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Mr. Winder adds a bittersweet note by describing some of the beautiful old cities and towns trailing along the Danube, where stately palaces, cathedrals, town halls, opera houses, plazas and promenades recall a lost world that is worth remembering, if only for the far worse things that filled the vacuum once it was gone.

Aram Bakshian Jr., a former aide to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan, co-authored the memoirs of Robert Stolz (1880-1975), the last of the Viennese waltz and operetta kings.