Josef Strauss

Frauenherz (A Woman's Heart), polka mazurka for orchestra, Op. 166

    Description by Robert Cummings

    Like his father Johann and "waltz king" brother Johann II, the introverted Josef Strauss mostly wrote light music in the dance genre, including, of course, waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and many others. Yet his light music had somewhat greater expressive depth than that of his other family members, as this modest, mostly subdued polka/mazurka demonstrates. While on the surface it is jaunty and carefree in its demure gracefulness, it has a nostalgic quality about its character as if its restrained joy is somehow dutiful, not sincere. The music never bubbles or effervesces with the kind of ebullience heard in many of his better-known brother's scores. Frauenherz is masterfully constructed, with subtle themes -- the kind that wear well -- and deftly conceived instrumentation. The piece opens with a catchy, sort of carefree theme that unhurriedly mopes along. It flowers in a jaunty variant that follows. The opening material briefly returns before the playful, more colorful music in the middle section appears to offer finely imagined contrast. The main thematic material returns to close out this work in a subdued and gentle mood. This masterwork typically has a duration of five minutes.

    Appears On

    Year Title / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    2015
    Sony Classical
    88875032032
    2011
    Various Artists
    EMI / Warner Classics
    5099908288929
    2010
    Decca
    001398402
    2010
    Decca
    4782113
    2008
    Various Artists
    Elite Special / Zebralution
    2008
    Various Artists
    Laserlight Digital / Zebralution
    2008
    Laserlight Digital / Zebralution
    2008
    Deutsche Grammophon
    453052
    2008
    Ton 4 / Zebralution
    2008
    Madacy Entertainment
    53757
    2008
    Various Artists
    Decca
    4780223
    2006
    Edel Classics
    2612
    2005
    RCA Red Seal
    67890
    2004
    Deutsche Grammophon
    000370602
    2004
    EMI Music Distribution
    86019
    2004
    Pan Classics
    510159
    2002
    EMI Music Distribution
    74528
    2001
    Marco Polo
    8 223622
    2001
    Laserlight
    36101
    2001
    Various Artists
    Brilliant
    99263
    1999
    EPM
    995062
    1999
    Marco Polo
    223573
    1999
    Eurodisc
    258663
    1997
    Berlin Classics
    0091452
    1997
    EMI Classics
    56336
    1997
    London
    455254
    1997
    Arte Nova
    74321 43309-2
    1995
    Art of Classics
    885918
    1995
    Eurodisc
    7432129362
    1994
    Naxos
    550900
    Denon Records
    9052
    Denon Records
    77052
    EPM
    1135
    Brilliant
    99296
    Ton 4
    Madacy Entertainment
    53758
    Musical Heritage Society
    5190476