ClassicsOnline Home » STRAUSS, Josef: Edition - Vol. 22
Josef Strauss (1827-1870)
Orchestral Works Vol. 22
1 Einzugs-Marsch (Entry March), Op. 171
On 16th January 1864, Austria and Prussia asked the Kingdom of Denmark to reverse the annexing of Schleswig proclaimed after Friedrich VIIs death. Even though nobody in Vienna really understood the legal situation, including the diplomats at the Imperial Court, an expeditionary corps was hastily put together, which under Lieutenant Field Marshal Ludwig Freiherr von Gablenz was to intervene in Schleswig together with the troops of the Kingdom of Prussia. On 3rd February, an Austrian brigade stormed the Königshügel near Schleswig and forced the Danish soldiers to retreat. With that, a campaign was opened in which, all things considered, there could be only one winner, the Kingdom of Prussia, but nobody in the Wiener Hofburg and the Ministry at the Ballhausplatz wanted to admit that for the time being. On 30th October 1864, the hostilities were ended with a peace treaty between Austria and Prussia, and the Kingdom of Denmark. Emperor Franz Joseph was proud of his troops, which achieved at least some partial victories, even though the decisive battle, the storming of the Düppeler Schanzen, had been won by the better-equipped Prussians. In November the Austrian army corps began their march home. On 6th December 1864, the soldiers entered Vienna in a grandiose parade. On this occasion, a free concert was held by the Strauss orchestra in the Volksgarten. Josef Strauss had composed a special Einzugs-Marsch, which was to be the climax of the programme. The chronicler makes no mention of how the audience received the work composed by Pepi Strauss, who had no bellicose inclinations whatever. In any case, the Einzugs-Marsch was rarely played after its première on 6th December 1864 in the Volksgarten.
2 Die Veteranen. Walzer (The Veterans. Waltz), Op. 29
On 13th November 1856 an advertisement appeared in the Theater-Zeitung trade paper, inviting the public to a festive concert as part of the celebrations hailing the ninetieth birthday of His Excellency Field Marshal Count Radetzky, at Sperls establishment. It promised a varied musical programme, which, except for a dedication waltz by the conductor Josef Strauss, did not contain any military compositions. Instead, it featured the Grossfürstin Alexandra-Walzers, Op. 181, composed by Johann Strauss in Russia. Radetzky, the popular commander who was born on 2nd November 1766 in Trzebinitz, stayed in Italy owing to his advanced age, so that there were no official celebrations in Vienna. The organizers of the festivities at Sperls hoped to attract veterans who had spent their military service under Radetzkys command or who had served in regiments led by him and probably participated in campaigns of the Austrian army. This hope was indeed fulfilled, as the Radetzky Festival was well attended. The waltz Die Veteranen which Josef Strauss first performed at this event on 18th November 1856, and which first appeared in print in February 1857, was not only dedicated to Josef Wenzel Count Radetzky von Radetz, but also to those attending this concert, the veterans.
3 Patti-Polka (Patti-Polka), Op. 134
The singer Adelina Patti, born on 19th February 1843 in Madrid, was the daughter of the Italian tenor Salvatore Patti, and came for the first time with a troupe of her own to Vienna in February 1863, during a European tour. After early successes in New York at the age of sixteen, she appeared in 1861 with the Covent Garden Opera of London. Her performance caused great excitement, and her prestigious reputation was widely hailed in England. Her début in Vienna was preceded by exceptionally detailed reports regarding her life and voice in the Theater-Zeitung and Zwischen-Akt trade papers, and the publics expectations were accordingly high when Adelina Patti appeared for the first time on stage at the Carl Theatre on 28th February 1863, performing one of her brilliant rôles, Amina from the opera La sonnambula by Vincenzo Bellini. On 1st March, the Zwischen-Akt wrote: Audiences and critics concurred in their delight and admiration of the singer Adelina Pattis début yesterday in the Carl Theatre. The performance was attended by the Empress Elisabeth and Emperor Franz Joseph. On 8th March 1863, Adelina Patti triumphed once again, this time as Rosina from the opera The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini. On 9th March the Viennese papers again printed enthusiastic hymns of praise regarding Pattis artistry. The Zwischen-Akt summarises: We do not count how many curtain calls Miss Patti received; we only know that the applause did not want to stop, and that this performance was more than enough to validate tremendously the excitement which has prevailed in the music world since Patti came on the scene.
Josef Strauss did not let pass the opportunity to honour the artist with a dedication composition, and to divert attention to his concerts. As early as 11th March 1863 a notice appeared in the Theater-Zeitung announcing that Haslinger would be publishing, in the next few days, the Patti-Polka composed by Josef Strauss, the dedication of which had already been accepted by the artist. On 15th March 1863 Josef Strauss performed the new composition in the Volksgarten for the first time. However, he did not quote any melodies from the opera repertoire sung by the artist in Vienna, but the Lach-Lied (Laughing Song) from the opera Manon Lescaut by Auber, which Adelina Patti evidently used in private circles or as an encore. (The première of this work had taken place on 23rd February 1856 in Paris.) It was self-evident that the Patti-Polka received lively applause at the time and had to be performed again and again, but once the artist left Vienna with her troupe, the polka disappeared quickly from the programmes.
Adelina Patti subsequently returned to Vienna, on several occasions. By then, nobody remembered the polka hastily written by Josef Strauss. The piano edition of the work, which features a not very flattering portrait of the artist, is a highly-sought-after collectors item.
4 Die Sonderlinge. Walzer (The Eccentrics. Waltz), Op. 111
Through advertisements in several Viennese newspapers, Josef Strauss invited music aficionados to his charity concert to be held at Weghubers establishment near the Ringstrasse, then under construction. On 23rd August 1861, an unlikely choice for an outdoor concert date, a very large audience gathered in Weghubers coffee-house garden. Virtually devoid of shade, it must have been comfortable only in the late evening hours. Josef Strauss had promised two novelties, the waltz Die Sonderlinge and the Irenen-Polka, Op. 113. It seems that both works were presented, because on the occasion of the next festivity, the Hernals church festival, in which Josef Strauss participated with his orchestra, both the waltz and the polka were advertised only as new.
We do not know what motivated Josef Strauss to entitle the waltz, The Eccentrics. In Vienna, by the word Sonderling was and is understood a person with very peculiar characteristics, perhaps even a somewhat confused individual, regardless of gender. Nevertheless, the waltz does not deviate remarkably from the composers waltz scheme. After an effective introduction, it offers a melodious, gracious, almost playful little dance, which only in the second part becomes more emphatic. The work was played several times during the summer and autumn of 1861, but then gradually disappeared forever from the Strauss orchestras repertoire. It lent an interesting touch to a charity concert, but then it had to give way to new compositions, as established by the rules of the waltz business. It is always interesting, however, to rediscover once-forgotten works.
5 Die Kosende. Polka-Mazur (The Caresser. Polka Mazurka), Op. 100
The supple polka mazurka Die Kosende belongs to a series of compositions in which Josef Strauss depicts characteristics of women in musical form (starting with La Chevaleresque, Op. 42, and ending with Die Emanzipierte, Op. 282). Nevertheless, this Caresser, who on the title page looks longingly out of a door, might also have been quite energetic and capricious, because Josef Strauss followed his supple introductory melody with some extremely showy motifs, as was usual in an authentic polka mazurka.
The première of the polka mazurka Die Kosende took place at the Strauss orchestras carnival revue performance on 17th February 1861 in the Volksgarten. Even though a whole series of interesting novelties were on the programme, the polka mazurka Die Kosende held its place without any effort and remained in the repertoire of the Strauss orchestra throughout summer. Haslinger published the sheet music on 24th June 1861.
6 Rendezvous-Quadrille. (Rendezvous. Quadrille), Op. 11
The spirited and vibrant Rendezvous-Quadrille by Josef Strauss probably dates back to the Carnival of 1856, having been issued, together with his brother Johanns contemporary novelties, on 15th April 1856 by Carl Haslingers publishing house. The publisher, however, issued an orchestral score based on a model for small orchestra by Strausss brother-in-law Karl Fux, and not on Josefs original score. These parts survived, making a somewhat accurate performance possible. In the summer of 1856, this quadrille was found repeatedly in the programmes of the Strauss orchestra, only later to be displaced by the countless novelties of the following months, during which Josef Strauss, single-handedly, successfully defended the standing of the Strauss orchestra in Viennas musical life.
7 Lock-Polka (Lure. French Polka), Op. 233
On 5th January 1868 Josef Strauss, at the helm of the Strauss orchestra, presented his new Lock-Polka in the Blumensäle of the Garden Society on the Ringstrasse, in front of the Coburg palace. The halls were already festively decorated for Carnival, and in this splendid framework the little polka stood out and brought a touch of spring and bird-calls to the cold winter evening. The full house applauded enthusiastically. Pepi Strauss must have appreciated his Lock-Polka very much, because the work remained not only on the programme during the whole Carnival season, but was also presented to the Russian public at the brothers Johann and Josef Strausss début at the beginning of the 1868 summer season in Pavlovsk, near St Petersburg. This gracious polka, with its jaunty motifs, contributed greatly to the enthusiastic reception afforded not only to the old favourite Johann, but also to Josef Strauss, by the guests in the full Vauxhall of Pavlovsk.
8 Die Zufälligen. Walzer (The Coincidentals. Waltz), Op. 85
Josef Strauss composed the waltz Die Zufälligen for the carnival of 1860. It was first mentioned in the invitations to the brothers Johann and Josef Strauss charity ball of 13th February 1860 in the Sofiensaal, as the third novelty by Josef Strauss. The première might already have taken place during the first half of this carnival, perhaps also in the Sofiensaal. There are two possibilities for interpreting the title. Either Josef Strauss wanted to create a counter-piece to the waltz Die Extravaganten, Op. 205, by his brother, which was also played for the first time in the carnival of 1858, or else it was a composition for the Papageno balls, held in those times in the Sofiensaal, for which Josef had to conduct the music. At these balls, little whistles were handed out to the gentlemen, as used by the bird-catcher Papageno in the opera The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. All these little whistles were mute, except one. Whoever managed to get the Papageno sound out of his whistle won a prize. It was, according to a contemporary, very amusing to watch the guests at the ball blowing feverishly with full cheeks in order to get the prize. But only one had the working, prize-winning whistle. Die Zufälligen received very well-deserved, warm applause, and was still popular when Haslingers publishing house released the sheet music in the summer of 1860.
9 Elfen-Polka (Polka of the Elves), Op. 74
As a consequence of the Austrian troops defeat on the battlefields of Northern Italy, the Viennese showed little interest in concerts and theatre performances. On 2nd July, the owner of the popular casino in Hernals, Franz Unger, held a festivity in honour of the Feast Day of St Anne under the motto Joyful also in serious times. Incidentally, the older Johann Strauss had already used this as a title of a very popular waltz (Op.48) in the year 1831. Josef Strauss presented on this occasion his waltz Stimmen aus der Zeit, which did not appear in print and probably vanished, as the centrepiece of his concert, with the small but very witty Elfen-Polka as a novelty. The work, a gracious remembrance of the St Annes festival of 1859 in the suburb of Hernals, could be found on the programmes of other events of that summer.
10 Flinserln. Walzer (Sequins. Waltz), Op. 5
In the summer of 1855, Josef Strauss again had to substitute for his brother Johann, because a new waltz was due for the Hernals church festival to be celebrated at Ungers casino. In August 1853, Johann Strauss stayed in Bad Neuhaus for a cure, and in the summer of 1855 he recovered in Bad Gastein. This time it was clear from the start that Josef Strausss waltz under the meaningful title Die Ersten und die Letzten (The First and the Last), performed in 1853, would not be his first and last composition. Pepi was now recognised finally as an equal partner in the Strauss familys waltz business. Therefore, he gave the first performance of his waltz Flinserln, composed especially for that evening, together with the new polka Mille Fleurs (which later appeared as Op. 4) at Ungers casino on 27th August 1855, as part of the Hernals church festival.
As required by the tradition established by the older Johann Strauss, the novelty for the Hernals church festival had to be a waltz in the Ländler style, its character being defined by popular Viennese motifs. It is remarkable how quickly Josef Strauss, who in 1849 was still writing ambitious compositions for piano in the style of Chopin and Liszt, made the genre of Viennese music his own.
The title Flinserln also came from the dialect spoken in Vienna and its surrounding areas. Flinserln were sequins used in theatre costumes, but they existed also outside the stage: first the Fiaker, the coachmen, and then elegant cavaliers from the suburbs wore them on their ear-lobes. Sequins were fashionable during the 1850s. The trend disappeared later, but can be found occasionally even today.
The waltz not only enjoyed immediate acceptance among sequin-wearers, but also earned resounding applause from all the dancers during the 1855 Hernals church festival, and had to be repeated on the second day on 2nd September 1855. Some days later the Theater-Zeitung published a report about Johann and Josef Strausss activities. This article also mentioned Josefs new compositions (among then, Flinserln), as products of a muse, which found the most thunderous and enthusiastic acceptance at each performance. The editors suggestion that it would be desirable for these musical creations, which contain a plethora of piquant and original melodies, to be published in print did not fulfil itself immediately. It was not until 1st February 1856 that an advertisement appeared in the Wiener Zeitung announcing that C.A. Spina had published Opp.1 to 9 by Josef Strauss.
11 Sofien-Quadrille (Sophie. Quadrille), Op. 137
On 13th May 1863, an advertisement appeared in the official gazette Wiener Zeitung which read as follows: Opening today of the completely remodelled facilities of the Volksgarten, designed with the utmost elegance. Great festivity in honour of Her Imperial and Royal Highness, the Archduchess Sophie, celebrating her saints day, as well as the birthday of His Imperial and Royal Highness, the Archduke Ludwig Victor. On this occasion, for the first time: Sofien-Quadrille and Victor March [op. 138] by Josef Strauss.
A report in the Theater-Zeitung trade paper of 15th May 1863 confirmed that the facilities were indeed opened, and that their décor had been to the reporters liking. The music performed was not mentioned. The works quoted in the Wiener Zeitung would have been current on 13th May, because Sophies saints day falls on 15th May, which was also the birthday of Archduke Ludwig Victor (1842-1919). The piano edition of the Sofien-Quadrille bears the dedication note: For the highest celebration of the saints day of Her Imperial and Royal Highness, Archduchess Sofie.
Josef Strauss had much reason to be grateful to Emperor Franz Josephs mother, the very austere and not-too-popular Archduchess Sophie Friederike (1805-1872), because thanks to her invitation he could repeatedly give concerts in the palace of Schönbrunn. The Archduchess did not participate in the festivity of 15th May 1863 in the Volksgarten. Her presence would have surely been mentioned in the Theater-Zeitung report. Perhaps that was the reason why the Sofien-Quadrille was not performed on that day. In the notes of both the composer Josef Strauss and the horn-player Franz Sabay, another festivity in the Volksgarten, on 12th June 1863, is mentioned as the occasion for the première. Only after this date did the Sofien-Quadrille appear in the programmes of the Strauss orchestra. In the piano edition, the phrase after popular motifs has been added to the title, and in the advertisement of another concert, the phrase after popular motifs by Offenbach further clarified the character of the quadrille.
Translated by: Dr. Luis de la Vega, Professional Translating Services, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
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