Johann Strauss II, was originally known as the "Waltz King" in his day, a natural epithet, given such classic works, as "Blue Danube" and "Tales from the Vienna Woods".
Indeed, Strauss II would not have come to compose such classic operetta, as "The Gypsy Baron" and "Die Fledermaus", had it not been for : firstly, the insistence of one of his earlier wives to give it a try ; secondly, the growing excitement of the Viennese public for the "Golden Age of Viennese Operetta", that ran parallel to Strauss II's waltzing career, in the 1860s ; and finally, meeting the much-admired French composer of operetta, Jacques Offenbach, in 1863. It is commonly believed, that Offenbach, tried some friendly persuasion on Strauss II.
In the aftermath of "Die Fledermaus" runaway success in the mid-1870s, however, Strauss II may actually have had pangs of regret for turning to operetta, for the ensuing decade, did not yield nearly as much success in the field as he hoped for ... "Cagliostro" (1875), "Prinz Methusalem" ('77), "Blinde Kuh" ('78), "Das Spitzentuch der Konigen" ('80), "Der lustige Krieg" ('81), and finally, "Ein Nacht in Venedig" ('83) all failed to even come near "Fledermaus" success.
By 1885, Strauss II had married for the third time, and it was at Adele's suggestion that he went along to see the great Hungarian novelist Maurus Jokai. The Hungarian's latest novel "Saffi" seemed to Strauss II to be ideal material for an operetta ... enter librettist Ignaz Schnitzer, and one of Strauss II's last and greatest operettas, "The Gypsy Baron", was born.
This 1958 recording, co-stars the legendary Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, as "Saffi", and was conducted by Otto Ackermann :-
The Gypsy Baron, by Strauss II :-
Disc One : Overture & Act One :-
1) Overture (8:05) ; 2)-22) Act One (47:48)
Disc Two : Acts Two & Three :-
1)-16) Act Two (35:46) ; 17)-21) Act Three (8:05)
Both CDs are in EX condition.