ZIEHRER: Selected Dances and Marches, Vol. 4

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Carl Michael Ziehrer (1843-1922)Volume 4Without doubt, the greatest of all rivals to the superiorityof the Strauss brothers was Carl Michael Ziehrer. His long musical career hadsimilarities with that of the younger Johann Strauss, with the noted exceptionthat Ziehrer was three times a military bandmaster, a fact that introduced anoften brash and swaggering style into his compositions. This, combined with theinfluence of local folk-music, provides a recipe that is refreshingly differentfrom his contemporaries. Ziehrer was launched with a brand new orchestra in1863 at the Dianasaal by Carl Haslinger, an event sprung by the publisher asrevenge against the Strauss brothers because of a financial disagreement. Thiswas not entirely spontaneous, however, as Ziehrer's father, a prosperoushatter, had financed his son's musical education at the Vienna Conservatory inreturn for a contract with Haslinger to publish his compositions.            Despitethe initial fanfare, Ziehrer found the competition from all three Straussbrothers daunting, and often had to perform in the suburbs to make a living.Nevertheless, as he tirelessly pursued his career with one engagement afteranother, his activities soon attracted the attention of the press; his stylewas likened in one early article to that of Joseph Lanner, who of course hadbeen the older Strauss's prime competitor. Probably as a result of financialpressures, he accepted a three-year contract with the army as a bandmaster in1870. Returning to civilian life he formed an orchestra in record time to playat the 1873 Vienna World Exhibition. He also founded the musical journalDeutsche Musik-Zeitung which became one of the prime sources of musicalinformation of the late nineteenth century.            Ziehrerchanged his publisher to Doblinger, and rejoined the army for another spell,discharging himself in 1877. It was soon after that he took over in Vienna manyof Eduard Strauss's musicians who were reluctant to follow the latter on anextended overseas tour, naming the orchestra 'The Former Eduard StraussOrchestra'. This led Eduard Strauss to take out an injunction against the useof the title, which had, in fact, been demanded by the musicians themselves. In1879 Ziehrer visited Bucharest with a reconstituted orchestra and becameclosely involved with the Royal family, and then went to Budapest to stage anow lost operetta. He met his future wife Marianne Edelmann, a popular operettasinger, while performing in Berlin in 1881.             Itwas not until Ziehrer's third spell as a bandmaster with the Hoch-undDeutschmeister Regiment in 1885 that he fully recovered his reputation inVienna and within days he was raising the standards of military bandperformance to previously unknown heights, attracting huge crowds. At civilianconcerts many of his players dropped their percussion and brass instruments andtook up strings, a common practice at the time. He had at last found his ownidentity and many of his best dance compositions were written over the nextdecade. He played at innumerable balls and functions, many for charity, and wasregarded very much as a peoples' man.             Thepeak of Ziehrer's military career came with an invitation in 1893 to representAustria at the Chicago World Fair, where he played nightly. At the same eventSousa conducted with his band, much being made later of probably fictitiouscompetition. Ziehrer continued to tour the United States, outstaying his leave,only to be dismissed with his orchestra by the authorities on his return. Heaccepted an engagement to Berlin, taking his players with him under the titleof the Chicagoer Konzert-Kapelle and toured no less than 41 German cities andtowns, playing with precision and verve. Still very popular, he returned toVienna and formed a new orchestra to perform at daily engagements all over thecity. After an abortive attempt to play in London, he fell ill from overworkand retired to the Austrian mountains. At this stage he decided to turnseriously to operetta following half-hearted earlier attempts, of which onlypieces from Konig Jer??me are remembered, the score being destroyed in thetragic fire at the Ringtheater in 1881. His first big break came in 1899, theyear of the death of Johann Strauss and Carl Millocker, with Die Landstreicher,which broke all records to date, running for over 1500 performances. This hefollowed with Der Fremdenf??hrer, Die drei W??nsche, Der Schatzmeister and FescheGeister. Of these, only Die Landstreicher and Der Fremdenf??hrer are stilloccasionally performed, though at the time his operettas found their way intomost continental European cities and some were played on Broadway. With hishome-grown style and very Viennese librettos they did not travel as well asthose of some of his contemporaries. Like Johann Strauss he publishedarrangements, dances and songs from his operettas, many becoming well known andoutlasting the stage work itself.            Inthe twilight period prior to the outbreak of the First World War, Ziehreroperettas kept to the form of the so called Golden Era, soon to be overtaken bythe more romantic style of the Silver Age, started by his friend Franz Lehar.In 1909 the Emperor Franz Joseph appointed him to the position of ImperialCourt Ball Director in recognition of his popularity and contribution to music.Up to the outbreak of war, he composed further stage works including Ein tollesMadel, Der Liebeswalzer, Ball bei Hof, Der Husarengeneral, and Das dumme Herz,the latter with Alexander Girardi in the leading r??le. Giving up his ownorchestra, he became active as a guest conductor, along with Franz Lehar, LeoFall and Oscar Straus. With Lehar, he was instrumental in forming a permanentorchestra to perform popular music to a consistently high standard, from whichemerged the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, but the war destroyed him, and hisfortune went, together with the Empire. In 1914 he conducted the very lastCourt Ball. He died penniless, the last of the original 'waltz kings', havingproduced little after 1915. Nevertheless he has kept his place in the hearts ofthe Viennese.             Somelimited film footage and sound recordings were made, and a film of Ziehrer'slife was produced by Willi Forst in 1949. Professor Max Schonherr, long-timeconductor of the Vienna Radio Orchestra, arranger, composer, recording artist,and musicologist, published the largest ever dissertation on a light musiccomposer in 1974, entitled Carl Michael Ziehrer, Sein Werk, Sein Leben, SeineZeit, an invaluable source of reference in the production of notes for thisseries. In 1952 he arranged a posthumous operetta entitledDeutschmeisterkapelle, and during his lifetime played a major r??le in keepingZiehrer's music alive.             Ziehrer'slegacy includes some six hundred dance pieces and marches, and 23 full-lengthoperettas. This series of recordings brings an orchestral selection from hislife's works, introducing many world-premi?¿re recordings of his lesser knowncompositions in addition to the more familiar. It is hoped that it will bringmuch enjoyment from a composer whose talent has been overlooked for too long.[1]       WeanerMadl'n Walzer (Viennese Girls Waltz) Op.388As popular as Weaner Burger (see Vol.1) the introduction ofthe Weaner Madl'n waltz includes a whistling sequence, a novelty created byZiehrer. The waltz is most suited to concert performance. First performed atDreher's Etablissement in Vienna on 23rd January 1888 during his tenure asbandmaster of the Hoch und-Deutschmeister Regiment, the waltz ultimatelyestablished i
Item number 8223817
Barcode 730099381727
Release date 04/01/2003
Category Romantic
Label Marco Polo
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Composers Ziehrer, Carl Michael
Ziehrer, Carl Michael
Conductors Pollack, Christian
Pollack, Christian
Orchestras Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra
Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra
Producers Betko, Milos
Betko, Milos
Disc: 1
Seculo nuovo, vita nuova, Walzer, Op. 498
1 Weaner Mad'ln, Walzer, Op. 388
2 Augensprach, Polka Mazur, Op. 120
3 Duck' dich, Manderl!, Marsch, Op. 548
4 Liebesgeheimnis, Polka, Op. 538
5 Liebeswalzer, Op. 537
6 Frauenlogik, Polka Mazur, Op. 445
7 Ohne Sorgen, Polka schnell, Op. 104
8 Natursanger, Walzer, Op. 415
9 Ein Blumchen im Verborgenen, Polka Mazur, Op. 202
10 Buberl, komm'! Walzer, Op. 505
11 Konig von Sachsen, Marsch, Op. 64
12 In Reih' und Glied, Polka francaise, Op. 159
13 Seculo nuovo, vita nuova, Walzer, Op. 498
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