss
A further title reference is imaginable, for on 16 February 1867 the premiere of the carnival farce Wiener
Leben by Anton Bittner, with music by Adolf Muller, Sr., took place.
 Schlaraffen. Polka francaise (Fool's Paradise. French Polka) op. 179
Josef Strauss composed the refined Schlaratten-Polka (francaise) for the Strauss Benefit Ball held on 27 February 1865 at the 'Sperl' dance
hall. He also entered this date in his notes, but horn-player Franz Sabay had already played
this polka in public at a
performance on 25 February 1865 at the All Fool's Eve of the Engineers' Glee Club at Diana Hall
and also mentioned its premiere in his catalogue. It is understandable that the musician noted this
date, for on this evening
the Strauss orchestra was decked out in baroque costumes and powdered wigs. In the numerous and
considerably detailed news accounts of All Fool's Eve, it was emphasised that the "younger
Strauss brothers" (that is, Josef and Eduard) took turns directing the orchestra, "both
of them in rococo dress with white wigs." This statement is interesting
in that it confirms that Josef Strauss had recovered from the serious episodes which had caused a
physical breakdown, and was able
to resume his profession.
Life in fool's paradise, which was depicted as enticing by the designer
of the title-page of the first
edition, was something in which Josef Strauss, an indefatigable worker, seldom
indulged. For the carnival 1865 season alone, he wrote a series of master works,
including the waltzes Dynamiden, op. 173, and Gedenkblaetter (Pages from Remembrances
Past), op. 178. He first allowed himself a short vacation late in the
summer of 1865.
The piano score for the Schlaraffen-Polka was issued in April
1865, the orchestra parts in
 Turner. Quadrille (Athletes. Quadrille) op. 92
In the years after the Revolution of March 1848, the athletics movement started by the Father of Athletics,
Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, (1778 -1852) spread from
Germany to the Danubian
monarchy. Groups of young men devoted to body-building exercises sprang up,
and the requisite athletic facilities were set up. Naturally, the female and male
athletes organized social events and the 'First Viennese Athletic Club' was
officially founded by 1861. In the summer of 1860 a festival was held, most
likely on 13 August, at the 'Sperl' dance hall in Leopoldstadt. That a festival with
unnamed organisers took place on this date is confirmed by newspaper accounts
and also by the Strauss orchestra's cash ledger book. No reference to the
organisation of an athletic club is to be found therein; it must have been the
'Sperl' festival on 13 August. The Turner-Quadrille, the piano score of
which is dedicated to "The Athletes" on its title page, may have been played first in
connection with this event. A mention in the Fremden-Blatt newspaper
on 24 August includes the work among the novelties of the season, having had
its premiere just a few days before. Moreover, on the programme for the Volksgarten concert, in
which all the
compositions of the zealous music director were listed, the Turner-Quadrille
appears between the Lustschwarmer-Walzer (Merry Dreamer Waltz), op. 91, of 24 June 1860 and the
Tag und Nacht-Polka (Day and Night Polka), op. 93, of 30 July 1860. (A somewhat earlier
premiere for the Turner-Quadrille is also possible.) The work was made public, in any case, on 11 October 1860.
 La Chevaleresque. Polka-Mazurka (The Chivalrous Woman.
Polka-mazurka) op. 42
Among the series of compositions written by Josef Strauss for the summer of 1857, the elegant but resolute
polka-mazurka La Chevaleresque stands out. The high point of this densely grouped series was
his wedding waltz, Perlen der Liebe (Pearls of Love), op. 39:
'Pepi' was very proud and happy to marry Caroline Pruckmayer on 8 June 1857 in St. John's parish church in
(today Vienna's second district). On 7 June 1857 Josef Strauss performed
the lively polka Gedenke
mein (Think of Me) op. 38, for the first time at the Unger's Casino in Hernals, followed on 26
June by the unpretentious polka La Simplicite (Simplicity), op. 40. The La
Chevaleresque polka-mazurka was composed at the time of the 1857 Hernals feast of
the local patron saint, celebrated at Unger's Casino on 31 August, and it was
presented to the public during one of the numerous summer concerts. The work
also turned up on the dance programme of the Hernals feast of the local patron saint, although it
was still 'new' at the end of
August. As important as knowing the date of the work's world premiere is appreciating its
place in the series of summer compositions: the polka-mazurka draws the picture
of a chivalrous, steadfast lady, who stands out significantly against La Simplicite and
calls to mind the ideal wife. In Josef’s case, the ideal wife was his Caroline, to whom Josef dedicated
the Perlen der Liebe waltz. This dark polka-mazurka written in a minor-key is therefore especially precious to the music lover.
 Frohes Leben. Walzer (Happy Life. Waltz) op. 272
The Frohes Leben waltz was composed in the summer of 1869, which
Josef Strauss spent in Pavlovsk
together with his brother Johann and the latter's wife, Jetty .The brothers travelled to Russia with the objective of securing the lucrative summer
business at the Vauxhall Pavillion in Pavlovsk for Josef in future years. But the
railway company, which organised all the concerts and balls for visitors from
kept delaying the decision, which derailed the Strauss brothers' plans. This understandably
depressed 'Pepi: apropos of which
he wrote to his wife Caroline, who had remained in Vienna, on 10 September 1869:
I do not look good, I've become paler, my cheeks are hollower, I have
lost my hair, I am becoming dull on the whole, I have no motivation to work;
my whole imagination is oppressed here by outright boredom and unending monotony. The
uncertainty in which I live, not knowing whether I will be engaged or not, makes me
more ill and unhappy.
In spite of this, Josef Strauss titled this waltz Frohes Leben, which he performed for the first time, a few
days before the aforementioned letter, at a concert in Pavlovsk (to wit: on 6
September 125 August 1869). He may not have been able to fully convince himself
through this work to believe in a bright future, but the waltz is
nevertheless interesting and worthwhile. It is the waltz of a true Strauss, whose father had
made popular the motto: "Be cheerful even in difficult times!"
After his return to Vienna from Pavlovsk, which he would never see again since the hoped-for engagement never
materialised, Josef Strauss performed the Frohes Leben waltz for the first time on 14 November 1869 at the Sofiensaal.
 Titi. Polka (Titi Polka) op.15
He is portrayed on the title page of the piano score: Titi, the magician
and prestidigitator, on a
stage set as he draws the public under his spell with his piercing, demonic gaze and prepares
or executes a conjuring trick. In the lively polka that Josef Strauss composed in
1856 and which he titled Titi, the demonic is first perceived in the trio,
where a motif from the Bacchanalia from Giacomo Meyerbeer's opera Robert le diable
is quoted. The animated composition, performed for the first time on 4 May 1856 at Unger's Casino, must
have become a favourite with
the public, as it appeared for the rest of the summer on the programmes of Josef Strauss's
successful concerts. The Titi Polka became so well-known among the listening
public that it conspired with its charm to lessen the impact of the absence of
Johann Strauss, who spent the 1856 concert season in Pavlovsk near St Petersburg. Josef Strauss proved
that he could
maintain the orchestra's foremost position in Viennese music circles until his brother's return.
 Genovefa. Quadrille (Genevieve. Quadrille) op. 246
In 1859 Jacques Offenbach hurriedly wrote the music for an opera buffa entitled Genevieve de Brabant
with the intention of parodying a French medieval story. Offenbach's music received scant attention,
but the composer was convinced
that he had produced a worthwhile work which deserved success. In 1867, the year of the great
World's Fair in Paris,
when the newly-opened Theatre des Menus-Plaisirs in the French metropolis was having little
success with plays and the hall
director turned to the harried Offenbach for a new musical, the composer remembered Genevieve. He allowed the libretto to be reworked and on 26 December 1867 the second version of
the work, proudly rebilled
as an opera buffa, was staged. This time the work enjoyed greater success, the public being especially
impressed with one of its duets.
Near the end of the 1867/1868 season, as summer approached, the administration of the Theater an der
Wien was looking for a drama to fill the theatre. The choice went to Offenbach's Genevieve de
Brabant. The talented author, orchestra director and composer Julius Hopp produced the German version and on 9 May 1868 it was performed for the first time under the title Genavefa van Brabant in the Theater an der
Wien. This proved to be an irresistible stimulus for Josef Strauss to immediately compose a
quadrille after the
striking motifs of the drama (which was also billed in Vienna as a burlesque opera). Josef Strauss also moved
forward the premiere of the quadrille: on 15 May 1868 he presented it to the
public at a festival in the Volksgarten. This haste soon proved to be warranted,
for on 29
the curtain went down for the last time on Offenbach's drama at the Theater an der Wien, after twelve performances.
The quadrille by Josef Strauss remained in the repertoire somewhat
longer, but it, too, soon
disappeared into the archives of the Strauss orchestra.
 Freuden-Gruße. Walzer (Best Wishes. Waltz) op.128
In the summer of 1862 Josef Strauss had to travel hurriedly to Russia to replace his brother Johann as
director of the summer concerts in Pavlovsk near St Petersburg. Johann had fallen ill
and returned to Vienna immediately upon his brother's arrival. Before he actually began his convalescence leave,
Johann Strauss married Jetty
Treffz (stage name for Henriette Chalupetzky) on 27 August at St. Stephans. Josef
resented this, and in the fall, when Johann surreptitiously concluded a new
contract with the Russian railway company in St Petersburg, Josef felt that he had
However, he dutifully resumed his work at the helm of the orchestra in Vienna; after a brief rest, Josef Strauss
organised a festival concert at the 'Sperl' dance hall on 9 November 1862 and presented his waltz
Freuden-Gruße to the public as the highlight of the
novelties from his Russian summer. That 'Pepi' was in fact happy to be able to
perform again before 'his audience' is apparent in the character of this masterful
composition. The Freuden-Gruße waltz was received with enthusiasm and became a permanent fixture on programmes
for concerts of Viennese
 Jokey. Polka schnell (Jockey. Quick Polka) op. 278
Josef Strauss was partial throughout his life to the sport of
horseracing. We do
not know, however, whether it was possible for him to visit the race-course at the Wiener Prater on a regular
basis. He was already indispensable as music director of the Strauss orchestra,
but his compositions always feature titles which hint at the interest the shy
'Pepi' had in horse-racing. The last of these compositions was played during the
1870 carnival season, which also turned out to be the last one in the music
director's short life. The premiere of the Jokey-Polka (schnell) was promised for a
benefit ball by the Strauss orchestra on 17 February 1870 in the flower halls of
the Gartenbaugesellschaft (Garden Society). On this occasion, when the work was first played, one can
imagine the dancers being whipped
into a frenzy as they spun around in time to the driving beat of this polka.
The Jokey-Polka enjoyed a further triumph at the Strauss orchestra's
carnival revue on 13 March 1870 at the Music Society:
all three Strauss brothers appeared on that occasion before the public in the overflowing Goldenen
Hall and personally performed
their new works. The review in the critical publication Der Zeitgeist
gave it a seal of approval as the high point in a performance that included the waltzes Neu Wien (New Vienna), op.
342, by Johann Strauss, and
Tanz-Prioritaten (Priorities of the
Dance, or Preferred Stock to Dance By), op. 280, by Josef; the polkas Eisblumen (Frost
(Tax-free), op. 55 and 56 by Eduard; Die Emanzipierte (The Emancipated Woman) and
Jokey-Polka, op. 282 and 278 by Joseph, as well as the majestic Egyptischer Marsch (Egyptian
March), op. 335, by Johann. The orchestra directors Johann, Joseph and Eduard
Strauss tirelessly accommodated requests for encores.
It was a true Strauss concert, with grand music-making before an
approving and contented public. The
concert on 13
is history, but the aura surrounding Strauss concerts remains to this day. They still provide as
much joy, especially when
Josef Strauss' Jokey-Polka is included on the programme.
 Standchen (Serenade)
In April 1861 Richard Wagner arrived in Vienna. Josef Strauss, who had already presented his concert
audiences with three fragments from the opera Tristan und Isolde in July 1860 (it was the
first rendering of the music of this opera in Vienna, a work rejected by the Imperial Opera House
as "unperformable!"), arranged the farewell
concert on 15 April at Schwender's, and the first concert in the newly
reopened 'Grosser Zeisig' establishment on 20 April, in homage to Wagner. The
programmes included: on 15 April, more fragments of Tristan, the overture of the opera Tannhauser; on 20 April, the Steuermannslied (Helmsman's Song) from The
Flying Dutchman, fragments from Tristan, and even an arrangement from the opera Das Rheingold!
The basic programme also featured
Ludwig van Beethoven's Leonore Overture and the Standchen.
Johann Strauss, who had already travelled to Russia before Wagner's arrival, wrote his publisher from Pavlovsk
I am very sorry not to have spoken to Wagner. He was in Vienna and I really longed to
speak to him while I was there, but now I have to be in St. Petersburg. Do me the favour of
writing Wagner, convey my respects and express my regrets at my not having
been able to present a serenade in homage to him. - N.B. Why didn't Josef write Wagner
any serenade? - Did Strauss make him known in Vienna. (Vienna Municipal and State
Library, H.I.N. 41.254).
Johann Strauss was obviously not well-informed about the events in Vienna and thus knew nothing of Josef's
activities, but whether Josef managed to offer Wagner a serenade must be considered
doubtful; otherwise, some sort of account would have been provided by the newspapers. Even the copious Wagner literature contains no
mention of an homage to Wagner by Josef Strauss. It is established, on the
other hand, that Wagner attended a Strauss concert (at Schwender's 'Neue Welt'
establishment) and had complimentary words for Josef's arrangements. Whether Josef Strauss
composed the Standchen as a serenade to Wagner remains an open question; that the
work was created simultaneously
with Richard Wagner's visit is to be accepted as certain. The Standchen was published along with
both of the romances by Johann Strauss (op. 243 and 255) in October 1861 by Haslinger, and without
an opus number at that.
Later it was used as an intermezzo for the operetta Fruhlingsluft, arranged by Ernst Reitterer.
English translation by:
Dr. Luis de la Vega
Professional Translating Services
Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
Phone: (305) 371-7887
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STRAUSS, Josef: Edition - Vol. 4