ON THE BEAUTIFUL BLUE DANUBE Johann Strauss
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
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
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
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 total||213 kb|
|Primo part, page 1||4 pages total||244 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