It is probably the best known and most played march in the world: the Army March II dedicated to Field Marshal Josef Wenzel Graf Radetzky von Radetz, better known as the “Radetzky March”.
This is due not least to its distinctive rhythm (datadám datadámdamdám), which repeatedly provoked people to mocking verses (“When courage exercises its resilience in the chest” or “When the pug jumps over the gutter with the sausage”).
The march consists of three parts, the third of which corresponds to the first, and J. Strauss used an old Viennese folk melody for the trio of the middle part, the “Tinerl-Lied”, which was well-known in its day.
The Radetzky March became world-famous through the traditional Viennese New Year’s Concert, at which it is one of the highlights.
But contrary to its use today in the world’s most important concert halls, it was never intended as an elitist cultural asset for the “better society”, but as music for “everyone”.
On this video with the Dutch violinist A. Ríeu you can see how much this music still inspires people today!
And no matter how much purists turn up their noses: with this performance, Ríeu comes much closer to the carnival concerts of a J. Strauss and the Viennese ball society of his time than many academic interpretations of our days.