Personalities | Johann Strauss II | High Romantic | Opera

1825–99, Austrian

The Austrian violinist, conductor and composer Johann Strauss II belonged to what was probably the most widely known of all musical families. His father Johann Strauss I introduced the waltz to Vienna, a tradition continued by the second Johann, the eldest son, and his two composer-conductor brothers. The second Johann was only 19 when he made his first appearance in Vienna with his own orchestra, in competition with his father’s. The two orchestras merged after the elder Strauss’s early death in 1849. Johann Strauss II quickly became the most eminent composer of light music in the Austrian capital and acquired the nickname of ‘The Waltz King’. He did not, however, confine his music to the dance floor. Johann Strauss II was also a substantial composer of operettas for the stage. The first was Indigo und die vierzig Räuber (‘Indigo and the Forty Thieves’), which premiered at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna in 1871. Indigo was followed by Strauss’s greatest success for the stage, Die Fledermaus, which featured several examples of the ubiquitous family trademark, the waltz. Of his other 13 operettas, only the exuberant Der Zigeunerbaron (‘The Gypsy Baron’, 1885) achieved a comparable popularity.

Introduction | High Romantic | Opera
Major Operas | Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II | High Romantic
Personalities | Francesco Tamagno | High Romantic | Opera
Techniques | Operetta | Turn of the Century | Opera


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