Josef Strauss

Biography

Born: August 20, 1827; Vienna, Austria   Died: July 22, 1870; Vienna, Austria  
Josef Strauss was born into one of the most famous of Viennese musical families. His father, Johann Strauss (1804-1849), was a violinist in the popular Josef Lanner dance orchestra when he married Maria Anna Streim, and then formed his own orchestra and overtook Lanner in popularity. Johann Sr. was opposed to his children going into music professionally, but he saw to it that the boys became proficient pianists. Although Johann Sr. intended him Read more for the army, Josef studied poetry, art, and engineering. He enrolled in the Vienna Polytechnic for civil engineering and architecture degrees.

Maria Anna suggested that Josef take a position in Johann Jr.'s orchestra, but he turned down the idea, joking that he was too ugly for a career on stage. Furthermore, he was subject to fainting spells and intense headaches. Instead, he made his living as an engineer and designer. Among other things he invented a type of mechanical street-sweeper (which the city of Vienna adopted) and published two mathematical books.

In 1853, Josef conducted the orchestra for a while after Johann Jr. collapsed from overwork. He had an unexpected success and even composed a waltz set, which he hopefully called First and Last Waltzes. After this, too, surprised everyone by becoming highly popular, he wrote another, which he called First Waltz after the Last. When Johann was able to return to work in September, he found that Josef was willing to step in as an assistant at a moment's notice. The brothers were able to do this easily, since they contracted for and advertised that the orchestra would be conducted by "J. Strauss."

By 1856 was Josef ready to join the Strauss organization full-time. He took violin lessons from Franz Amon, Johann Sr.'s old teacher. Josef and Johann pretty much shared the leadership of the orchestra and its business from then until 1862, when they were joined by younger brother Eduard. In 1857 Josef married his childhood sweetheart, Karoline Pruckmayr. He spent all his spare time writing poetry, painting, and composing music, getting little sleep and continually smoking cigars. His waltzes are particularly intriguing. It is obvious that he had a poetic outlook not shared by his more down-to-earth brother. The Viennese loved his chronically pale, romantic appearance. Many of his waltzes have the greatest musical value of any the Strauss family output. He showed the influence of composers from Schubert and Chopin to Liszt and Wagner. Some of his most popular waltzes are Love and Life, Voices of the Times, Music of the Spheres, and Village Swallows from Austria. It is also known that Josef generously allowed Johann to claim as his own some waltzes actually written by Josef. He wrote a serious composition, a tone poem with orchestra called Ode to the Night. It received great critical acclaim, but has been lost.

In 1863 Johann was appointed Imperial and Royal Hofballmusikdirektor, which required him to largely absent himself from the family orchestra. This left Josef to take some of the orchestra's touring assignments, which he hated. He accepted an obligation to take the orchestra to Warsaw in April. There, in June, he suffered a blackout and fell from the podium. He asked to be taken to his home in Vienna, where he died within the month. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 215 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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
    CD: $74.49
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  • 2.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
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  • 3.
    Karajan: Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, R. Strauss, Opera Arias - 1946-1949
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633618 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Leopold Wlach,  Julius Patzak,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Elisabeth Höngen  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Friends of Music Chorus
    CD: $64.49
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  • 4.
    Kendlinger Dirigiert Strauß, 2011
    Label: Da Capo Austria (Austria)   Catalog: 1109 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Performer:  Claudia Ema Camie
    Conductor:  Matthias G. Kendlinger
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  • 5.
    Dances Of Old Vienna - The Old Year's Concert / Willi Boskovsky Ensemble
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1237 Release Date: 02/04/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Josef Lanner,  Johann Mayer,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Willi Boskovsky Ensemble
    CD: $9.99
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  • 6.
    New Year's Concert 2014 / Daniel Barenboim, Vienna Philharmonic [Blu-ray]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88883792299 Release Date: 02/04/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eduard Strauss,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 7.
    New Year's Concert 2014 / Daniel Barenboim, Vienna Philharmonic [DVD]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88883792289 Release Date: 02/04/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eduard Strauss,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $14.99
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  • 8.
    New Year's Concert 2014 / Daniel Barenboim, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301564 Release Date: 01/07/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Eduard Strauss,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
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  • 10.
    Salzburg Festival Opening Concerts / Boulez, Barenboim, Harnoncourt
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 713608 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Béla Bartók,  Maurice Ravel,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Klaus Florian Vogt,  Elina Garanca,  René Pape  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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    DVD: $88.99
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  • 11.
    Don't Get Stressed, Get Straussed, Vol. 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 91236 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Christian Lumbye,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss  ... 
    Conductor:  Guido Mancusi,  Mika Eichenholz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schloss Schönbrunn Orchester Wien
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  • 12.
    Schubert: Symphony No. 8, Johann & Josef Strauss / Bohm, Wiener Philharmoniker [Japan]
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 0573869 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $41.98
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  • 13.
    New Year's Concert 2013 / Franz Welser-most, Vienna Philharmonic [blu-ray]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 544222 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz von Suppé,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    New Year's Concert 2013 / Franz Welser-Most, Vienna Philharmonic [DVD]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 544073 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz von Suppé,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $11.99
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  • 15.
    Ein Straussfest
    Label: Lim   Catalog: 64 Release Date: 01/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Eduard Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
    On sale! $42.98
    CD: $37.99
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  • 16.
    Strauss Family, Lehar: Waltzes; Polkas; Overtures
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 322852 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Franz Lehár
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    CD: $7.99
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  • 17.
    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
    CD: $16.99
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  • 18.
    New Year's Concert 2013 / Franz Welser-Most, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 2103618 Release Date: 01/04/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz von Suppé,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Schubert: Symphony no 8; Johann Strauss, Josef Strauss / Karajan, Vienna PO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439104 Release Date: 12/05/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Label: Motif (Design)   Catalog: 1198585 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Gruber,  André Rieu,  Franz Schubert,  Irving Berlin  ... 
    Performer:  André Rieu
    Conductor:  Joseph Francek,  Norbert Neukamp
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  • 21.
    Strauss Family: Favourite Dances
    Label: Marco Polo   Catalog: 8225353 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Conductor:  Johannes Wildner
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Great Viennese Classics
    Label: Rel   Catalog: 565 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Heuberger,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss  ... 
    Conductor:  Iain Sutherland
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  • 23.
    New Year's Gala: Live From The Wiener Konzerthaus, 2010
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90798 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Christian Lumbye,  Josef Lanner,  Eduard Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Guth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Strauss Festival Orchestra Vienna
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 24.
    New Year's Gala: Live From The Wiener Konzerthaus, 2010 DVD
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90800 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hans Christian Lumbye,  Josef Lanner,  Eduard Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Guth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Strauss Festival Orchestra Vienna
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  • 25.
    Strauss Family Waltzes / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61688 Release Date: 07/07/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Eduard Strauss
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
    ArkivCD $16.99
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