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Josef Strauss

Josef Strauss

Josef Strauss


Josef Strauss (August 20, 1827 - July 22, 1870) was an Austrian composer. He was fondly referred to as 'Pepi' by his family and close friends. The son of Johann Strauss I and brother of Johann Strauss II and Eduard Strauss, he was born in Vienna. He worked initially as an engineer and designer before joining the family orchestra in the 1850s. His academic achievements at an early age do not point to him being a composer as he was also destined by Read more on Last.fm
Josef Strauss (August 20, 1827 - July 22, 1870) was an Austrian composer. He was fondly referred to as 'Pepi' by his family and close friends. The son of Johann Strauss I and brother of Johann Strauss II and Eduard Strauss, he was born in Vienna. He worked initially as an engineer and designer before joining the family orchestra in the 1850s. His academic achievements at an early age do not point to him being a composer as he was also destined by his father for a career in the Austrian Habsburg military although he flourished as an architect for the Vienna City Council in 1853 and even presented to the Vienna Municipal Council with detailed plans for a street-cleaning machine. He was clearly reluctant to deputise for his brother Johann Strauss II when his elder brother was taken seriously ill in 1853 as his first ever published work "Die Ersten und Letzten" (The First and the Last) of which the title tangibly displayed signs that he was not intending to maintain that position for long.

The waltz-loving Viennese, however, were appreciative of his early waltzes and polkas and he decided to continue plying his trade in the family craft of composing waltzes and other dance music. He married Caroline Pruckmayer at the church of St Johann Nepomuk in Vienna on 8 June 1857 and had only one daughter, Karoline Anna, who was born on 27 March 1858. Josef Strauss never enjoyed good health throughout his life and during a tour to Poland in 1870, he fell unconscious from the conductor's podium while conducting his 'Musical Potpourri' and was hastened back to his home in Vienna by his distraught wife. It was back home in the 'Hirschenhaus' that Josef died on 22 July of 1870. A final diagnosis only reported a decomposition of blood which led to many rumors that he was beaten by drunken Russian soldiers after he allegedly refused to perform music for them one night although his death would not be ascertained as his widow even forbade an autopsy.

His grave is on St. Marx cemetery. He wrote many waltzes, many of them still in the classical repertoire including "Sphären-Klänge" (Music of the Spheres), "Delirien" (Deliriums), "Transaktionen" (Transactions), "Mein Lebenslauf ist Lieb und Lust" (My Character is Love and Joy) and "Dorfschwalben aus Osterreich" (Village Swallows from Austria), polkas (most famously the "Pizzicato Polka" with his brother Johann II), quadrilles and other dance music. His pieces tend to be of a more serious character than those of his siblings. This was reflected in the waltz "Dynamiden" where his use of minor keys imparted an almost wistful quality and invariably distinguished his waltzes from that of his more popular elder brother. He most probably stamped his personal mark on the polka-mazurka where he wrote many imperishable examples like "Die Emancipirte" and "Die Libelle".

His amazing output of dance pieces would have surpassed that of his elder brother, had he survived, as Johann was by then concentrating on writing music for operettas and other stage works. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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