The Blue Danube  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Blue Danube is the common English title of An der schönen blauen Donau op. 314 (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), a waltz by Johann Strauss II, composed in 1866. Originally performed 13 February 1867 at a concert of the Wiener Männergesangsverein (Vienna Men's Choral Association), it has been one of the most consistently popular pieces of music in the classical repertoire. Its initial performance was only a mild success, however, and Strauss is reputed to have said "The devil take the waltz, my only regret is for the coda—I wish that had been a success!"

After the original music was written, the words were added by the Choral Association's poet, Joseph Weyl. Strauss later added more music, and Weyl needed to change some of the words. Strauss adapted it into a purely orchestral version for the World's Fair in Paris that same year, and it became a great success in this form. The instrumental version is by far the most commonly performed today. An alternate text by Franz von Gernerth, Donau so blau (Danube so blue), is also used on occasion.

The sentimental Viennese connotations of the piece have made it into a sort of unofficial Austrian national anthem. It is a traditional encore piece at the annual Vienna New Year's Concert. The first few bars are also the interval signal of Osterreich Rundfunk's overseas programs.

It is reported by composer Norman Lloyd in his "Golden Encyclopedia of Music" that when asked by Frau Strauss for an autograph, the composer Johannes Brahms autographed Mrs. Strauss's fan by writing on it the first few bars of the Blue Danube. Under it he wrote "Unfortunately not by Johannes Brahms".




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Blue Danube" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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