Johann Strauss II
1825 — 1899
Known as the "Waltz King", Johann Strauss II might be said to have inherited the title from his father Johann I (1804-1849). In fact, Johann II grew up estranged from his father, and formed his own dance-band while still in his teens. Siding with the liberals in the revolutionary year of 1848, he eclipsed his father, and over the next half century he rose to global fame as the director of Vienna's most celebrated dance orchestra – leading from the violin, touring Europe, Russia and the USA, and sharing his success with his brothers Josef (1827-1870) and Eduard (1835-1916). For this group he composed over 400 works, including polkas, quadrilles, marches and – supremely – waltzes, which he raised to an unsurpassed expressive power. Waltzes such as Voices of Spring (1882), Emperor Waltz (1889), Tales from the Vienna Woods (1868) and The Blue Danube (1866 – sometimes described as Vienna's unofficial anthem) combined poetic instrumental tone-painting with an infectious gift for melody, winning Strauss the admiration of both Brahms and Wagner. Strauss was less consistently successful in the theatre, although Die Fledermaus (1874) and The Gypsy Baron (1885) now rank among the most performed (and loved) of all operettas. In life, Strauss came to embody Viennese culture at its 19th century peak, and his finest music continues to enjoy a popularity that spans continents and transcends genres.
Strauss, J. I & J. II: Die Fledermaus: Overture; Annen-Polka Op.117; Kaiser-Walzer Op.437; Tritsch-Tratsch Polka Op.214; Radetzky-Marsch Op.228; An der schönen blauen Donau Op.314; Eljen a Magyar! Op.332; G'schichten aus dem Wiener Wald Op.325
Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Ferenc Fricsay
Strauss, J. I & J. II: An der schönen blauen Donau, Op. 314; Wiener Blut, Op. 354; Perpetuum mobile, Op. 257; Pizzicato-Polka; Overtures: Die Fledermaus; Der Zigeunerbaron; Frühlingsstimmen Op. 410;...
Berliner Philharmoniker, RIAS Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Ferenc Fricsay