Home    Vienna, Austria  9/7/2008  
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Johann Strauss’ Residence – “Blue Danube Waltz House” 2nd district, Praterstrasse 54, Tue-Thu 2 – 6 p.m., Fri-Sun, public holidays 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. This is the apartment where Johann Strauss composed his world-famous “Blue Danube Waltz”. This showpiece was probably – like so many of his works – penned during nighttime hours at his high desk (which is on display). The “Blue Danube Waltz” was premiered in a concert hall at the former Diana baths (Dianabad) on February 15, 1867. A chorus of 150 members of the Wiener Männergesangs-Verein sang this unofficial Austrian national anthem which then went on to take the world by storm. In the same year it was performed at the International Exposition in Paris and at London’s Covent Garden, and in 1872 it was the spotlight of an unprecedented spectacular in Boston, USA. It was reported that 20,000 singers and musicians, and 100 sub-conductors with Johann “Schani” Strauss at the main rostrum celebrated a waltzing triumph to the wild applause of an audience of thousands... The Strauss apartment not only gives you the opportunity to listen to many rousing Strauss waltzes whilst leafing at leisure through the exhibition catalog, but you also learn something about the Waltz King himself. One example is the caricatures that he drew. One of his favorite pastimes apart from playing billiards and cards was drawing. And if you take a look at the photograph that shows Strauss together with his composer friend Johannes Brahms (b. 1833 Hamburg – d. 1897 Vienna) you see just how important a well-groomed, youthful appearance was to the three-quarter time maestro. This picture was taken at the Strauss Villa in Bad Ischl, Upper Austria, in 1894. Johann was already 70, but looked considerably younger in the photo than Brahms who was only 62 years old. Maybe attributable to the youthful qualities of the waltz….