The Last Waltz - Signed Edition (Hardback)John Suchet (author)
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The Last Waltz tells the intriguing story of two generations of the Viennese family that produced some of the best known and best loved music of the nineteenth century. From nowhere they produced two Waltz kings, a father and three sons, and literally hundreds of instantly recognisable and enduring melodies, such as The Blue Danube Waltz, Tales from the Vienna Woods, Voices of Spring and The Radetzky March. Yet this was also a family riven with tension, feuds and jealousy, and those involved lived in an Austria that witnessed seismic upheavals. An Emperor ill-equipped for leadership struggled to maintain the exalted place of the Austro-Hungarian empire on the European stage, while at the personal level experiencing more tragedy than any man should have to bear: his brother executed, his wife the Empress murdered, his son and heir lost in a double suicide. Through the personal and political chaos, the Strauss family continued to compose waltzes to which the Viennese - anxious to forget their troubles - danced and drank champagne, as their country hurtled towards the First World War, and oblivion.
A quote from John Suchet
"Vienna was the first place I ever went abroad without my parents.I was on a school trip. I became instantly captivated by the sounds of Strauss which sounded from doorways and on street corners. Such beautiful melodies which, I thought, must have emanated from the pens of carefree musicians writing for a people who danced without a worry in the world.
Only later did I discover that the Strauss family was riven with jealousy and discord. The Viennese who were waltzing to Strauss and drinking champagne were heading inexorably towards the First World War and oblivion, ruled over by an Emperor who lost four family members to murder and suicide.
I hope you’ll agree with me that the music of the Strausses — father and three sons — transcends all the traumas which accompanied its birth, and like all great art will endure far longer than the circumstances in which it was created."
Publisher: Elliott & Thompson
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