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Eduard Strauss

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Eduard Strauss

Biography

Eduard "Edi" Strauss (15 March 1835, Vienna, Aus. – 28 December 1916, Vienna) was an Austrian composer and conductor.

Eduard, together with his brothers Johann Strauss Jr. and Josef Strauss, made up the Strauss musical dynasty. He was the son of Johann Strauss Sr. and Maria Anna Streim. The family dominated the Viennese light music world for decades, creating many waltzes and polkas for many Austrian nobility as well as dance-music enthusiasts around Europe.

Eduard Strauss's musical career was born of necessity; the demands on Johann Jr.'s orchestra for tour appearances made his collaboration necessary. He had thorough music training and began as a violin player in Johann Jr.'s orchestra. He made his conducting and composing debut in 1859, standing in as a conductor when Johann Jr. became ill. He became conductor of the orchestra after his brother's death in 1899 and toured Europe and England.

Strauss' style was individual and did not attempt to emulate the works of his other brothers or his contemporaries. But he was primarily remembered and recognized as a dance music conductor rather than as a major composer in the Strauss family, and his popularity was overshadowed by that of his elder brothers. Realizing this, he stamped his own mark with the quick polka, known in German as the "polka-schnell". Among the more popular polkas that he penned for the Strauss Orchestra, which he continued to conduct until its disbandment on 13 February 1901, were Bahn Frei!, Op. 45, Ausser Rand und Band, Op. 168, and Ohne Bremse, Op. 238. He also found time to pen a few waltzes, of which only a handful survived obscurity. The most famous is probably Doctrinen, Op.79.


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