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The Blue Danube by Strauss #2206294
01/01/14 11:17 AM
01/01/14 11:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
Pretoria South Africa
btb Offline OP
4000 Post Club Member
btb  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
Pretoria South Africa
Listened and watched on TV the Vienna Philharmonic
playing the jolly old BD ... and marvelled at the
flowing gentleness of the piece.

I know chaps that this is a keyboard Forum ...
but I’d be interested in my piano-playing colleagues take on this masterpiece.

Remember my motorbike student days, and casting an eye
on the river ... but don’t remember being knocked out
by the colour blue ... is the colour really blue?

Sorry chaps to throw a can of worms into your New Year
revelry ... thank goodness, I went to bed early after the
neighbours had spent an hour letting off crackers and rockets.

My dear dog (the sheepdog) didn’t enjoy the racket ...
however, I always let the dogs inside the house at this time
to provide comfort.

So ... hands up for The Blue Danube.

Regards, btb

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Re: The Blue Danube by Strauss [Re: btb] #2206303
01/01/14 11:39 AM
01/01/14 11:39 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,964
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bennevis Offline
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J Strauss Jnr. was the first classical composer I ever heard, because I saw the movie The Great Waltz, and I've never lost my love for his music. (I grew up in a non-musical family). And An der schönen blauen Donau is my favourite waltz. I never miss the annual New Year's Day Concert from Vienna....and can't stand any other orchestra playing the Strauss family's music. You ain't got the waltz if you ain't got the Viennese lilt, to paraphrase a well-known jazzer.....

I first played the Blue Danube waltz in a piano duet version a few months after I started learning piano - or more accurately, I was playing the RH part while my more experienced cousin played the oomph-pah-pah LH part in a simple arrangement. Soon after, I took on Schulz-Evler's famous Arabesques on An der schönen blauen Donau with great aplomb......in my dreams grin. Actually, I've never played it.

I think this great waltz is better left to the Wiener Philharmoniker, while we pianists stick to the waltzes of Chopin, Brahms, Schubert et al......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: The Blue Danube by Strauss [Re: btb] #2206368
01/01/14 01:34 PM
01/01/14 01:34 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,668
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Victoria, BC
When played by a Viennese orchestra, I much revel in the Waltzes of J. Strauss, II. An der schönen blauen Donau is certainly one of the great "classics" of the genre.

I was impressed how effectively it was used by Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

As for Schulz-Evler's Arabesques, Piano World's own Jeffrey Biegel does a fantastic job of it, as good as any I've heard, with just the right amount of Viennese Schmaltz to captivate.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: The Blue Danube by Strauss [Re: BruceD] #2206389
01/01/14 02:18 PM
01/01/14 02:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,964
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by BruceD
When played by a Viennese orchestra, I much revel in the Waltzes of J. Strauss, II. An der schönen blauen Donau is certainly one of the great "classics" of the genre.

I was impressed how effectively it was used by Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Regards,

In 2001, the recording used was Herbert von Karajan's, with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Karajan did try to inject Viennese lilt into it, but despite his Austrian pedigree and the great orchestra at his command, the latter couldn't manage it. They just ain't got it.

Whereas in his New Year's Day Concert in 1987, Karajan effortlessly captured the Viennese essence of the music with the Wiener Philharmoniker, in the best performance of this waltz I've ever heard.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: The Blue Danube by Strauss [Re: btb] #2206431
01/01/14 03:30 PM
01/01/14 03:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 6,452
Land of the never-ending music
ChopinAddict Offline
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ChopinAddict  Offline
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Land of the never-ending music
I have an adaptation for piano, but it is not very impressive. By far not as impressive as the original work.

PS: I watched the Neujahrskonzert from the Musikverein too. I also noticed that there were 6 women in the Wiener Philharmoniker this year!



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Music is my best friend.


Re: The Blue Danube by Strauss [Re: ChopinAddict] #2206439
01/01/14 03:36 PM
01/01/14 03:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,964
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict

PS: I watched the Neujahrskonzert from the Musikverein too. I also noticed that there were 6 women in the Wiener Philharmoniker this year!

According to the BBC announcer, there were nine (?).

And wonder of wonders, a woman was on the front desk of the first violins..... grin - is she even one of the concertmasters?


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: The Blue Danube by Strauss [Re: bennevis] #2206452
01/01/14 03:58 PM
01/01/14 03:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 6,452
Land of the never-ending music
ChopinAddict Offline
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Land of the never-ending music
I don't know for sure, but the Wikipedia says: As of 2013, the orchestra has six female members. Whether 6 or 9, it is an improvement! It then continutes: one of them, violinist Albena Danailova became one of the orchestra’s concertmasters in 2008, the first woman to hold that position. smile



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Music is my best friend.


Re: The Blue Danube by Strauss [Re: btb] #2206656
01/01/14 11:11 PM
01/01/14 11:11 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
There is a delightful film about a Steinway piano technician and all of the craziness involved. Pierre Laurent Aimard, while in Vienna, hears the orchestra rehearsing Strauss and comments, "Ah, so Viennese ... Too Viennese."

wink

It's worth a watch.

Pianomania


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: The Blue Danube by Strauss [Re: btb] #2206676
01/02/14 12:22 AM
01/02/14 12:22 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
Pretoria South Africa
btb Offline OP
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btb  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
Pretoria South Africa
Thanks chaps ... looks like Strauss gets the thumbs up for his Blue Danube ... and here's a confession ...
during my student motorbike tour of Europe, I missed out
on seeing Vienna ... this was due to the exhaust pipe
getting stuffed up ... and so headed eastwards for
Venice (those mechanics fixed the bike in a trice) ...
having done an Analysis Precedent of the Doges Palace and St. Mark's Square as student architect, everything suddenly fitted into place ... and then south for Rome (an Architect's paradise especially in the Roman Forum) ...and a magical viewing of Florence and Pisa (even went up to the top of the wonky bell tower).

Slept in a haystack on Wimbledon Common before rejoining the architectural firm I had said goodbye to ... the boss
kindly gave me 20 English Pounds to get settled ... 3 months later I landed at Cape Town.

thanks again chaps ... regards btb

Re: The Blue Danube by Strauss [Re: btb] #2206788
01/02/14 09:09 AM
01/02/14 09:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,843
*sigh* Salt Lake City
malkin Offline
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*sigh* Salt Lake City
Traveling during the summer of 1976, I spent much of one afternoon in Vienna at a sort of fancy cafe by the side of the Danube. There had been a bridge collapse and the work was pretty interesting to watch. I'm not sure why my companion and decided that it would be the most interesting thing in all of the city.

My recollection is that everything was pretty gray that day, but I imagine on a sunny day it would be quite blue.


I've been trying to change my signature quote for weeks.

Re: The Blue Danube by Strauss [Re: ChopinAddict] #2206841
01/02/14 11:10 AM
01/02/14 11:10 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 512
Dorset, England
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slipperykeys Offline
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Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 512
Dorset, England
Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
I also noticed that there were 6 women in the Wiener Philharmoniker this year!


I don't think it matters what a musician has between their legs, unless it is a cello.

Is there a legend about the Danube is only blue to people who are in love?

Maybe Hollywood pap dreamed up for the Robert Donat, "Goodbye, Mr Chips" or true Viennese, I don't know.

Hopefully 50% of the people in love in Vienna are women.

Just don't bet on it.

Re: The Blue Danube by Strauss [Re: btb] #2206874
01/02/14 12:41 PM
01/02/14 12:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,886
New York
Andromaque Offline
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Posts: 3,886
New York
This is an interesting conversation to me, because I am just back from Vienna. I did manage to attend Die Fledermaus and therefore heard the utterly Viennese lilt. It is a marvelous city and yes the Donau is not so blau, but the architecture is breathtaking- if you are into 18th century style or Otto Wagner's Jugendstil. I of course visited Mozart's apartment and Beethoven Pasqualati house as well as Heilignestadt where they have a lock of his hair, a part of his original door lock and some facsimiles. Not an impressive amount of Beethoven related objects but a very moving experience overall. To stand there where he lived (probably), and to follow his walk along the Beethovengang was really meaningful to me. In his Vienna apartment, there was a piano with 5 pedals (?by Streicher), his salt and pepper containers and a large box for sugar. But most impressive were the stairs to his 4th floor apartment. They are untouched since his days and you can easily imagine him going up and down. There is a story about LvB scolding a young student who ran up the stairs quickly and arrived breathless. Roaming around the city, you will run into many commemorative plaques indicating that Mozart lived there, or Czerny or Shikaneder, and if you have read any of the major biographies you will recognize the names of the various counts and their palaces around town (Lobkovitz etc). It was also interesting to see the Beethoven monument that was commissioned / facilitated by Liszt. Right next to it, was the school where young Shubert went and several blocks over, is the apaprtment where Shubert died.
I should add that while the city is extremely interesting and immersed in music culture, its inhabitants are not guilty of excessive friendliness, and it is not a most diverse place. But yes they do waltz and sell champagne in the streets on New Year's eve.


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