It is probably the best known and most frequently played march in the world: the Army March II dedicated to Field Marshal Josef Wenzel Count Radetzky von Radetz, better known as the “Radetzky March”.
This is not least due to its distinctive rhythm (datadám datadám datadám datadámdamdám), which repeatedly provoked people to sneer (“When the heart of courage exercises the chest” or “When the pug with the wurst jumps over the curd.”).
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 section, the “Tinerl Song”, which was well known at the time.
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 current use 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 far closer to the carnival concerts of J. Strauss and the Viennese Ball Society of his time than many academic interpretations of our day.