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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
Josef Strauss Meets Offenbach
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 578288   Number of Discs: 1
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Wedding Celebrations / Bogár, Budapest Strauss Ensemble
Release Date: 07/26/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550900   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 26-50 of 209 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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
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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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
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  • 29.
    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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  • 30.
    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
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  • 31.
    Ballroom Classics / Willi Boskovsky, Wiener Johann Strauss Orchester
    Label: Warner 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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  • 32.
    New Year's Concert 2012 / Mariss Jansons, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 191481 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Carl Michael Ziehrer,  Josef Strauss,  J. "Pepi" Hellmesberger  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 33.
    New Year's Concert 2012 / Mariss Jansons, Vienna Philharmonic [blu-ray]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 191557 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Carl Michael Ziehrer,  Josef Strauss,  J. "Pepi" Hellmesberger  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 34.
    New Year's Concert 2012 / Mariss Jansons, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 91377 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Carl Michael Ziehrer,  Josef Strauss,  J. "Pepi" Hellmesberger  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir
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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    The Decca Sound [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619902 Release Date: 11/15/2011   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: $175.49
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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    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  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 39.
    Vienna Premieres Vols. 1, 2 & 3 / Rothstein, Johann Strauss Orchestra
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10684 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Karl Millöcker,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Eduard Strauss,  Josef Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Hill Smith
    Conductor:  Jack Rothstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Johann Strauss Orchestra,  Johann Strauss Orchestra Vienna,  Viennese Orchestra of London
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  • 40.
    Rita Streich Sings Waltzes & Arias
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802069 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Benjamin Godard  ... 
    Performer:  Rita Streich
    Conductor:  Kurt Gaebel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    New Year's Day Concert 2011 / Franz Welser-Most, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001528909 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Lanner,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 43.
    100 Best Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17639 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 44.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 648513 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
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  • 45.
    New Year's Concert 2011 / Franz Welser-Most, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4782601 Release Date: 01/10/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Lanner,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 46.
    New Year In Vienna 1988 & 1991 / Claudio Abbado, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 437687 Release Date: 12/17/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Best Of The Classics
    Label: Sonoma   Catalog: 29 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Traditional,  Claude Debussy,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
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  • 48.
    Icon - Rudolf Kempe
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 29557 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier,  Sylvia Geszty,  Teresa Zylis-Gara,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 49.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Strings In Rhythm
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5167 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Victor Herbert,  Cole Porter,  Gordon Jenkins,  Lennie Hayton  ... 
    Conductor:  Percy Faith,  Victor Silvester,  Gordon Jenkins,  George Melachrino  ... 
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  • 50.
    Salzburg Festival Opening Concert 2009 / Harnoncourt
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 702708 Release Date: 08/31/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Josef Strauss,  Franz Schubert
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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