Strauss referred to a poem by Karl Isidor Beck (1817–79) in it. Each verse concludes with the words "By the Danube, lovely blue Danube." It served as both inspiration and title for his new composition, despite the fact that the Danube could never be described as blue and did not flow through Vienna at the time the waltz was written.
The poem is by Karl Isidor Beck. It's a long poem about a young man who travels across Europe, seeking fame and fortune as a poet. He ends up working as a court jester in Turkey where he meets his death. The last two lines of the poem serve as both conclusion and title for Strauss's Blue Danube: "Farewell my love, and farewell my heart, / On the blue Danube we will meet no more."
The poem was very popular when it was written in 1847. People remember it now because it was used as a theme song for a 1953 Austrian film starring Herbert Lom. However, the actual name of the poem was only given to the film after its release. Before then, it was known simply as "the blue Danube film".
People also call this dance tune the "Wedding Waltz" because it was often played at weddings until around the 1960s when it was replaced by other tunes.
Finally, the name comes from the color of the tablecloth at the first performance of the dance in Vienna in 1867.
It was without a doubt the impetus for my own particular interest in both classical music and good films—telling the (fairy tale) account of how the Danube river got "blue." Johann Strauss' famous "Blue Danube Waltz" has an absolutely faultless storyline and syncopation. So when I heard that a film was to be made about his life, I knew it would be something special.
The story is based on fact: Johann Strauss II was born in 1798 into a family of musicians. His father, Johann III, was a cellist in the court orchestra of Prince-Archbishop Colloredo of Vienna. Young Johann began playing the violin at age five and the piano at eight. He also showed an early talent for composition. By the time he reached his teens, he had written more than 100 pieces, many of which were published.
In 1828, Johann Strauss II married Anna Maria Veith. They had three children together: two daughters and a son. In 1832, Johann III died, leaving a substantial debt. To pay off this debt, Johann started making popular music boxes. But they weren't any more successful than his father's court orchestra had been. So in 1846, at the age of 31, he decided to quit working and start a new career as a full-time composer. This isn't so strange considering that he'd already composed more than 100 pieces!
Op. 314 Waltz King The Blue Danube The work exemplifies the symphonic richness and diversity of Strauss's dance music, which earned him the moniker "waltz king," and it has become the most well-known of his many dance compositions. It is also regarded as one of the greatest waltzes in the history of music.
The Blue Danube was written for a popular Vienna dance contest held annually to celebrate the opening of the city's new indoor skating rink. The piece was first performed at a banquet following the contest on March 3, 1867. It became so popular that it was repeated several times over the next few years. The original manuscript of the work is stored in the Austrian National Library in Vienna.
Strauss had already achieved success with two other waltzes: O mio babbino caro (Duke) and Radetzky March (General). But the Blue Danube is unlike them in almost every way. For one thing, it is much grander in scale and ambition—a true full-length symphony rather than a short dance piece. It also lacks their jovial atmosphere; instead, it is tragic and deeply moving. Finally, there are no female voices in the Blue Danube; it is exclusively for men's chorus and orchestra. All these factors combined to make the Blue Danube a landmark in Strauss's career and an instant hit with audiences everywhere he played it.
Music has always praised the river's grandeur. Johann Strauss the Younger's classic waltz, An der Schonen, Blauen Donau (1867; The Blue Danube), became an emblem of imperial Vienna. The river has remained an important commerce corridor in the twenty-first century. It connects Europe's largest reservoir, the South-East European Lake Balaton, with central and eastern Europe.
The river was already well known in ancient times. Its fame arose when the Romans used it as a trade route between Italy and Germany. They called it Rivo di Teutonia (River of Germany).
In the first millennium AD, the Danube valley was inhabited by different cultures including the Celts, the Franks, and the Slavs. One of the most powerful kingdoms on the continent at that time was that of the Pannonians. They were Eastern Europeans who lived along the banks of the Danube River. In 568, their king, Auaric, invaded Italy and made prisoners of several high-ranking officials, including the mayor of Rome. However, after only two years, he returned home because of problems with his kingdom's interior. During the ninth century, the Hungarians emerged as a strong power in the region. They started out as a group of people living in the northern part of the present-day country of Hungary. In 907, leaders of another nation called the Slovinsians invited them to move to this area.
Johann Strauss II's Blue Danube is written in the key of D. It should be performed at 96 BPM.
The Blue Danube is a classical waltz by Johann Strauss II. It was composed in 1867 and published the following year. The work begins with a lively allegro con spirito theme, which soon gives way to a more contemplative mood as its main character, the Blue Danube, travels through the countryside. When the waltz finally returns to an energetic conclusion, it is believed that everyone involved in its creation enjoyed wealth and fame.
Strauss began work on the Blue Danube after receiving a request from Emperor Franz Josef to compose some music for a banquet being held to celebrate the anniversary of the Habsburgs' victory over the Turks at the Battle of Szlovitize. The emperor wanted something "magnificent but not overwhelming," which is how Strauss described the work to him. He also added some sections of his own to the piece after hearing that the emperor liked them. The original version of the Blue Danube was played at a state banquet on 6 December 1867. It took its name from the color of the uniform worn by the officers of the imperial guard at the time.