Musical Journey: Vienna
The Places - Vienna was already an ancient Celtic town called Vindobona when around 15 BC the Romans fortified it with a military camp. The town prospered and grew, undergoing considerable further development under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who died there in AD 180. In later times Vienna assumed the greatest importance as the capital of the Habsburg Empire and as a bulwark defending Western Europe from invasion from the East, although it failed to repel Napoleon, who occupied the city twice in the first decade of the 19th century. The Music; the eldest son of Johann Strauss I, the younger Johann Strauss was born in 1825, the year in which his father established his popular dance orchestra. The father intended other professions for his sons, but in 1844, two years after his father had abandoned his wife in favor of his mistress, the younger Strauss set up his own orchestra, an enterprise in which he later compelled his younger brothers, Joseph and Eduard, to share. In 1863 Strauss was appointed Imperial Music Director for the balls held at court, a position he held until 1871, when he was succeeded by his brother Eduard. He then began writing a series of operettas, including in 1874 the best known of all, Die Fledermaus. He died in 1899 after a busy and successful career, having composed some five hundred pieces of music; Waltzes, Polkas, Marches, Quadrilles and Stage works.