A report on Johann Strauss II: The Waltz King

Biography

Johann Strauss II was also known as Johann Baptist Strauss, Johann Strauss Jr., the Younger, or the Son. He was born on 25th October 1825 and died on 3rd June 1899 (Gartenberg 123).

Strauss who was also the most prominent of the Strauss family was born in St. Ulrich and died in Vienna where he was buried at the Zentralfriedhof. As Crittenden indicates, “the composer was of an Austrian nationality and mainly did light music in particular dance music and even operettas” (89). He is also known to have composed quadrilles, polkas, waltzes, ballets, operettas, opera and marches.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Even though his father opposed his pursuit of music, he secretly involved himself in studying the art. He is mostly remembered for some of his great waltz pieces such as “tales from the Vienna woods”, “Kaiser-Walzer”, and “The Blue Danube”. In polka, he is well known for pieces like “Tritsh–Tratsh” and “Pizzicato”. Some of his best-known operettas are “Die Fledermaus” and “Der Zigeunerbaron”.

Chosen pieces

Some of the songs that were incorporated in this report are:

Die Fledermaus (The Bat), overture to the operetta (RV 503-1) (8:31)

Conductor: Martin Sieghart, Genre: waltz.

Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald (Tales from the Vienna Woods), waltz for orchestra, Op. 325 (RV 325) (11:59)

Conductor: Ondrej Lenard. Genre: waltz

Annen-Polka, for orchestra, Op. 117 (RV 117) (4:31)

Conductor: Johannes Wildner: Genre: Polka

Wiener Blut (Vienna Blood), waltz for orchestra, Op. 354 (RV 354) (8:29)

Conductor: Ondrej Lenard. Genre: waltz

Rosen aus dem Suden (Roses from the South), waltz for orchestra, Op. 388 (RV 388) (8:25)

Conductor: Ondrej Lenard. Genre: waltz

Sources

The main sources of reading are:

Jacob, H. E. Johann Strauss, Father and Son: A Century of Light Music. The Greystone Press. 1940.

Gartenberg, Egon . Johann Strauss — End of an Era. Pennsylvania State University Press. 1972

Traubner, Richard. Operetta: A theatrical history. Routledge. p. 131

Crittenden, Camille. Johann Strauss and Vienna. Cambridge University Press. p. 89.

Fantel, Hans. The Waltz Kings. William Morrow & Company. p. 76

Ganzl, Kurt. The Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre (3 Volumes). New York: Schirmer Books, 2001

Reason for choosing the composer

The main reason for choosing Johann Strauss was due to his music type. Being a fan of the piano and waltzes, his work was a good combination which is worth any kind of research. As much as his work does not enjoy much popularity in the modern world, Strauss has contributed much from his dance pieces which have been made operetta themes in today’s music world.

Some of his pieces such are “Cagliostro-Walzer” and “Kuss-Walzer” among others have managed to become well known in the modern world of music being able to survive obscurity. His rich background in music having written waltzes, operettas, mazurkas and so many other genres gives one the desire to know more of this great waltz legend (Traubner 131).

Composer’s family

Johann Strauss hails from a musical family in that his father, Johann Strauss, Sr. was a great name in the orchestra in those days. The major problem that he encountered was lack of support from his father who did not want him to engage in music and instead he forced him to be a banker (Ganzl 99).

Due to very huge support from his mother, he managed to get secret violin lessons from one of the leading violinist in the dad’s orchestra, Franz Amon. He was able to acquire full concentration in music as a career when they parted ways with his father after he abandoned them. At this time with additional motherly support, he was able to be a composer (Fantel 76).

Ganzl (99) states, “He studied harmony and counterpoint from Professor Joachim Hoffman in a private school. He also had lessons from a composer, Joseph Drechsler, who taught him harmony too”. He was also a student of Anton Kollman who engaged him in orchestra thus making him have the confidence of seeking authority to perform in Vienna.

He first recruited a small orchestra group though his first performance was at the Dommayer’s in 1844 after successfully convincing the management of his prowess. He was later through several years able to perform to various audiences, both home and away which made him such a great name. One of the greatest performances was in the USA in the late 1970s where he performed the Blue Danube waltz.

Great pieces

Some of the greatest pieces in the list of his songs that I really like are: – The blue Danube: this is a piano piece that is easy to understand and grasp. For any one who would have a choice of practicing, it proves so simple to practice and play. It has a playable arrangement where one can rarely lose the bits.

Roses from the south: the completeness of the music due to the very easy piano transcriptions makes this a great piece to listen to and also to practice with. This piece also has a fine replay by Andre Rieu who did it with a 1667 violin making it so smooth and understandable such that listening to the original part becomes more and more interesting. Andre has tried to put the song in modern day though the original impact of Strauss was the driving key point.

Die Fledermaus (The Bat), overture to the operetta (RV 503-1): this classic has a sweet tempting melody and nice rhythms. It also has plot twists that are quite humorous. The song begins with a motif in a trio where Einstein is put in jail by mistake. The overture opens with a classical allegretto and instances of brutes which have been sounded by horns and flutes. The interrupting applause shows how the piece was like at that time thus falling in as one of my favorites.

Impact

The overall impact of the musician’s pieces was overwhelming. In the first instance, the starting point of his career life was so much grounded by problems like the instances of his father whipping him to “beat music out of him” and challenging career at the beginning (Lamb 56).

This makes me feel that there are various ways which might try to hinder one’s pursuit of something but they should not be obstacles. If Strauss felt and abided to the wishes of his father, we would not be discussing him in this paper. The emotional way in which he has expressed some of his music like the bat gives one a feeling of experience of what goes on in day to day’s life and thus entrench a feeling of responsibility in a person.

Works cited

Crittenden, Camille. Johann Strauss and Vienna. Cambridge University Press. p. 89. 1996. Print.

Ganzl, Kurt. The Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre (3 Volumes). New York: Schirmer Books, 2001. print.

Gartenberg, Egon . Johann Strauss — End of an Era. Pennsylvania State University Press. 1972. print.

Fantel, Hans. The Waltz Kings. William Morrow & Company. p. 76.1987. print

Lamb, Andrew, ‘Strauss, Johann’ in the New Grove Dictionary of Opera, ed. London: Stanley Sadie. 1992. print.

Traubner, Richard. Operetta: A theatrical history. Routledge. p. 131. 1999. print.

x

Hi!
I'm Simon!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out