Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Danube, New Year, Vienna and Music

Odd combination one may say, but there is a common thread here.  On January 1st every year I watch the New Year's concert from Vienna; it is a family tradition, about which I blogged here one year ago.  The concert is centered around music from the Strauss family, and one of the most anticipated pieces every year is the Blue Danube waltz.  So there, you now see the connection.

The Danube River ends its "journey" in the Black Sea, where it forms the Danube Delta, which is one of my favorite places in Romania for many reasons: scenery, geology, landscape, people, the food, the culture, and the list could go on.

The Danube Delta (Romania and Ukraine). Image credit - Chelys, via Earth Snapshot.
The Danube Delta overlies two geologic provinces: the Scythian Platform and the Pre-Doborogea Depression.  The deltaic sedimentary complex is up to 400m thick and formed during Late Pleistocene - Holocene. The delta consists of three depositional systems: 1) a deltaic plain, which in the picture above is roughly the dark green area, from the first point of bifurcation of the Danube River (marked by the red circle in the photo above), to the shoreline; 2) the delta front parallels the coast and roughly coincides with the area where sediment plumes are visible in the water; and 3) the pro-delta, offshore of the delta-front, in water depths as deep as 50-60m.

In Vienna, on every January 1st, the Blue Danube waltz is the second of the three encore pieces played during the New Year's Concert.  The tradition is that the orchestra starts the music, and after the first few measures the audience interrupts with applause.  The conductor stops the music, turns towards the audience and wishes everyone a Happy New Year, after which the orchestra resumes the music.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011, and I am looking forward to some Champagne and waltz music tonight, including one of my favorites - the Blue Danube Waltz.

Happy New Year!

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