Ted's Piano World *


This best-known of all waltzes originally was written as a vocal piece for a Vienna men's choir, with lyrics by a policeman extolling the virtues of electric street lighting!  It was quickly forgotten by all but a few civil engineers and Strauss himself.  Some years later, having been commissioned to write something for Napoleon's 1867 Paris Exhibition, Strauss converted the song to a string-orchestra format, and audiences subsequently went wild.  The score for solo piano immediately sold over a million copies, and it remains the world's all-time leader in sheet music sales.

Strauss indirectly received high praise from some fellow composers.  Johannes Brahms, when asked for an autograph by Mrs. Adele Strauss, responded by inscribing on her fan the first few bars of The Blue Danube, followed by the words, "Unfortunately not by Johannes Brahms".  Richard Wagner, weary of the public spotlight, celebrated his sixty-third birthday at home by organizing a few local musicians and sharing with some friends a performance of — you guessed it — Strauss waltzes.

Strauss performed this waltz as lead conductor for the Boston Festival's "Monster Concert" in the 1870s, featuring over 1,000 musicians.  That's not bad for someone whose career began as a street musician playing for coins!

Ernest Haywood transcribed this work for piano duet, along with many others.  The lengthy introduction and coda are not included; the music concentrates on the five waltz themes, then reprises Waltz #1.  All repeats have been retained.

The MP3 secondo part plays the first measure, with Primo beginning on the third beat of the second bar.


Blue Danube Waltz  .mid preview (3:30)  25 kb
Duet, page 1 8 pages total213 kb
Primo part, page 1 4 pages total244 kb

Blue Danube Waltz_secondo  .mp3 Secondo part 3.3 mb
Blue Danube Waltz  .zip sheet music in pdf format,
2 MIDI files,
2 Finale 2005 files,
2 XML files
602 kb

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