Dance Music from Old Vienna

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Joseph Lanner / Johann Strauss II / Johann Strauss I /Josef Strauss


In the course of the nineteenth century Vienna won famefor its dance music and, above all, for the waltz, derived from Austriancountry dances, transplanted to the ballroom and thence throughout Europe. Thewaltz craze owed a great deal to the performances of Joseph Lanner and theelder Johann Strauss, and then to the activities of the latter's eldest son,the younger Johann Strauss, who provided dance music for the court and for muchof Europe.


Joseph Lannerwas born in Vienna in 1801 and little isknown of his musical training. He showed remarkable early ability as aviolinist, later matched by his gifts as a composer of dance music. At the ageof twelve he was playing the violin in Michael Pamer's dance orchestra, inwhich the elder Johann Strauss played the viola. In 1818 he established a trioof two violins and guitar, an ensemble which Strauss joined the following year,to be followed by a cellist in 1820. In 1824 he expanded the quintet into astring orchestra. With this ensemble he delighted the Viennese public, with hislandler, waltzes, galops and other dances that soon won wide popularity. Hedeveloped the waltz into a cyclic form, with an introduction, a sequence offive waltzes and a coda. The demand for his services were such that he divided hisband, entrusting one of the ensembles to Strauss, with whom later differencesarose. By 1830 the Viennese public had taken sides, favouring either Lanner or JohannStrauss. Relatively little of Lanner's work is heard today, from 209 publishedcompositions, polkas, marches, galops and landler, and a number that remain inmanuscript. In addition to these dances Lanner arranged opera arias andovertures and wrote a string quartet. He died in Vienna in 1843.


Lanner's Neue Wiener Landler (New Vienna Landler) [1] waspublished as Opus 1 in the summer of 1825 by Anton Diabelli. lt is a sequenceof landler, the triple-metre country dance from which the faster waltz developed.

His Bankett-Polonaise (Banquet Polonaise) [2] was first heard on 13thDecember 1838 at the Leopoldstadt Theatre in Vienna in a Musico-Dramatic Quodlibet.

The Amazonen-Galopp [3] was published in Vienna in 1840. Paired with hisMalapou-Galopp [7], it was written for the St Catherine's Festival Ballon 25th November 1839 at the Goldene Birne (Golden Pear). TheMalapou or Love Dance, like The Bayaderes was the resultof the sensation caused in London by the appearance in October 1838 of Indiandancers at the Adelphi Theatre, with Malapou, a love-dance of the Bayaderes, asexotic in their way as the mythical Amazons. The Steyrische Tanze (StyrianDances) [8], Schubertian in character, were originally part of the divertissementDie Macht der Kunst (The Might of Art) on 22nd January 1841 at theVienna Karntnertor Theatre, with melodies that appeared in many later Viennesesongs. Lanner's Cerrito-Polka [9] takes its name from the Italian dancerFanny Cerrito (1817-1909), the last of the great romantic ballerinas. In April 1836she made her first guest appearance at the

Karntnertor Theatre and danced there again in 1841-42 in AmorsZogling (Cupid's Pupil), a divertissement she staged there herself, theinspiration for Lanner's polka. Lanner caused a sensation in November 1834 onhis first tour to Hungary with his Pest Waltzes. On his third visit toPest in November 1835 he played Die Werber (The Suitors) [10], waltzesof Hungarian flavour, coloured by the spirit of Vienna. The work soon became oneof his most popular. Jagers Lust (Hunter's Delight) [12] was written forthe ball season of 1834, for which he provided eight new works, including thepresent Jagd-Galopp (Hunting Galop), which delighted the public, withits opening horn-call and shot in the finale. The

Marien-Walzer (Maria Waltzes) [13] were writtenfor a Grand May Festival at the Goldene Birne in spring 1839 and werededicated to no less a person than the Russian Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna.


The elder Johann Strauss was born in Vienna in 1804 andfirst met Lanner in Michael Pamer's dance orchestra, before joining his quartetand briefly serving as second conductor in Lanner's newly established band. In1825 he set up his own ensemble, with which he won great popularity. Ten yearslater he was appointed Music Director of Imperial Court Balls. He was, likeLanner, a pioneer in the new foffi1 of the waltz, to which he made acharacteristic contribution in more than 250 works, establishing theinstrumentation and form followed by his successors. He died in Vienna in 1849.


Salon-Polka [4] is one of only fourteen suchdances written by the elder Johann Strauss, who, like Lanner, did not considerhimself a master of the form.

Nevertheless, with his Sperl-Polka and Annen-Polka

he brought popularity to this duple-metre Bohemian round dance. His thirdexample of the dance was written for a Night Summer Festival in the Vienna Volksgartenin July 1844. In the Carnival of 1828 Strauss took over the direction of musicfor the Domling dance hall Zur Kettenbrucke on the Leopoldstadt bank ofthe Danube canal. His Kettenbrucke-Walzer [5] established him in thefirst rank of waltz composers of the time, the beginning of the rivalry betweenhis supporters and those of Lanner. His Eisele- und Beisele-Sprunge

[6] were first heard in 1847. The young Baron Beisele and his tutor Dr Eiselewere two comic figures invented in the spring of 1846 by the editorial team ofthe Munich humorous magazine Fliegende Blatter (Flying Leaves) and thepair soon won enoffi1ous popularity. The magazine had them setting out on ajourney through Geffi1any, with a stay in Vienna, where Eisele-Beisele feverreached its climax on 14th February 1847 with a ball at the Odeon, the occasionof Strauss's witty polka, which soon won wide popularity.


Discouraged by his father from considering a career inmusic, the younger Johann Strauss, born in 1825, acquired proficiency as aviolinist and in 1844 set up his own dance orchestra, soon in competition withhis father, whose ensemble he took over after the latter's death. Earning thetitle of Waltz King, he undertook concert tours abroad, travelling even as faras the United States. He was Music Director for the Court Balls in Vienna from1863 to 1870 and developed the form of the waltz sequence: With the assistanceof his younger brothers, whom he persuaded to join him, he did much to spreadeven further the popularity of Viennese dance music, and added significantly tothe repertoire of operetta, before his death in Vienna in 1899.


The present release includes two famous examples of thework of the younger Johann Strauss. Pariser-Polka (Paris Polka) [14] wasfirst heard in Paris on 20th February 1879 at the Cercle FranceInternational before a distinguished audience. In December of the previous yearStrauss's operetta Blindekuh (Blind Man's Buff) had been withdrawn aftersixteen performances in Vienna. In January the composer went to Paris and used materialfrom the unsuccessful operetta in his new polka. The marriage of ArchduchessGisela, daughte
Disc: 1
Wiener Blut, Walzer, Op. 354
1 Neue Wiener Landler, Op. 1
2 Bankett-Polonaise, Op. 135
3 Amazonen-Galopp, Op. 148, No. 2
4 Salon-Polka, Op. 161
5 Kettenbrucke-Walzer, Op. 4
6 Eisele und Beisele-Sprunge, Op. 202
7 Malapou-Galopp, Op. 148, No. 1
8 Steyrische Tanze, Op. 165
9 Cerrito-Polka, Op. 189
10 Die Werber, Op. 103
11 Sehnsucht, Polka Mazur, Op. 22
12 Jagers Lust (Jagd-Galopp), Op. 82
13 Marien-Walzer, Op. 143
14 Pariser-Polka, Op. 382
15 Wiener Blut, Walzer, Op. 354
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