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ClassicsOnline Home » STRAUSS, Josef: Edition - Vol. 25
Josef Strauss (1827-1870)
Orchestral Works Vol. 25
 Die Windsbraut, Polka (schnell) (The Winds Bride, Quick Polka), Op. 221
On the occasion of the charity masquerade ball held on 4th February 1867 in the overcrowded Colosseum of the industrious entrepreneur Carl Schwender in Fünfhaus, Josef Strauss thoroughly challenged the dancing couples with his new quick polka Die Windsbraut. The marked rhythms of this joyful composition guaranteed a good mood and some additional jokes in the audience. It is not known whether any of the visitors at the suburban establishment tried to explain the title. The dictionary defines a Winds Bride as follows: "Storm - in poetic language". Those who consult Johann Wolfgang von Goethe will find the following verse in his Faust:
"How races the winds bride through the air,
with what blows she beats my neck!"
One did not need to resort to Goethes Faust, however, to enjoy a fun-filled evening at Schwenders. The brisk rhythm and the characteristic melody lines were sufficient to incite applause for the composer, and several spontaneous encores of the work took place in response to the audiences enthusiasm. Die Windsbraut, however, did not become famous.
 Die Tanz-Interpellanten, Walzer (The Dance Petitioners. Waltz), Op. 120
Josef Strauss composed the waltz Die Tanz-Interpellanten for the balls of the 1862 Carnival. On 17th January 1862, a preview of the ball programmes appeared in the Fremden-Blatt. In it the novelties to be expected from Johann and Josef Strauss were enumerated, mentioning as Josefs first work the waltz Die Tanz-Interpellanten. Unfortunately no mention was made in the article regarding for which evening the work was scheduled, nor is its title of much help. "Interpellants" are petitioners (e.g., in parliament), but also people who present a specific objection (e.g., in court). If the waltz had been destined for the lawyers ball, it would have been provided with a pertinent dedication. (Johann Strauss had composed the waltz Colonnen, Op. 262, for the 1862 lawyers ball). Perhaps Josefs work was played at a grandiose masquerade ball that was held during this Carnival Season in the Theater an der Wien, but no proof of this assumption exists.
On 19th February 1862, an invitation by the brothers Johann and Josef Strauss to their charity ball to be held on 25th February in the Sofiensaal appeared in all the newspapers. Two big orchestras would play, as promised, one conducted by Johann, and the other, under Josef Strausss baton. Together, both conductors would perform fifty dance pieces, including all the novelties of the 1862 Carnival Season. From Josef Strauss, the waltzes Die Tanz-Interpellanten and Hesperus-Ball-Tänze, Op. 116, were expected. Again, it was not noted for which ball Tanz-Interpellanten was destined. One may suppose that the work was first performed during the 1862 Carnival, because it is highly unlikely that a waltz of this calibre was not presented to the public until as late as 25th February in the Sofiensaal. Neither the composers notes nor those of the horn player Franz Sabay contain any indications in this regard. In the reports on the Strauss ball of 25th February, only one work was specially singled out, and that was Josef Strausss Sturm-Polka, Op. 75, from the year 1859.
 Margherita-Polka, Op. 244
Josef Strauss composed the graceful Margherita Polka for the marriage of Prince Umberto of Italy (1844 - 1900) to Princess Margherita (1851 - 1926), the daughter of the Duke of Genoa, which took place on 22nd April 1868. The composer tried several times afterwards to present the work to the couple, but we do not know whether he ever succeeded in performing the polka in Italy. Since a visit to Vienna planned by the future King of Italy and his wife did not come to fruition, Josef Strauss finally chose the first promenade concert of his orchestra in the Blumensäle of the Garden Society on 13th June and his charity concert on 19th June 1868 in the Volksgarten, to present the work to the public. The polka, however, disappeared astonishingly quickly from the programmes of the Strauss orchestra. Of the editions by the publisher C.A. Spina, which appeared without any dedications, only the original piano editions remain. The orchestral parts of the polka were found in later copies.
 Pauline, Polka Mazur (Polka Mazurka), Op. 190
Her Highness the Princess Pauline Metternich-Winneburg, née Countess Sandor, sponsored the Industrialists Ball, held on 28th January 1866 in the Redoutensaal. The proceeds of the ball were ear-marked for a pet project of the active and extremely influential wife of the Austrian ambassador to the Parisian court, Richard Prince Metternich-Winneburg, namely the foundation of a German hospital in the French capital. Naturally the Strauss orchestra was appointed to provide the music for the Industrialists Ball in the Vienna Hofburg, and Josef Strauss had also prepared the traditional dedication waltz, which, according to the purpose of the festivity, received the title Deutsche Grüsse, Op. 191. Since the brothers Johann and Josef Strauss were eager to make a triumphant appearance in Paris at the 1867 Worlds Fair with Princess Metternichs help, Johann Strauss wrote another waltz, Wiener Bonbons, Op. 307, and Josef Strauss added to his Deutsche Grüsse a polka mazurka titled Pauline. All these compositions were dedicated to the Princess and were performed at the Industrialists Ball on 28th January 1866 in the Redoutensaal. On 31st January 1866 the publisher C.A. Spina released a piano edition of the polka mazurka Pauline.
Josef Strauss, however, also wrote a second polka mazurka called Pauline. This composition appeared, with the dedication to Princess Pauline on the title page of the piano edition, on 15th February 1866. The orchestral parts followed on 7th July 1866. Since a polka mazurka under the title Pauline was very rarely found in the programmes of the Strauss orchestra, it cannot be clear which version Josef Strauss ultimately regarded as valid. It may have been the second one. The occasion on which this version was first played has not yet been determined.
 Soll und Haben, Walzer (Debit and Credit. Waltz), Op. 68
The business sector of Vienna suffered long and hard during the economic crisis which beset Austria starting in approximately 1846. It was not until 1855 that merchants, from wholesalers to sales personnel, had recovered sufficiently to recognise the growing importance of the merchant class with their own ball to be held at Sperls during the Carnival season. On that occasion, Johann Strauss played his high-spirited Handels-Elite-Quadrille, Op. 166, for the first time at Sperls. On 21st February 1859, another ball of this kind was held, this time in the elegant Sofiensaal. The Strauss orchestra was again hired to provide the music, but Johann Strauss did not appear before his musicians on this evening, leaving the ball to his brother Josef, who contributed the traditional dedication piece, the waltz Soll und Haben.
On the following day, the Theaterzeitung had this to say, among other things: "The attendance was quite numerous. Overcrowding, however, was not a problem and did not interfere with the guests dancing enjoyment, especially by youthful revellers. The festival took place amidst unspoilt and unbridled merriment. The dresses of the ladies were splendid. Of the waltzes presented by Strauss for this occasion, the one entitled Soll und Haben was the best". The publisher Carl Haslinger took his time to release the work, issuing it on 21st August 1859 under the double title Soll und Haben - Handels-Elite-Ball-Tänze. Although it was not possible to confirm whether or not the instrumental parts were ever printed, they were easy to reproduce, because the printing dies were available as a source.
 Faust-Quadrille, Op. 112
Josef Strauss wrote his Faust Quadrille after motifs from Charles Gounods opera Faust in the summer of 1861, and performed it for the first time on 11th August in Carl Schwenders Neue Welt establishment in Hietzing. In the horn player Franz Sabays notes, the première of the work is indicated as 17th August 1861.
Since Charles Gounods successful opera Faust had had its première on 19th March 1859 in Paris, Josef Strauss might have based his arrangement of the quadrille on the piano edition which appeared in that city. In the Viennese Court Opera Theatre next to the Kärntnerthor, Gounods work was performed on 8th February 1862 under the title Margarethe. The première of the opera in German, for which, in deference to Johann Wolfgang von Goethes drama, the title Margarethe had been agreed upon, took place on 15th February 1861 in Darmstadt. Therefore, Josef Strausss presentation of his quadrille took place more than two years after the première of the opera in Paris, but approximately six months before its première in Vienna.
Josef Strauss displayed great skill in arranging the themes for his quadrille. For the first part (Pantalon), he chose scenes and the chorus of No. 2 of the piano edition, and for the second part (Été), the student chorus of No. 5 (Church Fair), and soldiers chorus No. 22. In the third part (Poule), he quotes the orchestral prelude and Fausts drinking song, No. 29. In the fourth part (Trénis), he drew on the Mephistos church scene and Margarethes prison scene. The fifth part (Pastourelle), refers again to chorus No. 5 (Church Fair). In the finale, he once again presents the orchestral prelude to the soldiers chorus No. 22, and the cavatina of the protagonist Faust.
Since the quadrille was successful, and he was able to present it time and again during the course of the 1861 season, he followed suit with further arrangements after motifs from Gounods opera. His brother Johann wrote the arrangement of a cavatina of the universally popular opera. Finally, in Russia, for his summer concerts in Pavlovsk, he wrote a Faust Quadrille as well. This particular work, however, appeared only at the publisher Verlag Büttner in St Petersburg (as Op. 277) and was never played in Vienna.
 Hesperus-Ball-Tänze, Walzer (Hesperus Ball Dances. Waltz), Op. 116
For the Carnival festivities of the "Hesperus" artists society, of which all three Strauss brothers were members, a ball dedication piece was due every year. This was contributed, of course, by a member of the Strauss family (later, by all three brothers). In 1862, it was Josefs turn. He wrote a waltz for the "Hesperus" ball which took place on 26th February 1862 in the Dianasaal. He did not make any creative effort in naming the work, simply writing on top of the score Hesperus-Ball-Tänze and adding the dedication: "To the Hesperus artists society." In March 1862, the work appeared in print under this title and dedication at Carl Haslingers.
The Hesperus-Ball-Tänze did not last long, however, in the programmes of the Strauss orchestra. Later masterworks, which had also been composed for the Carnival festivities of the Hesperus society (among them, the waltz Künstlerleben, Op. 316, by Johann Strauss), relegated Josefs lovely work to the archives. The printed orchestral parts have as yet not been found, and had to be reproduced from scratch from the original dies.
 Mein schönes Wien, Albumblatt (My Beautiful Vienna, Album Page)
In November 1880, the Erler-Verlag in Berlin published an album page under the title Mein schönes Wien in a piano edition and an orchestra version. "J. Strauss" was named as the author. Since Johann Strauss was ruled out as the composer, it was speculated that it was a posthumous work by Josef Strauss, who had died in 1870, and that the piece of music in question reached Berlin via St Petersburg. Josefs Russian compositions have not yet been completely catalogued, and the publisher did not provide any clarifications in that regard.
Therefore it is doubtful whether this is indeed a work by Josef Strauss, but the possibility that it is by him cannot be excluded, either. In the archives of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna there is a Fantasia by Josef Strauss, which was never published, but there exists no doubt as to its authenticity. In any case, this Albumblatt is an interesting composition.
 Heilmethoden, Walzer (Healing Methods, Waltz), Op. 189
The waltz Heilmethoden by Josef Strauss was composed for the 1866 Carnival season and was performed for the first time on the occasion of the physicians ball on 16th January in the Sofiensaal. The work was dedicated to "the students of medicine of the University of Vienna."
The Carnival of 1866 was overshadowed by the premonition that the expected conflagration between the Austrian monarchy and the kingdom of Prussia would lead to a war that nobody in Austria wanted, but at the beginning of the ball season, the fear was still repressed. The Fremden-Blatt of 18th January 1866 was therefore able to point out in its Carnival season chronicle, that one could see in every corner of Vienna that "Prince Carnival reigns supreme, despite his youth." Naturally the ball reporter also commented on the physicians ball of 16th January 1866 in the Sofiensaal: "Attendance at the festivity was much better than in the previous year. Among the guests were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Count Mensdorf, almost all the professors of the School of Medicine, as well as dancers Fanny Elssler and Miss Couqui. Everybody danced enthusiastically and tirelessly to the beautiful strains of the Strauss orchestra, which presented the new waltz by Josef Strauss, Heilmethoden, before the interval. It is a charming composition, the melodies of which had an electrifying effect on the dancers. As usual, the orchestra played the waltz composed in honour of the physicians, and repeated it. It is self-evident that the performance of the piece received the liveliest applause".
The piano edition of the work was distributed to music shops just three days later, on 19th January 1866. That the waltz did not receive its due afterwards may be attributable to the fact that in the following years, Josef Strauss provided the physicians with two masterpieces: in 1867, with the waltz Delirien, Op. 212, and in 1868, with the waltz Sphärenklänge, Op. 235, but the waltz Heilmethoden also deserves to be recognised by posterity.
 Euterpe, Polka Mazur (Euterpe, Polka Mazurka), Op. 82
The polka mazurka Euterpe by Josef Strauss was created during the first half of the Carnival season of 1860 and was first performed under its composer during the artists ball held on 22nd January at Sperls. The name of the work was mentioned for the first time, however, in the announcements of the charity ball of the brothers Johann and Josef Strauss, which took place on 13th February 1860 in the Sofiensaal. The motto of this ball was: "Carnival perpetuum mobile Non-stop Dancing". Each conductor directed his own orchestra, which played alternately and offered the dancers a programme of approximately fifty dances.
Of course, all the novelties already played before this date during the Carnival of 1860 were performed. These were, in Josef Strausss case, the waltz Die Zufälligen, Op. 85, the polkas Adamira, Op. 76, Figaro, Op. 83, Cupido, Op. 81, and the polka mazurka Euterpe, which, however, did not appear in print until as late as June 1860.
The title of the work, derived from the name of the Greek goddess of lyric poetry and music, especially flute playing, reminds us of the fact that in January 1860, an orchestra of the "Euterpe" artists association had presented itself to the public. The musicians under the conductor Franz von Suppés baton had offered a sophisticated programme in the old Zeughaus am Hof, but critical reports were so negative that further performances obviously did not take place. The polka mazurka Euterpe was received more favourably: the work was constantly featured in the programmes during the following months. It was performed by the Strauss orchestra at the balls and the Carnival revue in the Volksgarten, as well as at concerts, until the summer, after which it disappeared into the archives.
 Die Soubrette, Polka (schnell) (The Soubrette, Quick Polka), Op. 109
In France as well as Austria until far into the nineteenth century, a soubrette was understood to be a cunningly sly maid, aware of her personal charms. The title page of the piano edition of the polka Die Soubrette by Josef Strauss shows unequivocally a coquettish domestic servant in lavish attire, who is pinning a small bouquet of flowers to the ample décolletage of her dress. In the theatre, the rôle of the soubrette evolved only when the operetta flourished. In the summer of 1861, when Josef Strauss composed this smart polka, the term soubrette was still not used for a female dancer/singer.
There exist different indications as to the place and time of the première of this work. Franz Sabay noted: "Die Soubrette, 6th August 1861, at Dommayers". This may not be correct, because a Strauss concert had been advertised for that date in the Volksgarten. Josef Strauss wrote in his notes: "Die Soubrette, 8th August 1861, at Dommayers". Furthermore, the polka had also been advertised as a novelty for the festivity of 15th August 1861 in the Neue Welt. It is most likely that the polka Die Soubrette was presented for the first time on 6th August in the Volksgarten, being repeated on the 8th as well as on the 15th of the said month. The smart and amusing work surely met with enthusiastic applause. It belongs to the great number of compositions written by Josef Straus in the summer of 1861, which were universally liked by audiences, but which nevertheless had to give way to the upcoming novelties in the repertoire of the Strauss orchestra. Such were the rules of the "waltz business."
Translated by: Dr. Luis de la Vega, Professional Translating Services, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
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