was created in connection with a real-life journey of Johann Strauss himself to London from April to July 1849. This was his second visit to the British capital, following an earlier one for Queen Victoria’s coronation in 1838. One of the London venues at which he and his band played was the Exeter Hall, which stood in the Strand where the Strand Palace Hotel is today. It was for the first of his concerts there, on 14 May 1849, that Strauss composed the Exeter-Polka
. Alas it was to prove one of the very last of all of his compositions. Shortly after his return to Vienna he contracted scarlet fever from one of his illegitimate children and died on 25 September at the age of only 45.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 2000