Johann Strauss Snr Edition Vol. 4
 Schwarz'sche Ball-Tanze, Op. 32, (im Saale zum SperlCotillons nach beliebten Motiven aus der Oper: Die Stumme von Portici)
(Schwarz Ball Dances at the Sperl, Cotillons, afterfavourite melodies from the opera La muette de Portici)
In the 1830s the distinguished actor Carl Schwarz(1768-1838) from the Imperial Court Theatre organized at least two societyballs every Carnival for his colleagues on the Vienna stage, his friends andacquaintances. Schwarz always chose the best ball-rooms in proper rotation,together with music directors. For his ball at the Sperl it was the turn ofJohann Strauss, who dedicated a new composition to the organizer and presentedit at his own benefit ball on 25th November 1829 at the Sperl, together withhis Charmant Waltz, The Composer's Best Fancy. The work was carefully chosen.At society balls great store was set by figure dances, prepared bydancing-masters and arranged for the ball evening.
Contredanses came into fashion in Vienna in the eighteenthcentury. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart too did not disdain to write such compositionsfor balls at the Redoutensaal at which he himself was a keen dancer. In hisball-dances for Carl Schwarz, Johann Strauss put together five sections intriple time, each with a trio, and after the fifth section a long coda. He tookthe melodies from the music written by Daniel Fran?ºois Auber for his opera Lamuette de Portici (The Mute Girl from Portici), first performed at the GrandOpera in Paris on 2nd February 1828. Always up-to-date in his music, Strausspresented important melodies from the opera in his Cotillons before the firstperformance of the opera at the Josephstadt Theatre in Vienna on 9th April1829.
 Charmant-Polka (Charming Polka)
Johann Strauss's Charmant Polka is the first of five polkaspreserved in the Vienna City and District Library. It appeared with theCharmant Waltz in the collection The Composer's Best Fancy, Op. 31, in 1829. Itis conceivable that the polka was performed for the first time together withthe waltz at the Catherine Ball, a benefit for Strauss, on 25th November 1829at the Sperl.
The composer was particularly interested in presentinghimself to the public at the Sperl as a versatile musician and composer.Although this unpublished polka is not especially striking, it predates thearrival of the Bohemian polka in Vienna by ten years. The latter were firstpresented in Vienna in 1839 by the Prague conductor Perger. From then onwardsStrauss wrote only polkas following the Prague model. The first work in the latterseries, which continued until 1849 (Alice Polka, Frederica Polka) was the SperlPolka, Op. 133, of 1842.
 Vive la Danse! Walzer, Op. 47 (Vive la Danse! Waltz)
In the middle of the catastrophic year of 1831, JohannStrauss organized a summer festival for his benefit at the Dommayer inHietzing. The Viennese were still living happy and carefree lives, despite thethreat of an outbreak of cholera approaching Vienna from Poland. Friends ofStrauss's music took every opportunity to hear and dance to the Waltz King'snew compositions. To this end a festival was announced at Dommayer's tocelebrate Strauss and enjoy his new waltzes.
The novelty of the occasion is perfectly expressed in thetitle Vive la Danse!. Strauss had written a charming waltz which, after a shortintroduction, consisted of five numbers and an expressive and almost rollickingcoda. The skipping melody of the first part immediately puts the listener underits spell with its infectious good humour. The subsequent well-crafted waltznumbers, consisting of sixteen- and eight-bar periods, increased the success ofthe new composition. The summer festival at Dommayer's brought the composer,who presented his work with inimitable verve and elan, complete success.
The waltz Vive la Danse! was also triumphant six yearslater, when Strauss presented the work at the Gymnase musical in Paris to apublic that included the greatest contemporary masters of French music: Adam,Auber, Cherubini, Halevy, Meyerbeer and the dance-master Philippe Musard, amongwhom Strauss achieved unanimous approval and full recognition.
 Fortuna-Galopp, Op. 69 (Fortuna Galop)
Since Strauss had taken over the music at the Sperl in October1829, the establishment run by Johann Georg Scherzer in the Leopoldstadt hadbeen at the height of its popularity. One of the consequences was that on 9thJanuary 1834, Scherzer had to extend the Sperl by opening the Fortuna Room. Itwas a spacious ball-room, splendidly fitted out and Strauss, of course, playedon the opening evening. The event was crowded and Strauss, as was expected,brought with him a new composition. It was a cheerful galop, with the titleFortuna Galop.
The new work had immediate success and was danced withenthusiasm, as far as was possible in the overcrowded room. Strauss had thoughtup a rapid galop with, after four introductory bars and an energetic signal forthe dance to begin, two sixteen-bar sections with electrifying melodies. Afterthe usual da capo, came a novelty, a 22-bar coda that forced the unaccustomeddancers to a special feat of endurance.
It goes without saying that the new Fortuna Polka wasimmediately popular and had to be played at all the subsequent balls in theFortuna Room. The publisher Tobias Haslinger was able to offer the pianoversion of the work on 5th February 1834, and one may take it that he did goodbusiness with the Fortuna Polka. A few years later the Krenn publishing-housebrought out a new edition by Max Schonherr. This version, too, won immediatepopularity.
 Heiter auch in ernster Zeit, Walzer, Op. 48 (Cheerfultoo at a Serious Time)
In the years 1830 and 1831 the people of Vienna were hauntedby several disasters. In February 1830 the Danube, then a single channel inVienna, burst its banks and submerged the surrounding districts under a metreof water. Johann Strauss's family, too, had to take refuge.
In the summer of 1831 a cholera epidemic from thePolish-Russian war zone spread to Austria, and moved without impediment fromCracow to the densely populated districts on the Danube. In August it wasapparent that cases of cholera would occur in Vienna. Primitive remedialmeasures were sought in vain to keep the epidemic away, and the prayers andconsolatory texts that appeared in the Wiener Zeitung were of no use. Far toolate the Emperor Franz I ordered the construction of drainage channels to holdback, as far as possible, the centre of the epidemic.
In this situation Johann Strauss organized at the Sperl anevening entertainment 'in aid of those in distress or in need of help in thepresent circumstances' and repeated there on 24th August 1831, when thedisaster was announced, the waltz that he had first offered at his benefitsummer festival at the Sperl under the title Wien, wie es ist (Vienna, as itis), to which he now gave the title Cheerful too at a Serious Time.
This charming, heartening work, which had been greeted inthe summer with great public enthusiasm, had to preserve its magic. It was onceagain met with decided approval. During this really serious period, when theWiener Zeitung regularly published announcements of the victims of theepidemic, the sick and the dead, the thrilling energy and positive mood of thismusic was absolutely necessary.
It served the same purpose to