Wednesday Music: Strauss’ ‘Emperor Waltz’

Today’s piece is a classic you may have heard of, if not heard already. It’s the Emperor Waltz, Op. 437, composed by Johann Strauss II. Here’s a bit about it.

  • This piece was written in 1889 and originally called Hand in Hand because it was intended as a symbolic “toast of friendship” extended by Austria to Germany. (For reference, Austrian emperor Franz Josef visited German Kaiser Wilhelm II during August of 1889.)
  • The piece was first performed in October of 1889.
  • This waltz contains many sections, but at the end, there’s a cello solo that is based on the first theme in the piece.

Enjoy! Warning: this is one catchy waltz and I had it stuck in my head for a little while after listening to it!

Or click here to see on YouTube.

Note: I only realized this after writing the post, but this is a weirdly appropriate piece for this edition of Wednesday Music. It’s April 20, which is Hitler’s birthday. Hitler was born in 1889. I promise I didn’t know in advance that this piece was written that same year!