LAST WALTZ: The Strauss Dynasty and ViennaJOHN SUCHET Book Number: 82616 Product format: Hardback
The Blue Danube, Tales from Vienna Woods, Voices of Spring and The Radetzy March. Their iconic music is as popular as ever. Here is a family riven by jealousy and feuds. Brilliantly told, this is the story of a talented musical family set against the backdrop of a turbulent Austria, and taking centre stage are a father and son, both determined to succeed whatever the cost. An incitement to sinful passion, demoralising and lewd, improper and horrible turning of women by men in a manner as to make skirts fly up and reveal too much - the waltz, one of our most beloved of dances, shocked many people when it first appeared. Thankfully, Johann Strauss ignored all this and continued composing, as in time, his son, also Johann Strauss, did, even more successfully. Johann the elder married Anna Streim in 1825, and less than four months later, their son, also Johann, was born, followed by four more children over the next ten years. However, Johann senior had also found a mistress, Emilie Trapusch, who bore him eight more. So when Johann the younger told his mother that he wanted to give up his studies and devote himself to music, despite his father's command that he become a banker, she agreed to help. To spite her husband Anna approached the first violinist in her husband's orchestra, who consented to teach her son in secret. The boy learnt quickly as he had inherited his father's musicality, and, when he finally discovered the boy's talent, Johann senior was furious and jealous; however as he died of scarlet fever when just 45, it left the way clear for his son to assume the title of 'Waltz King'. 278pp. 50 colour and b/w illus. Remainder mark.
Published price: $35
Bibliophile price: £10.00