Johann Strauss Sr.

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Biography

Born: March 14, 1804   Died: September 25, 1849   Country: Austria   Period: Romantic
Johann Strauss I is one of the most important composers of nineteenth century Viennese light music. While his son, Johann Jr., has rightly surpassed him in fame and stature, he must still be assessed as an important figure in the genre, not simply because of his influence on his sons and other composers, but because of the occasional high quality of his music. His melodies tend not to flow smoothly in their brevity or in their motif-like collage Read more structure, and his harmonies are not particularly inventive. Still, he was able to fashion attractive music in the Viennese waltz genre owing to his understanding of its nature -- indeed, he was central to its evolution in the nineteenth century. Moreover, he possessed the ability to convey the best case for his works through his superior conducting skills. He had moments of genuine inspiration and created several memorable works, including the Loreley-Rhein-Klänge (1844) and Radetsky-Marsch (1848). In addition, he had a keen sense for employing popular themes from the works of other composers, as with his Walzer ŕ la Paganini, Op. 11.
Although Johann Strauss had shown musical talent in his childhood, he began apprenticeship in bookbinding at age 13, while still taking lessons on the violin from Polischansky. Around this time he began playing viola for Michael Pamer in his dance orchestra. There he befriended Joseph Lanner, who would also make a name for himself as a composer in the light music genre. Lanner formed a trio which Strauss joined at the age of 15. As the group grew to orchestra size, young Johann took on greater responsibilities, finally becoming conductor of Lanner's second orchestra, which had splintered from the main ensemble. By this time, Strauss had studied theory with Ignaz von Seyfried, but had not yet delved into composition.
In July 1825, Strauss married Maria Anna Streim and three months later she gave birth to Johann Jr. A month before the birth, Strauss had left his post with Lanner to form his own band, comprised of some of Lanner's players. He began writing his earliest compositions not long afterward, like the Op. 1 Täuberlin-Walzer and the first of the Kettenbrücken Waltzes, Op. 4.
By the early 1830s, Strauss and his 28-piece dance orchestra had become immensely popular, owing not only to his music, but his deft conducting of it. In 1833, Strauss launched a European tour that included concerts in Germany and France. Berlioz lavished much praise on his music and performances in Paris. In 1838, he made the first of two successful trips to England, the last coming in 1849. He was even invited to play for Queen Victoria's coronation, an event for which he composed his Queen Victoria Waltz.
In 1842, Strauss left his wife and family, an action that freed Johann Jr., to openly study music, a profession his father had discouraged. The elder Strauss had left to live with another woman, Emilie Trampusch. He remained productive as a composer and popular as a performer throughout that decade, though Johann Jr. would form a band and become a serious, if unintended, rival. After performing an engagement at a fashionable establishment in Vienna in September 1849, Strauss, who had contracted scarlet fever from one of the seven illegitimate children he fathered by Emilie Trampusch, became seriously ill. He died six days later, at age 45.
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Work: Radetzky March, Op. 228

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  • 1.
    100 Best Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556480 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Barry Tuckwell,  Mikhail Rudy,  Maria-Joao Pires  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Kent Nagano,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alberto Lysy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Lysy,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 2.
    50 Best Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556482 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Barry Tuckwell,  Mikhail Rudy,  Maria-Joao Pires  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Kent Nagano,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alberto Lysy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Lysy,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 3.
    The Oberlin Orchestra in China
    Label: Oberlin Music   Catalog: 6 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Qi Ming Lu,  Lu Zheng,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Rosenkranz
    Conductor:  Bridget-Michaele Reischl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oberlin Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 4.
    The Decca Sound [Repackaged Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434502 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 5.
    New Year's Concert 2016 / Mariss Jansons, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 517480 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Eduard Strauss,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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    ArkivCD $15.99
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  • 6.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 7.
    New Year's Concert - The Complete Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 503203 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Carlos Kleiber,  Riccardo Muti,  Seiji Ozawa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale!
    CD: $76.99
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  • 8.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 3
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 002275902 Release Date: 03/23/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Lehár,  Emil Waldteufel,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Rafael Druian,  Georges Miquelle,  Eugene List,  Alfred Mouledous  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Frederick Fennell,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $213.99
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  • 9.
    Neujahrskonzert / New Year's Concert 2015 [blu-ray]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 503551 Release Date: 02/03/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz von Suppé,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Eduard Strauss  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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    Blu-ray Video: $17.99
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    On sale!   $19.98   Blu-ray Video:  $17.99 Add to Cart

  • 10.
    Neujahrskonzert / New Year's Concert 2015 [DVD]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 503550 Release Date: 02/03/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz von Suppé,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Eduard Strauss  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $14.99
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  • 11.
    Johann Strauss Gala / Mehta, Carreras, Rost
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102208 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Andrea Rost
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 12.
    Johann Strauss Gala / Mehta, Carreras, Rost [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108174 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Andrea Rost
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 13.
    Best Of New Year's Concerts  / Harnoncourt,  Muti, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 619354 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 14.
    100 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002188102 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theater Violin Ensemble,  Ansbach Bach Week Soloists Union,  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 15.
    New Year's Concert 2015 / Zubin Mehta, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875037912 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz von Suppé,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Eduard Strauss  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 16.
    Karajan - 1980s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002187902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 78
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  José Van Dam,  Barbara Hendricks,  Gösta Winbergh  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Domenico Bartolucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    CD: $245.99
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  • 17.
    Seiji Ozawa - The Philips Years: Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002185602 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Mariko Kobayashi,  Everett Firth,  Hiroshi Arimori,  Sawako Yasue  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $175.49
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  • 18.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete DG Recordings, Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002132602 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Tibor Varga,  Helmut Krebs,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $175.98
    CD: $164.99
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  • 19.
    Famous Waltzes And Marches From Vienna
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 045049 Release Date: 08/29/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Siebert
    CD: $13.99
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  • 20.
    Famous Waltzes And Marches From Vienna
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 45049 Release Date: 08/29/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Siebert
    CD: $13.99
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  • 21.
    Schloss Schonbrunn Konzerte
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 91234 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Performer:  Peter Thunhart,  Marjucka Kolehmainen,  Felicitas Morawitz
    Conductor:  Ralf Kircher
    On sale! $22.98
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    $18.99
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  • 22.
    El Sistema at Salzburg Festival / Rattle, National Children's Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 716908 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  George Gershwin,  Leonard Bernstein,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Jesús Parra
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Children's Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela,  White Hands Choir of Venezuela
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 23.
    El Sistema At Salzburg Festival / Rattle, National Children's Symphony Orchestra Of Venezuela [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 717004 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  George Gershwin,  Leonard Bernstein,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Jesús Parra
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Children's Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela,  White Hands Choir of Venezuela
    Blu-ray Video: $34.99
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  • 24.
    Beruhmte Marsche
    Label: Da Capo Austria   Catalog: 277 Release Date: 05/20/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Richard Wagner,  Josef Schrammel,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Matthias G. Kendlinger
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 25.
    Karajan 1951-1960: Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Strauss, Wagner
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633623 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    On sale! $75.98
    CD: $74.49
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