Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Johann Strauss II (1825-1899)

The eldest son of Johann Strauss I, who became a musician against his father's wishes. At the age of 19 he formed his own orchestra and amalgamated it with his father's in 1849. He established an unrivalled reputation as a composer of Viennese light music and went on tours in Austria and abroad. His two younger brothers, Joseph and Eduard, came to his aid in the management and direction of the dance orchestras when the workload became too much for him. In later years he dedicated himself to the composition of operettas. Johann Strauss the Younger wrote some sixteen operettas between 1871 and 1897. Of these the best known is Die Fledermaus (The Bat). Other operettas are more familiar from dances derived from them, although Der Zigeunerbaron (The Gypsy Baron) remains second in order of popularity to Die Fledermaus. His dance music includes waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, marches and other works. Among these the most familiar remains An der schonen, blauen Donau (The Blue Danube), originally a choral waltz-sequence. - Malaspina Biography

Sheet music: Johann Strauss II

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