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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Much is said of the other Strauss, Richard, on this website, but I think Johann (no relation) is rather neglected. Johann Strauss II (1825-99) is undoubtedly well known by all of you, so he needs no introduction. His father was also a well-known composer in Austria, and despite his attempts to dissuade him from becoming a musician also, young Johann carried on the family tradition. There's also no need to inform you how he wrote many waltzes that are still popular, and are celebrated annually at the Vienna New Year's day concert. Indeed, the way that he led his own orchestra, with violin in hand, and became the waltz king of Europe is mirrored today by Andre Rieu who does virtually the same thing (though I'm not a big fan of Rieu).

But there is another side, I think, to Johann Strauss II. After re-acquainting myself with his most famous operetta, composed in the mid 1870's, Die Fledermaus (The Bat), I think he elevated this genre far above it's humble origins. Here is music that is quite complex when compared to other works in the genre, and has some very operatic writing for the voice, orchestra & chorus. I personally think that, depending on the interpretation (which seems more flexible than opera), this can be read as either as simply an operetta (Boskovsky's account), or a comic opera (Karajan's & Bohm's readings).

So if you are a fan of this work (like I am), or some of his other operettas and/or waltzes, then do post your thoughts here...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Interesting reading my first post here in 2009 and also moira's review of the Rieu concert. My opinion has changed about him, I like listening to his stuff now, esp. as a break from the more 'heavy' stuff.

So too with J. Strauss II. Naxos has been bringing out some of his less known operettas. I have 'Jabuka' (The Apple Festival), which is a delightful work, showing influence of Smetana, whose 'Bartered Bride' Strauss admired a great deal. An earlier review of mine of this cd here: http://www.talkclassical.com/1005-current-listening-1303.html#post325819.
 
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