André Rieu – The Beautiful Blue Danube
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 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 sentiments associated with the waltz have 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. The first few bars are the interval signal of Österreichischer Rundfunk‘s international programs.
When Strauss’s stepdaughter, Alice von Meyszner-Strauss, asked the composer Johannes Brahms to sign her autograph-fan, he wrote down the first bars of The Blue Danube, but adding “Leider nicht von Johannes Brahms” (Alas! not by Johannes Brahms).
A typical performance lasts around 10 minutes, with the seven-minute main piece, followed by a three-minute coda.
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Picture by: Ivanhoe
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Picture source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bud…
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Concerto de Ano Novo com Strauss | New Year Concert with Strauss | 01-01-2012 – “Orquestra de Bandolins da Madeira” & “Prestige Dance” – Centro de Congressos da Madeira – Casino
“Tod und Verklärung” (Death and Transfiguration), Op. 24, is a tone poem for large orchestra by Richard Strauss. Strauss began composition in the late summer of 1888 and completed the work on November 18, 1889. The work is dedicated to the composer’s friend Friedrich Rosch.
Unusual for a composer of 25 years of age, the music depicts the death of an artist. At Strauss’s request, this was described in a poem by the composer’s friend Alexander Ritter as an interpretation of Death and Transfiguration, after it was composed. As the man lies dying, thoughts of his life pass through his head: his childhood innocence, the struggles of his manhood, the attainment of his worldly goals; and at the end, he receives the longed-for transfiguration “from the infinite reaches of heaven”.
There are four parts (with Ritter’s poetic thoughts condensed):
1. Largo (The sick man, near death)
2. Allegro molto agitato (The battle between life and death offers no respite to the man)
3. Meno mosso (The dying man’s life passes before him)
4. Moderato (The sought-after transfiguration)