The Last Waltz
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The Last Waltz : The Story of the Strauss Dynasty and Vienna

4.26 (56 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 187 x 246 x 30mm | 1,192g
  • Elliott & Thompson Limited
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1783961163
  • 9781783961160
  • 331,225

About John Suchet

John Suchet presents the flagship morning programme on Classic FM, the UK's most popular classical music station. His informative style of presentation, coupled with a deep knowledge of classical music, has won a wide spectrum of new listeners to the station. In particular John is recognised as a leading authority on the life and works of Ludwig van Beethoven. He has previously published five books on the composer. Before turning to classical music, John was one of the UK's best-known television journalists. As a reporter for ITN he covered world events, including the Iran revolution, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Philippines revolution. He then became a newscaster, regularly presenting ITN's flagship News at Ten, as well as all other bulletins, over a period of nearly twenty years.; John has been honoured for both roles. In 1986 he was voted Television Journalist of the Year, in 1996 Television Newscaster of the Year, and in 2008 the Royal Television Society awarded him its highest accolade, a Lifetime Achievement Award. John has been given an honorary degree by his old university, the University of Dundee, and in 2001 the Royal Academy of Music awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his work on Beethoven.show more

Review quote

"I greatly enjoyed spending time with John Suchet's fascinating book about Johann Strauss, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did." Andre Rieu; "John beautifully balances the family Strauss saga with the fall of the Habsburg Empire. This copiously illustrated book is terrific!" -- Carl Davis, composer and conductor; "Riveting reading ... I found it difficult to put down. Stuffed full of facts, both historical and musical, this is in no way a dry academic tome because John Suchet, as always, spins his enthusiastic way through the drama as if guiding us personally in the footsteps of the protagonists and their times. I can highly recommend this absorbing and beautifully presented book." -- Howard Shelley, pianist and conductor; "Engaging ... the narrative style is very beguiling and draws the reader in very quickly. I could not put this down once I had started it... This book, as well as being immensely readable, entertaining and beautifully written, is also beautifully produced. The paper is of a high quality, the kind that you want to stroke, the illustrations are superb and the layout of the whole book is a joy. I loved it." -- Random Jottings blog; "Incredibly informative and entertaining ... made me realise how little I knew about this musical dynasty. [Suchet's] talent for giving the reader facts without any heavy academic approach means this is a very approachable route into becoming your own Strauss authority! The snippets and anecdotes have been carefully collected and put together in such a way that dipping in and out of the book is easy - highly recommended for anyone wondering what is behind the Blue Danube!" -- Sandra Parr, Artistic Planning Director (Orchestra and Ensembles), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; "Very readable ... elegantly prepared with plenty of quality illustrations ... makes a fascinating read about one of the greatest musical dynasties that ever lived. John Suchet puts their personal lives into the context of the politics of the day without missing out on the musical history. A book to be thoroughly recommended." -- John Diamond, Chairman of The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain; "This handsomely presented volume positively screams to be taken down from the shelf and explored. In its pages, John Suchet succeeds in giving an overview of the Viennese Strauss dynasty of musicians, setting it in the context of the often turbulent and tragic lives of the ruling Habsburg dynasty. Importantly, and unlike almost every other contemporary writer in this field, Suchet embraces the fact that the Strauss family's music-making did not end with the death of the 'Waltz King' in 1899, but continued well into the 'swinging sixties' of the 20th century." -- Peter Kemp, author of The Strauss Family: Portrait of a Musical Dynasty; "Thoroughly interesting and entertaining" -- The Herts Advertiser; "Handsomely produced and superbly written... As a former News at Ten anchor [Suchet] knows a thing or two about distilling narratives and crafting pay-off lines. (His best is the book's very last sentence, which it would be churlish to reveal.)"-Richard Osborne, The Oldieshow more

Rating details

56 ratings
4.26 out of 5 stars
5 41% (23)
4 48% (27)
3 7% (4)
2 4% (2)
1 0% (0)
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