Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. - Benjamin Franklin
As another year expires, we are awaiting the birth of a new one. What better music to herald its entry than some music by the “Waltz King”? Johann Strauss II (October 25, 1825 - June 3, 1899); also known as fully Johann Baptist Strauss, and Johann Strauss Jr. was an Austrian composer of light music, particularly dance music and operettas. He composed over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas and a ballet. He was largely responsible for the popularity of the waltz in Vienna during the 19th century.
Strauss was born in St. Ulrich (now a part of Neubau), the son of Johann Strauss I, another composer of dance music. His father did not wish him to become a composer, but rather a banker; however, the son defied his father’s wishes, and went on to study music with the composer Joseph Drechsler and the violin with Anton Kollmann, the ballet répétiteur of the Vienna Court Opera. Strauss had two younger brothers, Josef and Eduard Strauss, who became composers of light music as well, although they were never as well-known as their elder brother.
Some of Johann Strauss’s most famous works include The Blue Danube Waltz, Vienna Blood Waltz, Kaiser-Walzer, Tales from the Vienna Woods, the Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, and the Pizzicato Polka. Among his operettas, Die Fledermaus and Der Zigeunerbaron are the most well-known.
Best wishes for a New Year
full of health, happiness and prosperity!