REGISTER NOW AND GET
• 5 FREE tracks! • 101 tracks for $9.99
ClassicsOnline Home » STRAUSS, Josef: Edition - Vol. 6
Josef Strauss (1827 - 1870)
 Victor. Marsch (Victor. March) op. 138
Josef Strauss chose a festival concert in Vienna's Volksgarten to premiere a march dedicated to the youngest
brother of Emperor Franz Josef, Archduke Ludwig Victor (1842-1919). The
premiere of the march was planned for 13 May 1863, that is, two days
before the 21st birthday of the then virtually unknown third son of the proud Archduchess
Sophie and her spouse, Archduke Franz Carl. The young man seems to have behaved himself suitably
in the family
witnessed by the copious correspondence addressed to the latter by Empress Elisabeth, who had been
disappointed with the Vienna imperial court (above all with her mother-in-law
Sophie). Later, he seems to have developed a less affable personality. He was
reputed to be an eccentric, to whom one could not entrust important tasks.
Historians passed deprecatory judgements on him: "He was shady,
malicious, and scheming. Finally, after an incident in a Vienna bathhouse, from which he
is said to have escaped with a slap on the wrist, the emperor banished him to Salzburg, where he died in the Castle of Klesheim in 1919." (Franz Herre: Emperor
Franz Josef of Austria, Cologne, 1978).
However, all that lay farther in the future, and the Victor-Marsch,
which was soon forgotten, was not
premiered in May 1863 but - as it is recorded both in the composer's as well as in horn-player Franz Sabay's notes - on 12 June, in the Vienna Volksgarten. The work was
published in July 1863.
 Die Industriellen. Walzer (The Industrialists. Waltz) op. 158
During the 1861 carnival season, the Industrialists Association of the Danubian monarchy organised its
first masked ball in the halls of the Imperial Palace (Redoutensaal). The sponsors of this event, who wished to
demonstrate their place in Austrian
society through first-rate balls attended by even
Emperor Franz Josef himself, included the banks, railway companies and representatives of the incipient
heavy-industry sector. The importance of the moneyed sector was not lost on
Johann Strauss, who gave the first dedication piece for the Industrial Companies'
Ball on 15
the title of
As director of the ball during the 1864 carnival season, it fell to
contribute the dedication waltz: he named his work Die Industriellen, thereby calling attention to the importance
of the Austrian businessmen who had achieved great progress in emulating the industrialists of
England and France, then
the leading industrial nations of Europe. In the reports on the Industrialists Ball which took place
at the Redoutensaal at the Imperial Palace, Josef's waltz was
hardly mentioned. The 'hit' of the evening's dance repertoire was the quick polka Vergnugungszug (Pleasure Train), op. 281, by his brother
 Tanz-Regulator. Polka francaise (Dance Regulator. French Polka) op. 238
During the carnival of 1868, the engineers of Vienna dispensed with holding a big ball, contrary to the
tradition of previous years. The time of the great technical advances, which had marked
the 1850s and early 1860s, seemed to have passed. Accordingly, the students of the Technical College contented themselves with a small gathering in
the flower halls of the Gartenbaugesellschaft (Garden Society), that is, in a scaled-down but
still beautiful venue. The
Strauss orchestra was nevertheless on the scene and quickened the dancing couple's feet
with its exhilarating pieces. Josef Strauss brought an amusing polka, which was
dedicated to the Engineers' Ball Committee: suitably titled Tanz-Regulator, it features chronometric
pounding on the snare-drum, which
sounds like a device for setting a machine into steady motion or - to remain in the realm of music - like a metronome. This polka apparently found great favour with
the engineers, and on the evening of the ball, on 22 January 1868, it had to be replayed
many times. In the composer's workbooks, it is a companion piece to the Moulinet-Polka
(Windmill Polka), op.
57, in which the snare-drum also sets the rhythm (in this case, emulating the motion of a windmill).
 Carriere. Polka schnell (Gallop. Quick Polka) op. 200
With his Opus 200, Josef Strauss again took up the theme of horseracing, which clearly enthralled him, for
'carriere' refers to the fastest gait at which a horse can be ridden. In the summer
of 1866, right after the news was received of the Austrian Northern Army's
defeat in the Battle of Koniggratz against the Prussian troops, the work that had already been issued in June by the Verlag Spina publishers was performed for
the first time in the Volksgarten. Shortly after the appearance of the printed
score, it was scheduled for many performances, but in Josef's diary and in Franz Sabay's notes it is
confirmed that the Carriere-Polka
schnell was first presented on 4 July 1866 at Vienna's Volksgarten. It was the 'Day after
Koniggratz' and, as a result, the
virtually unnoticed. In the shadows of the battle, music for the sport of horse racing became incidental, and
so the lovely work received scant attention. Later, however, Carriere
occasionally appeared on the Strauss orchestra's programmes, indicating that this quick polka was not forgotten.
 Waldroslein. Polka-Mazurka (Wood Roses. Polka-mazurka) op. 63
In the summer of 1858, Josef Strauss added the polka-mazurka Waldroslein to the series of
compositions which he named after flowers.
This lovely work, the first part of which is dominated by the defined
rhythm of a mazurka, whilst the
trio is pervaded by that of a country waltz, was performed for the first time in the
Volksgarten on 25 September 1858. Unfortunately,
there is no useful, contemporary assessment of this work, which would have proved a valuable tool in
measuring the initial reception of the same. The reports upon the appearance of the printed score
in January 1859, where
the polka-mazurka was referred to as "piquant" in the Theaterzeitung and as "brilliant"
in Der Zwischenakt, were merely routine. Dozens of novelties were described with these and
similar words in both of these newspapers.
But the Waldroslein polka-mazurka gave pleasure to music lovers for many years: it appeared again and again
on the Strauss orchestra's programmes.
 Figaro. Polka francaise (Figaro. French Polka) op. 83
The Figaro-Polka francaise is among the compositions penned by Josef Strauss in January 1860. Its title was
mentioned for the first time on 6 February 1860 when Johann and Josef Strauss sent out invitations for their
benefit ball which was
to take place on 13 February at Sofiensaal. The theme for the huge ball, at which each of the two music
directors conducted his own orchestra, was 'Perpetuum mobile: non-stop dancing.
In total, fifty dances were scheduled for this evening, including understandably all the novelties
from the 1860 carnival season. The Figaro-Polka francaise figured among these new works.
The origin of this polka can probably be traced to the first meeting of
the association of
journalists and writers, Concordia, founded in 1859. The polka's title derives from the humorous
periodical Figaro, which was published every week in Vienna starting on 4 January 1857. The publication existed
until 1916 and was the most
important humorous publication in the Danubian monarchy.
It is interesting to note that the Figaro-Polka by Johann Strauss
(op. 320) is also devoted
to a publication, the Parisian newspaper Le Figaro.
 Nilfluthen. Walzer (Nile Waters. Waltz) op. 275
The Concordia Ball which took place during the 1870 carnival season had
as its theme the opening in
November 1869 of the Suez Canal by Ismail Pascha (with the attendance of Emperor
Franz Josef and numerous dignitaries from around the world). Journalists had
covered, commented upon and analysed this major political and economic event. Now the events
surrounding the opening
of the Suez
provided the occasion for every detail of the Concordia Ball, which was held on 25 January 1870 in the Sofiensaal. The
ball announcement and the
ladies' gifts reflected the theme, and so the dedication waltz by Josef Strauss was titled Nilfluthen - an odd name for a Viennese waltz, though explicable given the theme of
the 1870 Concordia Ball. The first waltz among the novelties, it managed to
evoke its title: one seemed to hear the movement of the Nile waters in its elegant,
gliding motif. The work remained permanently in the Strauss orchestra's repertoire.
 Joujou. Polka (Toy. Polka) op. 23
Josef Strauss wrote his clever Joujou-Polka for a concert that
took place on
6 July 1856 at Unger's Casino in
Hernals. The title promised the public an amusing musical toy, intended for
children as well as adults. The composition fulfilled this promise completely,
for the work was to be found on all the programmes of the remaining concerts
of the summer 1856 season. The polka first appeared in print in October 1856, but the score was
only for piano and a small orchestra. The Haslinger publishing
house did not wish to risk too much (yet) on the works of its young orchestra director. But even
with this score, which
lacked the Strauss orchestra's power and was arranged by the late Johann Strauss Sr.'s brother-in-law,
Karl Fux, the polka could hold its own.
 Musen. Quadrille (The Muses. Quadrille) op. 46
The Musen-Quadrille was composed during the 1858 carnival season, and was first performed by Josef Strauss at
the Artists' Ball at the 'Sperl' dance hall on 18 January. This was actually the
small Artists' Ball, which was organized by the modest association of painters
and writers. On 2 February 1858, there was another Artists' Ball in the larger venue of the Sofiensaal: on this
occasion Johann Strauss presented
his Kunstler-Quadrille, op. 201, for the first time. Whereas the Musen-Quadrille by Josef Strauss
contained original motifs, Johann Strauss incorporated motifs from the world of opera and symphonic music, rendering his work professionally
controversial. The nine muses, which are portrayed all together on the title
page of the piano score, clearly inspired the composer in writing his quadrille:
the result was a stirring, richly modulated work.
 Causerie. Polka (Chatting. Polka) op. 180
the Strauss brothers - Johann, Josef and Eduard – staged
carnival revue, at which all the dance pieces composed by the three of them for that year's carnival were
performed in concert. An extensive programme was offered: six novelties by Johann, nine by
Josef and five by
Eduard Strauss. In the 14th spot on this programme appeared: "'Causerie," Polka francaise (masked ball at the
'Sperl' dance hall).'
Both Josef's records as well as horn-player Franz Sabay's notes provide
this information: the premiere
of this charming chat in polka rhythm took place on 27 February 1865 at the Strauss brothers'
benefit masked ball at the 'Sperl' dance hall. It is assumed that Eduard Strauss presented the
work, since Josef Strauss
became seriously ill during the 1865 carnival season and had to take time off from his duties as
 Kronungslieder. Walzer (Coronation Songs. Waltz) op. 226
In the summer of 1866, the Danubian monarchy's Northern Army was decimated by the Prussian troops. As
a result of this defeat, Emperor Franz Josef was forced to agree to a political settlement between
the Austrian empire and
the Hungarian kingdom of Hungary. The Danubian monarchy
was thus reorganised: accordingly,
Empress Elisabeth and Emperor Franz Josef (of Austria) had to allow themselves also to be
crowned in Budapest as King and Queen of the Hungarians. The
ceremonies took place from 8 to 10 June 1867. Before
the high altar of the Buda parish church, located within a historic centre of the Hungarian capital, Prince
Primate Janos Simor and Prime
Minister Julius Graf
Andrassy placed the crown of
St. Stefan on Franz Josef's head. Thereafter, the imperial-royal monarchy became
the imperial and royal monarchy – a distinction of
constitutional law that was (and is) not easily understandable to later generations! Josef Strauss used the coronation
ceremonies in Budapest as the occasion for two compositions:
the Ungarischer Kronungsmarsch (Hungarian Coronation March), op. 225, and the Kronungslieder
waltz. The waltz was premiered by the Strauss orchestra under the composer's baton at a
celebration in Vienna's Volksgarten on 21 June 1867.
English translation by:
Dr. Luis de la Vega
Professional Translating Services
Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
Phone: (305) 371-7887
Fax: (305) 381-9824
Last Albums Viewed
STRAUSS, Josef: Edition - Vol. 6