IOSIF IVANOVICI (1845 - 1902)
Composer Ion Ivanovici was born in Romania around 1845 and spent most of his career involved with military music in Galati, site of a naval training-school on the north bank of the Danube, some eighty miles north-east of Bucharest. In 1901 he moved to Bucharest but died there the following year. The most famous of his compositions was the waltz originally titled Valurile Dunari, which became internationally celebrated as Donauwellen, Waves of the Danube or, in French, Flots du Danube, first published in Bucharest in 1880, with a dedication to Emma Gebauer, the publisher’s wife. In 1946 its distinctive main theme gained renewed familiarity when adapted by Al Jolson and Saul Chaplin as the ‘Anniversary Song’ (‘Oh! how we danced on the night we were wed’) in the film The Jolson Story. Ion Ivanovici himself won a composition prize at the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris, some three years after Emile Waldteufel made this orchestration.