Sunday, September 1, 2013

Marshal Radecký

Yesterday, a few of us drove to Olomouc for the day.  Krasimir and Eric had never been before so we planned to check out the usual sights - the UNESCO Holy Trinity Column, the astronomical clock, St. Wenceslas Cathedral, the bells at St. Michael's Church, the fountains, and even the stinky cheese vending machine at the tourist office.

What we didn't know is that this weekend was the 12th annual jubilee celebrating Marshal Radecký.  Jan Josef Václav Antonín František Karel, Count Radecký (1766 - 1858) was a Czech nobleman and an Austrian General.  He served in the military of the Hapsburg Empire for over 70 years.

The festivities included military bands from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and the Netherlands.   

In honor of his victory in a key battle during the First Italian War of Independence, a march was composed in 1848 by Johann Strauß Sr.  The Radetzky March is quite popular.  I had heard it before but never knew who it was originally written for.

Here's a clip I found on YouTube of the Vienna Philharmonic performing the piece during its 2012 New Year's concert.  The performance was shown on Czech TV so you can hear Czech spoken before the show. 

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