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STRAUSS:100 M.Famous Works V.8

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Johann Strauss II(1825-1899)

100 Most Famous WorksVol. 8

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] Indigo und dievierzig Rauber (Indigo and the Fosty Thieves) Overture

The overture to Indigound die vierzig Rauber demonstrates that, with his first stage work, JohannStrauss was trying to free himself from the tag of 'Waltz King': not one of thespirited waltz melodies in the operetta features in the overture. However, asHanslick noted in his first night review (Neue Freie Presse, 12.02.1871):"When in the middle of the overture such a Pied Piper of a polka theme["Was mag in den Sacken drinne stecken?": later used as theme 1A inStrauss's Im Sturmschritt! Schnellpolka op. 348] suddenly appeared, theunheard of occurred - the galleries, even at this point, broke out intojubilant applause: the people plainly believed themselves to be in the Volksgarten".

The unusual pianissimo beginning of the timpani in the IndigoOverture leads first to a march-like Introduction, which thendevelops into a flowing theme in French Opera comique style, which is dissolvedonly after some time through the melodious vision of a dream (Moderato assaifrom the Finale of Act 2, No. 17 in the piano / vocal score). A brisk Allegrotransition leads into Fantasca's Allegretto moderato song"Folget Eures Hauptmanns Ruf und Gebot" 'Follow your captain'scalling and orders' (No. 9, from the beginning of Act 2), which changesdirectly into an extensive, and very rhythmical quotation from the closingmusic (accompanying the text "Was mag in den Sacken drinne stecken?"'What is hidden inside those sacks?', Act 3 Finale, No. 23). A resumption ofthe Allegro theme of the overture leads into Alibaba's "Auftrittslied"'Entrance Song' (Act 1, No. 2). Finally, the effective Act 3 closing musicmakes a reappearance, leading into the final Stretta.

Johann Strauss himselfconducted the overture to Indigo und die vierzig Rauber at theoperetta's opening night at the Theater an der Wien on 10 February 1871. Thefirst concert performance of the overture followed just over a week later whenEduard Strauss, the composer's brother, conducted it with the Strauss Orchestraat a promenade concert in the Vienna Musikverein on Sunday 19 February 1871.

[2] 's gibt nur aKaiserstadt, 's gibt nur a Wien

(There's only oneVienna!), Polka Op. 291

Johann derived thetitle of this polka from the refrain of a waltz duet in Aline, a 'Singspiel'(musical comedy) by Adolf Bauerle; with music by Wenzel M??ller, first seen atthe Theater in der Leopoldstadt on 9 October 1822. The song, "Was machtdenn der Prater", became an immensely popular hit, while its refrain - "Janur ein' Kaiserstadt, ja nur ein Wien" (Yes, only one Imperial city, yesonly one Vienna) became a household phrase. Strauss's polka uses no music fromAline, though into its Finale he appropriately weaves a quotation from thebeginning of Haydn's Austrian Hymn. ("Gott erhalte"). Johannconducted the Strauss Orchestra in the first Viennese performance of 'S gibtnur a Kaiserstadt! 'S gibt nur a Wien! on 4 December 1864 at a festivalconcert in the Volksgarten celebrating the twentieth anniversary of his publicdebut at Dommayer's Casino. Like so many of Johann's compositions dating fromthe 1860s, however, 'S gibt nur a Kaiserstadt! 'S gibt nur aWien! was actually unveiled before a Russian audience during one ofJohann's highly successful summer concert seasons at Pavlovsk. Strauss featuredthe polka for the first time on the programme of his penultimate concert at theVauxhall Pavilion on 8 October 1864 (= 26 September, Russian calendar),performing it under its original title of Vergi?ƒ mein nicht ('Forget menot').

[3] Nachtfalter,Walzer (Moths, Waltz) Op. 157

In August 1854 Austriaformed an alliance with Great Britain and France, who were waging war in theCrimea against Russia in order to protect the Turkish Empire form the Tsar.

Austria's action incurred the ire of the Tsar, who now threatened reprisalsagainst the Danube monarchy. Aside from the political situation, a virulent newmenace threatened Vienna in autumn 1854, as many fell victim to a choleraepidemic.

Thus, events insideand outside Vienna during the second half of that year so distracted itspeoples that the centres of entertainment in the Austrian Capital were hardpressed to entice audiences through their doors. Even Johann Strauss's waltz Nachtfalter,composed for a parish festival ball at Unger's Casino in the suburb ofHernals on 28 August failed to attract the attention it deserved, though itlater proved immensely popular with Russian in Pavlovsk. Particularly winsomeare the Introduction and opening waltz number, suggesting first the whirringwings and then the circling flight of the moth. Franz Liszt, too was aware ofthe work's charms, and was observed at some festive occasion most earnestlyentreating his daughter Cosima to play Nachtfalter with him as a pianoduet.

[4] Postillon D'Amour,Polka Fran?ºaise

(Love's Messenger,French polka) Op.317

Devotees of theposthumous Johann Strauss operetta Wiener Blut ('Vienna Blood', 1899)will recognise the opening melodies of the composer's French polka PostilIond'amour from Act 1 of the stage work: calling to the housemaid, Anna, theCount's personal valet, Josef, emerges on-stage singing "Ich such' jetztda, ich such' jetzt dort" (No. 1A), which is based on themes 1A and1B of the orchestral polka. In constructing this aria, the arranger of WienerBlut, Adolf M??ller junior (1839-1901), turned to an orchestral polka whichthe Waltz King had composed at the height of hi
Disc: 1
Russischer Marsch, Op. 426
1 Indigo und die vierzig Rauber, Overture
2 'S gibt nur a Kaiserstadt, 's gibt nur a Wien, Pol
3 Nachtfalter, Walzer, Op. 157
4 Tik-Tak-Polka, Polka schnell, Op. 365
5 Nordseebilder, Walzer, Op. 390
6 Freikugeln, Polka schnell, Op. 326
7 Seid umschlungen, Millionen, Walzer, Op. 433
8 Annen-Polka, Op. 117
9 Morgenblatter, Walzer, Op. 279
10 Postillon d'amour, Polka francaise, Op. 317
11 Russischer Marsch, Op. 426
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