If somebody says Johann Strauss, they usually mean the Son, the famous “Waltz King”. Although it is rare for a son to outdo his father in the same occupation. The shoes are normally too big to fill.
But this son turns out to be a serious match for his father from 1844 and even takes over his orchestra after his death in 1849. The place they occupy in music history has been secured by the “Blue Danube Waltz” in the case of Johan Strauss the Younger and by the no-less-famous “Radetzky March” in the case of Johan Strauss the Elder – the 2 pieces traditionally played at the end of the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Concert.
Both father and son are a permanent fixture in Baden’s musical life. Johann Strauss I plays in the Kurpark and writes a waltz entitled, “Mein schönster Tag in Baden” (My Finest Day in Baden”). Johann Strauss II conducts his famous operetta “Die Fledermaus” (“The Bat”) at the Stadttheater, perhaps the most famous operetta of all time, set, it is assumed, in Baden.
But there is a difference: Johann Strauss the Father receives a monument in Baden after his death. The monument, which portrays Strauss together with colleague and rival Joseph Lanner, is unveiled in 1912, the year the municipalities of Baden and Weikersdorf are unified. To make things fair, the Son has a street named after him - Johann-Strauss-Gasse - in the vicinity of Mozartstraße and Carl-Zeller-Weg, which are also named after famous composers who pay regular visits to Baden.
Image: Couples Dancing the Gallop, Engraving by Andreas Geiger after Johann Christian Schoeller, 1839 © Public domain