Johann Strauss Jr.

Biography

Born: Oct 25, 1825; Austria   Died: Jun 3, 1899; Austria   Period: Romantic
Johann Strauss, Jr. is the first truly well-known composer in those classical genres particular to his hometown, the Viennese waltz and Viennese operetta. The Blue Danube Waltz is not only the most popular of his works in the former category, but is among the most widely played and arranged pieces of its time, known to the most casual listener today from many radio, film and television uses of it.

Johann Strauss, Jr. was born in Vienna on Read more October 25, 1825. He showed remarkable skills early in his childhood, despite his father's opposition to any career in music for any of his three sons. Johann, Sr. wanted him to become a banker, but the younger Strauss had his own ideas, taking violin lessons in secret from a player in his father's band. When Strauss was 17 his father left the family, thus allowing him to begin serious study without encumbrance. His mother, a good amateur violinist who had always encouraged him, remained supportive. Strauss now studied theory with Joseph Drechsler and took violin lessons from Anton Kohlmann. In 1844 young Johann led his first concert and a year later formed his own band, thereby competing with his father's orchestra. He was also writing his own quadrilles, mazurkas, polkas, and waltzes for performance by his ensemble, even conducting works by his father, and receiving praise from the press. He was given the honorary position of Bandmaster of the 2nd Vienna Citizens' Regiment (his father was bandmaster of the 1st regiment) in 1845, and in 1847 began composing for the Vienna Men's Choral Association.

His real success began in 1849 after Johann Strauss, Sr. died. Johann, Jr. merged his father's orchestra with his own and took up his father's contracts. His career moved along smoothly for the next several years, but in 1853 he became seriously ill and turned over conducting duties to his younger brother, Josef, for six months. After his recovery he resumed fully both his conducting and his composing activities, eventually gaining the respect of such composers as Brahms, Wagner, and Verdi for his seemingly unlimited imagination for using melodies.

Strauss married singer Henriette "Jetty" Treffz in August 1862, and they settled in Hietzing. Thereafter, she became his business manager and apparently a great inspiration, drawing him toward operetta, just as Viennese theater operators were becoming tired of the works of Offenbach. His first, Indigo und die vierzig Räuber, came in 1871, and his most famous, Die Fledermaus, was staged three years later with great success. Eine Nacht in Venedig (1883) and Der Zigeunerbaron (1885) were his only other international operetta hits.

In 1872, he traveled to the United States and led highly successful concerts in Boston and New York. For all the success that came in the 1870s for Strauss, there was also much grief: his mother and brother Josef died in 1870, and his wife died suddenly of a heart attack in 1878. Her death devastated him, and the suddenly helpless composer unwisely married the much-younger actress Angelika Dittrich, six weeks later. The marriage lasted only four years, though it may have saved the composer from personal disaster in the months following his wife's death.

Strauss, a Roman Catholic, left the church and had to give up his Austrian citizenship to marry Adele Deutsch in 1887, owing to the Church's unwillingness to recognize his divorce. His new wife, with whom he had lived for a long period before their marriage, seemed to inspire him much like his first wife. In his last years, Strauss remained quite productive and active. He was working on a ballet, Cinderella, when he developed a respiratory ailment which grew into pneumonia. He died on June 3, 1899. Read less

J. Strauss Jr.: Voices Of Spring / Guth, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 02/14/2012   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 29250   Number of Discs: 1
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Strauss Family: Waltzes / Guth, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 10/14/2008   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28150   Number of Discs: 1
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J. Strauss Jr.: Die Fledermaus / Karajan, Schwarzkopf, Gedda
Release Date: 09/21/1999   Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century  
Catalog: 67153   Number of Discs: 2
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Strauss: Die Fledermaus / Bonynge, Gard, Sutherland, Begg
Release Date: 06/30/2009   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4382   Number of Discs: 1
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Strauss Jr, Johann: Simplicius / Volle, Zysset, Et Al
Release Date: 06/10/2003   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2901   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Artist's Life (Künstlerleben)

Browse 1-25 of 78 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5198 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Horacio Nicholls,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Con Conrad,  Arthur Lange  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Fryer,  Ronnie Munro,  Reg Pursglove,  Harold Collins  ... 
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  • 2.
    Legendary Moments From The New Year's Concerts / Vienna Philharmonic [3 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 795206 Release Date: 01/04/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Josef Lanner  ... 
    Performer:  Kathleen Battle,  Lorin Maazel,  Werner Hink
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber,  Herbert von Karajan,  Lorin Maazel,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5463182 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.
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  • 4.
    Ballroom Classics / Willi Boskovsky, Wiener Johann Strauss Orchester
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56571 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Eduard Strauss  ... 
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Johann Strauss Orchestra Vienna,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    New Year's Concert 2002 [k2 Hd Mastering]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 86 Release Date: 03/20/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Joseph Hellmesberger,  Spoken Word  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
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  • 6.
    Essential Johann Strauss II
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 78139 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda,  Rudolf Schock,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Lucia Popp  ... 
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky,  Franz Allers,  Rudolf Kempe,  Fried Walter  ... 
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  • 7.
    New Year's Concert 2002 / Seiji Ozawa, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107189 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  J. "Pepi" Hellmesberger
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 828892 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jacques Offenbach,  Charles Gounod,  Emil Waldteufel  ... 
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky,  Manuel Rosenthal,  Herbert von Karajan,  Efrem Kurtz  ... 
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  • 9.
    Best Waltzes & Polkas 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80455 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jacques Offenbach,  Charles Gounod,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky,  Manuel Rosenthal,  Herbert von Karajan,  Jean-Baptiste Mari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Johann Strauss Orchestra Vienna,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Best Strauss Waltzes: Empire Waltz
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 82153 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky
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  • 11.
    J. Strauss Jr.: Complete Orchestral Edition [52-CD Set]
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8505226 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 52
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Robert Schumann,  Olga Smirnitzkaja
    Performer:  Jozef Sikora,  Regina Jauslin,  Viktor Simcisko,  Katarína Vavreková  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfred Walter,  Richard Edlinger,  Oliver Dohnányi,  Johannes Wildner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Polish National Philharmonic Orchestra Katowice,  Bratislava Slovak State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $148.99
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  • 12.
    Strauss Collection - Early Recordings On 78s (1901-1951)
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 1006/13 Release Date: 04/12/2011   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Spoken Word,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Performer:  Irene Eisinger,  Dajos Bela,  Barnabas Von Geczy,  Marcella Sembrich  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Howard Barlow,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Harry Horlick  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kölner Klavier-Trio
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  • 13.
    The Strauss Family: Waltzes, Polkas / Boskovsky, Wiener Johann Strauss Orchester
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 18744 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Eduard Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky
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  • 14.
    Best Of Classics - Bach, Beethoven, Strauss, Vivaldi, Dvorak, Chopin, Mozart
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4013 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Leos Janácek  ... 
    Performer:  Jiri Reinberger,  Jan Kalfus,  Miroslav Kejmar,  Zuzana Ruzicková  ... 
    Conductor:  Bohumil Kulínsky,  Jaroslav Krcek,  Milan Munclinger,  Josef Vlach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Children's Chorus,  Musica Bohemica,  Ars Rediviva  ... 
    CD: $54.49
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  • 15.
    Edition Ferenc Fricsay Vol 12 - J. Strauss: Waltzes & Polkas
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95629 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RIAS Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 16.
    The Emperor Waltz - Ormandy Conducts Viennese Favorites
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38115 Release Date: 09/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Strauss Jr.: Waltzes; Josef Strauss / Reiner, Chicago Symphony
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 5405 Release Date: 05/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Ultimate Strauss Family - Waltzes, Marches And Polkas / Boskovsky, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001158602 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Eduard Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 19.
    The Ultimate Most Relaxing Strauss Waltzes In The Universe
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17717 Release Date: 07/15/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Conductor:  Alfred Scholz,  Rudolf Kempe,  Peter Falk,  Carl Michalski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 20.
    The Blue Danube - A Strauss Gala / Suitner, Dresden Philharmonic
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 94822 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 21.
    Lehár: Die Lustige Witwe; Johann Strauss Jr: Waltzes / Welser-möst
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 20974 Release Date: 06/10/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Robert Poulton,  Rudolf Schasching,  Elzbieta Szmytka  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
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  • 22.
    Bernstein Favorites - J. Strauss Jr.: Waltzes
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46710 Release Date: 04/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 23.
    Waltz! / Felix Slatkin, Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63659 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Emil Waldteufel
    Conductor:  Felix Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 24.
    The Cleveland Orchestra At Carnegie Hall
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2056578 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz von Suppé
    Performer:  Dorothea Röschmann,  Leif Ove Andsnes
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 25.
    André Rieu - Live In New York At Radio City Music Hall
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17658 Release Date: 09/04/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Sr.,  George Frideric Handel,  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  John Philip Sousa  ... 
    Performer:  André Rieu
    Conductor:  André Rieu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Johann Strauss Orchestra,  Johann Strauss Chorus,  Harlem Gospel Choir
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