Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Radetzky March

From Wikipedia: "Radetzky March

"Radetzky March, Op. 228 is a march composed by Johann Strauss Sr. in 1848. It was dedicated to the Austrian Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz, and became quite a popular march among soldiers.

"When it was first played, in front of Austrian officers in attendance, they promptly clapped and stomped their feet when the chorus was played. This tradition is carried over today when the march is played in classical music venues in Vienna, among members of the audience who are familiar with the tradition. It is almost always played as the last piece of music at the Neujahrskonzert, the Vienna New Year Concert.

"Despite its military nature, its tone is rather festive than martial, in accordance with its dedicatee's exuberant personality and popularity in the ballroom as well as the battlefield. It is usually played in under three minutes.

"Radetzky March consists of three main parts:

"* The introduction: The whole orchestra plays here and the brass section plays the melody.
* The first figure: This is played by the string section.
* At figure two, the whole orchestra plays until figure three when it repeats back to the D.S. (first figure.)
* The trio: This is played by the brass section and the trumpet plays three triplets in the last bars of the trio.
* Figure five: The whole orchestra plays here.
* Figure six: The whole orchestra plays here and then repeats back to figure 5.
* The orchestra plays on the last bar.
* They go back to the D.C. (beginning).
* They play until figure three; and the piece finishes with the Fine ("end") bar -- i.e., the direction is Da capo al fine (repeat from beginning up to the word fine).

"Popular culture

"Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (March 2009)

"* Danish football club AGF Aarhus play the Radetzky March in their stadium every time a goal is scored by the home team.
* The 1932 book Radetzky March by Joseph Roth, depicting several generations of a military family in the last period of Austria-Hungary was inspired by the Strauss music.
* The march plays an important role in several armies around the world, and its presence demonstrates the influence that Austria made in the countries whose armies play it. Chile's Army's Officers' Academy "General Bernardo O'Higgins" plays the Radetzky March because of the system imposed in it by German officers in the between world wars era. Radetzky is one of the central parts of any of their ceremonies.
* In the film Battle Royale, the teacher Kitano plays the Radetzky March during his first report.
* In the film Werckmeister Harmonies, the march is played in two consective and constrating scenes; first, when Valuska visits Tünde and the drunken police chief, who are dancing to it, and in the following scene, when Valuska attempts to put the police chief's children to bed.
* In the TV series The Prisoner, the march is a notable part of the repertoire of the Village band.
* It was the theme song of the Finnish children's programme Pelle Hermanni, this version was played with a barrel organ.
* The song is played on all El Al flights prior to take-off.
* In Back to School, Mr. Bean, the Radetzky March is played over a horn speaker at the beginning of the episode, with a group of cadets marching.
* On Aristocrat Slot Machines[dubious – discuss], the introduction is played when a jackpot is won."

Further reading:

The Radetzky March (within the context of the Austrio-Hungarian or Happsburg Empire)

Cinque Giornate Revolt (Five Days Revolt in Milan - 1848)

I am not certain as to whether or not this march was composed before or after the Milanese revolt in 1848. It makes little difference, as it was in reference to Radetzky's army marching and conquering Lombardo-Venetia. It is frequently stated that "Italians hate the Radetzky March," which is understandable up to a point. I would think that it would only really be offensive to those of Lombardian, Tri-Venetian, and Trentinese descent. I don't even know if "offensive" is the word, but I do think that we should always be aware of this time period, which is really just one bleep within a historical perspective. We are as close as one or two great-grandparents away from this event. I guess it's possible that someone alive today could have had a grandparent who was alive during this time. That's amazing in of itself! The Brescians also had a big revolt against Radetzky's Happsburg army. The Ten Days Revolt during the same year, and was also victorious (but for only one year). I think that the march has transcended it's original meaning, and is used all over the world. It should be noted that the Venetians had their heel on the Dalmatian coast for a long time, just as the Austrians later had theirs on Lombardo-Venetia. It appears that Venetian colonies down along the eastern Adriatic coast to parts of Greece, were granted a little more political and economic inclusiveness, and less brutality (although the Venetians were brutal at times).

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