STRAUSS I, J.: Edition - Vol. 10 (Ernst Marzendorfer/ Mirko Krajci/ Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina) (Marco Polo: 8.225286)
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Johann Strauss I Edition, Vol. 10
[Track 1] Künstler-Ball-Tänze (Artists' Ball Dances), Walzer, Op. 94
On 17 January 1837 an artists' ball was held at The Golden Pear in the Vienna suburb of Landstrasse. Johann Strauss, who was in charge of the ball music, presented his latest waltz, composed specially for this festival, under the title Es lebe die Kunst! (Long live art!). The critic Franz Wiest, who a few years later was to quip "Good night, Lanner! Good evening Strauss the Father! Good morning, Strauss the Son!", did not go too deeply into the work, but made a plea for more harmony between the artists, such as they had shown at the ball to the sounds of Strauss's Muse. In fact he presided over an almost unbridgeable gap between the formalism of the Academy of Visual Arts and the greater naturalist tendencies of the Nazarenes. With the title Es lebe Kunst! Strauss had hit on a diplomatically clever choice; in the printed edition, however, the work was renamed and known thereafter as Künstler-Ball-Tänze. In the dedication a little error crept in: the waltz should have been dedicated not to the Society of Visual Arts (which did not exist) but to the Society of Visual Artists.
[Track 2] Cotillons nach Motiven der Oper Die Hugenotten (Cotillons on motifs from the opera The Huguenots), Op. 92
When a new opera had a Vienna première, the leaders of the many dance ensembles in the city took all imaginable pains to be able to provide their public as quickly as possible with compositions that were compiled from melodies from the new work. Strauss had almost always a nose for this, yet sometimes he overshot the mark, as happened in the case of The Huguenots of Giacomo Meyebeer. The first performance of Strauss's Cotillons on motifs from this opera was given on 12 January 1837 at The Golden Pear, while it was fully two and a half years before The Huguenots was staged in Vienna in a textually and musically greatly altered version. Strauss had underestimated the working of the censor, who balked at the opera's treatment of the conflict between Catholics and Protestants in sixteenth-century France and, with his demand for a comprehensive toning down, brought about the delay of the first performance. Thus Strauss was not able to profit from the presence of the opera in the musical life of Vienna, yet there remained for him the merit of being one of the first to have made Vienna music-lovers familiar with the opera's melodies.
[Track 3] Die Nachtwandler (The Sleepwalkers), Walzer, Op. 88
"The first waltz is a Tadolini sigh, in 3/4; in the third, where the violins ascend to dizzying heights, a sleepwalker is seen climbing up on the roof; the coda is the waking from a dream, the measured breathing of somnambulism; after the coda the waltzing couple of sleepwalkers go back from the salon into the garden to the remains of the chicken and Weidling, then the sleepwalking stops; with the waiter's bill everyone wakes up from that sleepwalking." So does a contemporary commentator describe the musical novelty at the ball on 23 March 1836 at Donmayer's Casino and its effect on the public. Weidling is a wine from the Klosterneuburg district; Eugenia Tadolini was a celebrated performer in the title rôle of Bellini's La sonnambula. This and similar commentaries persuaded Strauss to make it clear that his waltz had nothing to do with the opera. Rather it took its name from the motto of the ball, billed as 'Ball in the Moon', inspired by the latest discoveries of the British astronomer John Frederick William Herschel.
[Track 4] Beliebte Sperl-Polka (Popular Sperl Polka), Op. 133
Already at the beginning of the 1840s in the entertainment business attractive titles were taken from series of events. At the Sperl on Thursdays during Carnival, so-called Fortune Balls were held. For Saturdays, 'Popular Rococo Balls' were announced and it was with such an event that the leading Vienna establishment opened the season on 8 January 1842. At the same time an extension on the first floor was inaugurated, which promised the very large number of guests increased pleasure in dancing. Strauss, who since autumn 1829 had had his stronghold at the Sperl, wrote for this occasion a new polka, named after the establishment. After Sperl Festival Waltzes, Op. 30, his first composition for the place, and Sperl Galop, Op. 42, in 1831, this was the third work he had named after the establishment to which he owed so much. When the polka appeared in print it had the title Popular Sperl Polka, the adjective taken by Strauss and his publisher Haslinger from the ball advertisements.
[Track 5] Erinnerung an Deutschland (Reminiscence of Germany), Walzer, Op. 87
On 10 February 1836 Strauss organized a benefit ball for himself. Its motto, "Carnival on the ground floor and the first floor" was taken from a play by Johann Nestroy that, under the title On the ground floor and the first floor or The Whims of Luck, was first performed on 24 September 1835 at the Theater an der Wien. Two days before the benefit there appeared in the Theater Zeitung, a publication always well disposed to Strauss, an announcement of the festival, with the following on the choice of title: "Nestroy's representation has aroused such a sensation that the novelty is to be noted as a winner by most stage directors. The establishments at the Sperl are now arranged with two ball-rooms, of which one is on the ground floor, the other on the first!" With the waltz novelty for this occasion, Reminiscence of Germany, Strauss advertised his own activities. Here he wanted to remind the public of the unreported concert tour of a whole orchestra that he had undertaken with his musicians in the autumn of 1835, a successful three-month tour to Munich, Wiesbaden, Frankfurt and Nuremberg.
[Track 6] Jubel-Quadrille (Anniversary Quadrille), Op. 130
The custom of celebrating a birthday once a year was first introduced in recent times by Protestant countries. In the nineteenth century Catholics instead celebrated their name-days. If a name was particularly often found in the population, such as Anna or Katharina, the relevant festivities took on the character of a popular celebration. During the reign of Emperor Ferdinand the Feast of St Anne (26 July) took on special importance because of his wife, Maria Anna. In 1841 on the eve of the Empress's name-day in the park in front of the Cortische Coffee-House, where he usually gathered a particularly festive public, Strauss played his Anniversary Quadrille for the first time, a composition written specially for the occasion. The work, according to the Strauss biographer Frank Miller, "is a very lively, rapid, scurrying span of musical delights. This work is marked by esprit and joie de vivre from the first to the last bar and is musically far above the usual run of occasional quadrilles."
[Track 7] Heimath-Klänge (Home Country Sounds), Op. 84
Before Strauss made reference to his triumphs abroad in his waltz sequence Reminiscence of Germany (track 5), he had found it appropriate