the king of waltz
Johann Strauss, Vienna’s greatest composer of light music, was known for his waltzes dances and operettas light operas with songs and dances. His music seems to capture the height of elegance and refinement of the Hapsburg regime. He composed over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas and a ballet. In his lifetime, he was known as The Waltz King, and was largely then responsible for the popularity of the waltz in Vienna during the 19th century
image: coolinarism/set-s 2015
The Blue Danube is the common English title of An der schönen blauen Donau, Op. 314 a was composed in 1866. Originally performed on 15 February 1867 at a concert of the Vienna Men’s Choral Association, it has been one of the most consistently popular pieces of music in the classical repertoire,
The title can be traced back to the refrain By the beautiful blue Danube found in the poem By the Danube by Karl Beck, published in Leipzig in 1852, as well as the third stanza of another poem, The Hostile Brothers from the collection From the Homeland Dresden, 1852, which contains the line By the beautiful blue Danube lies my little village quiet and fine
The Austrians, still smarting from their military defeat at the hands of the Prussians at Königgrätz in July of 1866, whole-heartedly supported Strauss’s music; when the Blue Danube achieved a resounding success at the Paris exhibition, the Viennese felt they had shown the French that Austria, despite its recent military setback, was still an important cultural force. Writers even described Strauss’s triumph with military imagery, calling Strauss a Napoleon among composers,
The Blue Danube premiered in the United States in its instrumental version on 1 July 1867 in New York, and in Great Britain in its choral version on 21 September 1867 in London at the promenade concerts at Covent Garden. The specifically Viennese sentiment associated with Strauss’s melody has made it an unofficial Austrian national anthem.
The waltz is traditionally broadcast by all public-law television and radio stations exactly at midnight on New Year’s Eve, and on New Year’s Day it is a customary encore piece at the annual Vienna New Year’s Concert,