Josef Strauss (1827-1870) was very appreciative of the avent-garde music of his time: Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner. He did not only favor those musicians and performed much of their music with the Strauss-Kapelle. Their harmonic and thematic innovations were inspirations for his own work. Besides composing Polkas, Marches and Walzes Josef created six works for Voice and Piano, which contrast strongly with Viennese Light Music of the 19th century and tend towards this avant-garde stlyle. Only six songs survived - five of them in autograph manuscript that were never published before. They include a cycle of four works: Elegie, Meineid, Der Todtengröber und Nachtgebeth. The fifth, Der Bettler, is also preserved as manuscript. The last one, Wenn ein Kindlein faltet fromm die Hände, was published in 1866 in the "Oesterreichischer Volkskalender". Critical first editions of these Lieder will close a long-lasting desideratum in the oeuvre of Josef Strauss. This edition will follow the successfull publication of Perlen der Liebe, op. 39 (Hollitzer 2020). It could function as a means of enlarging the repertoire of Strauss works now in use. For (re-)creating an edition of scientifically worthwhile outcome it is crucial not only to study and analyse the given sources, but also to be experienced in editing classical music as well as in textual criticism with methodological substance and cultural depth. The project will only stand complete if one asks questions concerning the history of perception and heritage of the songs composed by a man who is known for his instrumental work, but who's scarce vocal music is forgotten completely.
Fink, M.; Stummvoll, G. (2023). Die Lieder von Josef Strauss. Neues Leben, 68: 88-96
Stummvoll, G. (2023). Josef Strauss (1827-1870): Sechs Lieder für eine Singstimme und Klavier. Partitur und Kritischer Bericht. Hollitzer, Wien