Johann Strauss, Father and Son: A Century of Light Music

Excerpt

A whole family of famous musicians is by no means an unusual phenomenon. The Strauss family of Vienna, whose name is almost synonymous with the waltz, had earlier and later parallels. Take the Couperins of France. The oldest of them to achieve fame was already prominent in 1650 when he became organist of the Church of St. Gervais in Paris, a post held subsequently by member after member of that family. And the Couperins remained conspicuous in the musical life of France till the death of the last survivor, Céleste, in 1850.

In our own country we have the noteworthy case of the Damrosch family, founded by Dr. Leopold Damrosch, the most widely known of them being, of course, Walter Damrosch, famed both as conductor and composer. And pre-eminent among the prototypes (with conspicuous differences) of the Viennese Strausses must be named Johann Sebastian Bach and his four composer sons, and Leopold Mozart and his prodigy children, Nannerl and Wolfgang. Other musically fertile families have included the Gretrys, the Mendelssohns, the Schumanns, and, for that matter, the Puccinis. But no other musical line has captivated the imagination of the whole world quite as the Strausses of Vienna have done, their special destiny having been to set the whole world waltzing.

The Strauss dynasty, for such it became through the reign of the "Waltz King," Johann the Younger, held long sway in Vienna . . .

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Ludwig August Frankl
  • Ernst Decsey
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1940

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