During the years from 1820 to 1825, Joseph Lanner and Johann Strauss the elder, the creators and masters of the Viennese waltz, brought that form to such a perfection that they had the public of the capital on the Danube dancing to their strings. The waltz had sprung up in the café houses of the suburbs and passed from the concert houses at the Prater into the palaces. The waltz brought Johann Strauss the title of Court Kapellmeister.
THE PRATER OF VIENNA Water color by Karl Schubert, Franz Schubert's brother The Prater, a very large park, first was the private property of the Imperial family, but in 1766 was opened to the public by Emperor Joseph II. The part of the park closest to the capital gradually became an amusement park, whereas the parterre and the avenues farther south constituted a popular meeting ground for the nobility and the higher middle class. (Private Collection, Vienna)
JOSEPH LANNER (1801-1843) Lithograph by Joseph Kriehuber The father of the Viennese waltz had started out with a modest trio, expanded to a quintet and finally to a large orchestra. His successes were incredibly great. Lanner's point of departure was the Ländler in three-quarter time, and gradually he composed his immortal waltzes. ( National Library, Vienna)
JOHANN STRAUSS THE ELDER (1804-1849) Lithograph by Joseph Kriehuber Strauss originally was a member of the Lanner ensemble. He later left it, formed his own orchestra and celebrated the greatest triumphs. So huge were his successes that he was appointed Court Kapellmeister. ( National Library, Vienna)
JOSEPH BÖHM (1795-1876) Lithograph by Joseph Kriehuber The excellent musician and violin virtuoso came to the attention of the Viennese audiences through his excellent performances of Beethoven's last string quartets. ( Historical Museum of the City of Vienna)
THE FIRST CAFÉ HOUSE AT THE PRATER OF VIENNA Colored engraving by Norbert Bittner In this large hall the Böhm Quartet played its chamber music matinées for the first time in 1821. Its specialty was Beethoven's last string quartets. Some of these had their first public performance in the large hall of this building. ( Historical Museum of the City of Vienna)