The Kid from Brooklyn
A Space Odyssey
Age of Innocence
On the Beautiful Blue Danube (An der schönen
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).
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...