102. Joseph Lanner [365 Composers for 2013]


12th April – Joseph Lanner

Lanner (12th April 1801 – 14th April 1843) is our composer for 12th April, to mark the day of his birth.
Nationality: Austrian
Lifespan: 42 years
Genre: Romantic
Education: Self-taught
Fame Ranking: 5

Joseph Lanner was a friend and rival of famous waltz-composer Johann Strauss I. Both men hailed from Vienna, and they were of a similar age. Both men enjoyed considerable recognition during the 19th century, but only Strauss’ name has endured through the centuries.

Lanner, as a young man, taught himself the violin and joined a small string orchestra, led by a certain Michael Pamer. Strauss also played in the same band. The string orchestra was the pop-group of its day, providing light-hearted dance music for entertainment rather than serious concert recitals. Lanner moved on from Pamer’s band and set up his own ensemble, and soon had his friend Strauss leading a second, deputy orchestra, to meet demand. The orchestras soon began a lively rivalry, with fashionable Viennese people siding with one or the other.

Strauss was second fiddle to Lanner at this point in their careers, but that was soon to change. Strauss decided to tour Europe with his music, whereas Lanner played it safe and stayed in Vienna. But Strauss found fame and admiration on his travels, and Lanner succumbed to the deadly typhus outbreak which hit Vienna in 1843. He died two days after his 42nd birthday. He left behind a wealth of jolly waltzes, of which his “Die Schonbrunner Walzer” is perhaps his most well-known. (Schonbrunn is the name of an Imperial Palace in Vienna.)


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