The Blue Danube - J. Strauss Jr. (1867)
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On the Beautiful Blue Danube (An der schönen blauen Donau)

Everything began when one Josef Weyl wrote an ode to the newly installed electric light, brightening the streets of Vienna. The song was composed in order to be performed by the local choir, but was soon forgotten, when electricity and street-lights became commonplace. But Jaohann Strauss, the composer of the song, did not forget the catchy tune. Several years later, when asked to write a musical piece for an exhibition in Paris, he again took the same melody and rearranged it for a string orchestra. The Parisian performance, by an exhibition orchestra, became a huge success. "The Blue Danube" became a hit, and its score is the best-selling music score of all time, of any musical piece. Had Joseph Weill been alive, he would have probably broken into song. Danny Kaye, the legendary Jewish-American film actor, who possessed, by the way, absolute hearing and never missed an opportunity to conduct a symphonic orchestra without any preparation, used "The Blue Danube" as a background for his punches on his rival boxer, in one of his great movies (The Kid from Brooklyn - 1946).

Johann Strauss Jr.'s Statue in Vienna - photograph by Corel Inc."The Blue Danube" is a Viennese waltz in every meaning. It is only blue in music, for in real life the river is green and brown. The waltz's belonging to the city of Vienna, is clear beyond any doubt, thanks to the famous Viennese accent - every first beat comes a little earlier than you might expect. This is the so-called trademark of Viennese waltzes, and this one is no different. It was written in Paris, but it belongs to Vienna. Josef Weyl would have probably broken into a song and dance simultaneously, if only he could remember the words...
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