Stamp of the Month: March 2020

Oscar Straus

The Austrian composer Oscar Straus (actually Oscar Nathan Strauss) was born on March 6, 1870 in Vienna. He died on January 11, 1954 in Bad Ischl. In March 2020, his birthday turns 150.
Oscar Straus first studied piano and composition in Vienna and later continued his studies with Max Bruch in Berlin. As a young conductor, he had engagements in Brüx and Teplitz and then at the Stadttheater Mainz. In Berlin he wrote the music for several programs of the cabaret “Überbrettl”.

Austria 3.7.1970
His first operettas in the tradition of Jacques Offenbach were not very successful. The breakthrough came in 1907 when the operetta “A Waltz Dream” premiered in Vienna. This operetta at times even exceeded the performance figures of Franz Lehar’s operetta “The Merry Widow”. Until the early 1930s, almost 50 other stage works followed, including “The Brave Soldier”, “The Last Waltz” with Fritzi Massary in the lead role and the musical comedy “A Woman Who Knows What She Wants”. During the Third Reich Oscar Straus went to America, where he composed the music for several films. In 1950 he returned to Europe and composed the operettas “Her First Waltz” and “Bozena” as well as the music for the film “La Ronde” by Max Ophüls.

In the video, the Swiss journalist and amateur pianist Andy Faessler plays the waltz “Out there in the fragrant garden” from the operetta “A waltz dream”.