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STRAUSS:100 M.Famous Vol.10


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Johann Strauss II(1825-1899)


100 Most Famous WorksVol.10



Johann Strauss II, themost famous and enduringly successful nineteenth century light music composer,was born in Vienna on 25 October 1825. Building upon the firm musicalfoundations laid by his father, Johann Strauss I (1804-1849) and Joseph Lanner(1801-1843), the younger Johann (along with his brothers, Josef and Eduard)achieved so high a development of the classical Viennese waltz that it becameas much a feature of the concert hall as of the ballroom. For more than half acentury Johann II captivated not only Vienna but also the whole of Europe andAmerica with his abundantly tuneful waltzes, polkas, quadrilles and marches.

The appeal of his music bridged all social strata, and his genius was reveredby such masters as Verdi, Brahms and Richard Strauss. The thrice-married"Waltz King" later turned his attention to the composition ofoperetta, and completed 16 stage works (among them Die Fledermaus, EineNacht in Venedig and Der Zigeunerbaron) besides more than 500orchestral compositions - including the most famous of all waltzes, The BlueDanube (1867). Johalm Strauss II died in Vienna on 3 June 1899.



The Marco Polo StraussEdition, from which these recordings were selected, is a milestone in recordinghistory, presenting, for the first time ever, the entire orchestral output ofthe "Waltz King". Despite their supremely high standard of musicalinvention, the majority of the compositions have never before been commerciallyrecorded and have been painstakingly assembled from archives around the world.

All performances featured in this series are complete and, wherever possible,the works are played in their original instrumentation as conceived by the"master orchestrator" himself, Johann Strauss II.



[1] Der Zigeunerbaron(The Gypsy Baron) Overture


During November 1882,the German-Hungarian journalist and author Ignaz Schnitzer (1839-1921)submitted an operetta libretto for Johann Strauss's consideration. Nothing cameof this particular project, but on 31 January 1883 Strauss informed Schnitzerthat while he considered the plot of the delivered libretto too"thin", he hoped to receive a more suitable book from him.



The early days ofFebruary 1883 found Johann once again in Pest to conduct further performancesof Der lustige Krieg: once more, Ad?¿le accompanied him. Strauss probablymade initial contact with Jokai during this visit, and discussed with him thepossibility of a joint theatrical project. It is known that during November1883 - at the very latest - Strauss confirmed his willingness to write themusic for a libretto based on Jokai's novel, Saffi. There was agreement,too, regarding the title for the planned opera (Der Zigeunerbaron) andthat Jokai would send German text in prose form to Schnitzer in Vienna whowould turn them into rhyming verse. From documentary evidence recentlyuncovered by Professor Dr Eberhard W??rzl for his article "Neues zum'Zigeunerbaron': Eine Dokumentation seiner Entstehung" (New Informationabout 'Der Zigeunerbaron': A Documentation of its Genesis), published inthe ?ûsterreichische Musikzeitschrift (1995, Volume 7), it is clear thatJokai played a far more active r??le in the development of Der Zigeunerbaron thanhad hitherto been thought. He did not simply offer his novel Saffi (togetherwith a scenario of the first act) as the basis for Schnitzer's libretto, but hesupplied a complete libretto which Schnitzer adapted as necessary, inconsultation with the author. Jokai also created two additional humorous characters(apparently Ottokar and Zsupan) not to be found in his novel. Furthermore, hesuggested original Hungarian musical motifs to Strauss, including one which isto be heard in the Act 2 'Werberlied' ("Her die Hand"). Strausshimself, it seems, only embarked upon the composition of Der Zigeunerbaron duringFebruary 1884, even though the Budapest press reported at this time that he hadjust completed the composition of Act 1. Remarkably, the Waltz King made solittle headway with the composition that on 28 June 1884 Schnitzer wrote toJokai: "Strauss makes only little progress, and he does not want to commithimself to complete the composition by the end of January [1885] ... On WednesdayI shall visit him at his estate - if he does not give me a binding undertakingthen, I should have - though with a heavy heart - to withdraw the entire thingfrom him. In this case, perhaps Suppe would do the composition; he would at allevents give us the guarantee that the first performance could take place earlyin February... I have told Strauss that further changes to the book willabsolutely not be made...".



Johann Strauss workedon the score of Der Zigeunerbaron for longer than had hitherto been hispractice with stage works. During this period, the project changed from itsconception as an Hungarian comic opera into an Austro-Hungarian operetta. Atthe operetta's opening night at the Theater an der Wien on 24 October 1885,coincidentally the eve of the composer's 60th birthday, the Viennese public wasaware it had witnessed a masterpiece. In his assessment of the "great,exceedingly splendid triumph" achieved by Der Zigeunerbaron at itsopening night, the critic for the Fremden-Blatt (25.10.1885) observed:"The man who for decades has delighted the music-loving world through hiscreations, appears now to have reached the zenith of his creative power". Thereviewer for the Morgen-Blatt (25.10.1885) was no less impressed by what hehad wih1essed: "The music by Johann Strauss brought surprises in manyrespects. Firstly, it is certainly more carefully worked, more richlyinstrumented and more significant in its style of construction than any of hisearlier stage works. Secondly, it makes a noticeable effort to grasp the styleof grand opera, which may perhaps have been brought about by the libretto... Thefirst finale, with its great tension, the energetic build-up and the effectiveuse of all the colours in the musical palette, breaks out from the artisticform of operetta and could hold its own with honour in a grand opera".



Strauss commenced hisoverture for Der Zigeunerbaron with music based on the orchestral Allegromoderato passage accompanying the Act 1 Finale (No. 7) ensemble,"Dschingrah, Dschingrah", a scene in which the gypsies return totheir native region. A flute cadenza leads into the Andantino section ofthe overture, comprising thematic material from a later section of the Act 1Finale, sung by Saffi to the words "Hier in diesem Land Eure Wiegestand". By way of a lighthearted contrast, the Allegretto moderato

which follows is taken from the Act 2 Trio (No. 9) for Saffi, Czipra andBarinkay to the words "Darum nur klopfe, klopfe, klopfe, klopfe, klopf' anjedem Stein". After a melodramatic intermezzo (marked Pi?? Allegro

in the August Cranz published piano/vocal score, but otherwise untraceable inthe operetta), Strauss offers for the Tempo di Valse passage the stagework's principal waltz theme from the Act 2 Finale (No. 13), "So vollErohlichkeit", sung first by Arsena and Mirabella. An Allegro moderato

follows which appears as an orchestral interlude in the Act 1 Finale, and thencomes a 7-bar quotation from Count Homonay's Act 2 'Werberlied' (No. 12 1/2,"Her die Hand"). Next is heard a 10-bar Andantino sectiontaken from the chorus "Das war kein rechter Schifferknecht" fr
Facts
Item number 8554526
Barcode 636943452622
Release date 01/03/2000
Category Romantic
Label Naxos Classics
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Performers
Composers II, Johann Strauss
I, Johann Strauss
Conductors Walter, Alfred
Dohnanyi, Oliver
Lenard, Ondrej
Orchestras Polish State Philharmonic Orchestra
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
Disc: 1
Radetzky Marsch, Op. 228
1 Der Zigeunerbaron, Overture
2 Phonix-Schwingen, Walzer, Op. 125
3 Im Krapfenwaldl, Polka francaise, Op. 336
4 Lagunen-Walzer, Op. 411
5 Ritter Pasman Csardas, Op. 441
6 Bei uns z'Haus, Walzer, Op. 361
7 Vergnugungszug, Polka schnell, Op. 281
8 Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald, Walzer, Op. 325
9 Neue Pizzicato-Polka, Op. 449
10 Radetzky Marsch, Op. 228
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