The Viennese Dance Series for Chamber Ensembles

Johann Strauss Jr.


String Quartet



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The Blue Danube Waltzes, Op.314 for Piano Trio or String Quartet

Johann Strauss Jr. (1825-1899) needs no introduction. The Viennese Waltz King will forever remain famous as long as music is played. Nor do The Blue Danube Waltzes although their history is somewhat interesting. They were originally composed for a small ensemble of 10-12 players and were first performed at the Vienna Men's Choral Association in 1867. It was at a choral association because originally, the waltz had words. Its first performance was a failure and Strauss was reported to have cursed, "The devil take it."

Strauss then arranged it for a small orchestra for the 1867 World's Fair in Paris. This time it was a success and soon became world famous. Naturally, Strauss' publishers demanded arrangements for every conceivable ensemble. Today in Vienna, The Blue Danube, as it is knonw in English (An der schönen blauen Donau in the original German) is most often heard played by small ensembles--string quartets and quintets or piano trios.

You may well have heard this work played by the Vienna Philharmonic or some other behemoth symphony orchestra. But it was never intended to be played by such a group. Strauss' ensemble was small by today's standards. Usually 10 to 12 players, but occasionally up to 25 or 30. But one combination he certainly never envisioned was the modern day 100 member symphony orchestra--probably the least valid arrangement of all.  The music of the Viennese waltz masters, first and foremost, was intimate chamber music. This is the time-honored way in which most Viennese then and now have listened to their beloved waltzes.

(A) Blue Danube for Piano Trio-Parts $11.95
(B) Blue Danube for String Quartet--Parts Only $19.95
(C) Blue Danube for String Quartet--Parts & Score $24,95



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