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Viennese Waltz in New Year`s Day concert

Posted January. 06, 2015 08:00,   


To music fans, January is remembered with a New Year`s Day concert performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at Musikverein in Vienna, Austria. This year, conductor Zubin Mehta from India was present for his fifth time at the concert.

The Viennese Waltz, which Johann Strauss and Johann Strauss II played a huge role in revolutionizing, is difficult to be imitated by bands in other countries. Its unique beat makes others hard to follow. Among three beats, the first is a little short and the second a little long, that the second cuts into the first. If it is expressed in musical notes, ♩♩♩ would be natural but the Viennese Waltz creates a feeling of ♪♬♩ somewhat. In other words, the first beat is short and the second long.

There is another history of the second, which is longer than the first in Vienna waltz tradition: Strauss family. Johann Strauss, the father the waltz, opposed to his sons studying music. Only when the father lived separately, Johann Strauss II could debut as a musician to later become the "King of waltz." The father even acted mean to his proud son. He refused to play at the concert where his son was playing. Nevertheless, the son gained far more reputation than his father. Johann Strauss died at age 45 and the son lived until he was 77 years old, enjoying more musical fruits. His younger brothers Joseph and Edwards also gained popularity as waltz composers but not as much as their eldest bother. The second being the longest is similar to waltz`s beats.

Like every year, the Vienna Philharmonic New Year`s Concert played Johann Strauss II`s "An der schönen blauen Donau" and Johann Strauss` "Radetzky March" as encores. The son`s waltz was played before the father`s march, in opposition of the order that these music pieces were created. The playing time for the waltz was longer than that of the march. The Vienna orchestra provided such a diverse music program covering the Strauss family including the father and three sons. I hope the family would enjoy a time of harmony even in Heaven.