Waves of the Danube

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"Waves of the Danube " (Romanian : Valurile Dunării; Serbian : Дунавски валови/Dunavski valovi; German : Donauwellen; French : Flots du Danube; Russian : Дунайские волны) [1] Hungarian: Kis csolnakom a Dunan lengedez is a waltz composed by Ion Ivanovici in 1880, and is one of the most famous Romanian tunes in the world. The song has many variations throughout the piece, reminiscent of the music of Johann Strauss. Through the Viennese style variations, there is still a distinct Slavic style. In the United States, it is frequently referred to as "The Anniversary Song", [2] a title given by Al Jolson when he and Saul Chaplin released an adaptation of the song in 1946. [1]

Danube River in Central Europe

The Danube is Europe's second longest river, after the Volga. It is located in Central and Eastern Europe.

Romanian language Romance language

Romanian is an Eastern Romance language spoken by approximately 24–26 million people as a native language, primarily in Romania and Moldova, and by another 4 million people as a second language. It is an official and national language of Romania and Moldova. In addition, it is also one of the official languages of the European Union.

Serbian language South Slavic language

Serbian is the standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian language mainly used by Serbs. It is the official language of Serbia, co-official in the territory of Kosovo, and one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, it is a recognized minority language in Montenegro, where it is spoken by the relative majority of the population, as well as in Croatia, North Macedonia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.


Rise to prominence

"Waves of the Danube" was first published in Bucharest in 1880. It was dedicated to Emma Gebauer, the wife of music publisher Constantin Gebauer. Composer Émile Waldteufel made an orchestration of the piece in 1886, which was performed for the first time at the 1889 Paris Exposition, and took the audience by storm. [1] It won the march prize to mark the exhibition out of 116 entries. [2]

Bucharest Capital of Romania

Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania, as well as its cultural, industrial, and financial centre. It is located in the southeast of the country, at 44°25′57″N26°06′14″E, on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, less than 60 km (37.3 mi) north of the Danube River and the Bulgarian border.

This article is about music-related events in 1880.

Music publisher (sheet music) publishers who issued printed sheet music

The term music publisher originally referred to publishers who issued printed sheet music.

Ivanovici's "Danube Waves" was published in the United States in 1896 and republished in 1903 by the Theodore Lohr Company in an arrangement for piano by Simon Adler. The published version was called "Waves of the Danube." The composition is also known as "Danube Waves Waltz."

"In Praise of Death"

The melody of "Waves of the Danube" was used in what is regarded as Korea's first popular song, "In Praise of Death" by Yun Sim-deok recorded in 1926. The song was recorded in Osaka, where she met and fell in love with a Korean married man. The two boarded a steamship returning to Korea, but ended their lives by jumping into the sea.

Korea Region in East Asia

Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1948, it has been divided between two distinct sovereign states: North Korea and South Korea. Korea consists of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island, and several minor islands near the peninsula. Korea is bordered by China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and neighbours Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan.

Yun Sim-deok Korean singer-actor

Yun Sim-deok was a Korean singer. She was the country's first professional soprano.

"The Anniversary Song"

"Waves of the Danube" became known in the United States only half a century later. Al Jolson and Saul Chaplin published it in 1946 under the name of "The Anniversary Song" ("Oh, how we danced on the night we were wed") and as their own composition. The 1946 sheet music of the song credits the composers as Al Jolson and Saul Chaplin with music by Iosif Ivanovici. Jolson and Chaplin wrote the lyrics while Chaplin adapted Ivanovici's music.

Al Jolson American entertainer, actor, and singer

Al Jolson was a Russian-born American singer, comedian, and actor. At the peak of his career, he was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer". His performing style was brash and extroverted, and he popularized many songs that benefited from his "shamelessly sentimental, melodramatic approach." In the 1920s, Jolson was America's most famous and highest-paid entertainer.

Saul Chaplin was an American composer and musical director.

This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 1946.

Al Jolson released "The Anniversary Song" on Decca as catalog number 23714. It first reached the Billboard charts on February 7, 1947 and lasted 14 weeks on the chart, peaking at #2. [3]

Decca Records US/British record label

Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, along with American Decca's first president Jack Kapp and later American Decca president Milton Rackmil. In 1937, anticipating Nazi aggression leading to World War II, Lewis sold American Decca and the link between the UK and U.S. Decca labels was broken for several decades. The British label was renowned for its development of recording methods, while the American company developed the concept of cast albums in the musical genre. Both wings are now part of the Universal Music Group, which is owned by Vivendi, a media conglomerate headquartered in Paris, France. The US Decca label was the foundation company that evolved into UMG.

<i>Billboard</i> (magazine) American music magazine

Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

Other recordings of The Anniversary Song

"Der Chasene Waltz"

An arrangement by Henry Lefkowitch with Yiddish lyrics by Chaim Tauber  [ uk ] was published in 1947 as "Der Chasene Waltz" ("The Wedding Waltz"). However, the online catalog of the Florida Atlantic University Libraries contains a record that has 1941 as publication date for this song. [15]

In film

In 1931, film director Josef von Sternberg used the melody in his film Dishonored , in which Marlene Dietrich mimed several piano performances of it. The tune was next used, without being credited, in the 1934 American comedy film The Circus Clown .

Under the name of "The Anniversary Song" it was featured in Al Jolson's biographical Columbia film The Jolson Story in 1946 and the sequel Jolson Sings Again (1949), as well as in Blondie's Anniversary in 1947. Under the name "Waves of the Danube" the tune was used in Akira Kurosawa's 1949 film Stray Dog .

After World War II the tune was used in 1959 in a Romanian film by Liviu Ciulei dealing with the war, titled, after the song, Valurile Dunării. A cover by The New Vaudeville Band was used in 1968 as the title song for cult British Hammer horror The Anniversary starring Bette Davis. It has also appeared in the movies Mayerling in 1968, Falling in Love Again in 1980, When Father Was Away on Business in 1985, Avalon in 1990, Payback in 1999, Father and Daughter in 2000, and A Guy Thing in 2003.

This tune was also used by the famous Indian film maker Raj Kapoor in many of his movies, all the way from Barsaat to Dharm Karm. [16]

This song is also sang in the Japanese movie "Tree Without Leaves" (Rakuyoju, 1986).

On television

The song was sung with American lyrics by Donny Most (as character Ralph Malph) on the ABC sitcom Happy Days , in the 1976 episode titled "They Shoot Fonzies Don't They?"

In books

The song is sung by Alexander-Shura, the main character of the bestseller novel The Bronze Horseman , by Paullina Simons (2001), the night of his wedding with Tatiana, in Lazarevo.

Fame in other countries

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