Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Would You Like to Dance?

Detail of Hofball in Wien (1900) by Wilhelm Gause

On this day in 1825, Johann Strauss II was born.

Known as the "Waltz King," Strauss perfected the classic waltz. Many great waltzes came before him and plenty came after, but his works are the watershed apex of the form. So influential were his works that even now, nearly two centuries later, his music is conceptually synonymous with the waltz.

When I hear his music, I want to get up, hold my partner, and dance, whirling around an opulent ballroom, mirrors and candelabra glittering as we spin across the floor. I want to take flight into the magical realm of beauty and joy that the music evokes.

The Hunt Ball (1885) by Julius LeBlanc Stewart

These timeless works need no more of my words.

Morgenblatter, Op. 279 (1863)

Roses from the South, Op. 388 (1880)

Wiener Blut, Op. 354 (1873) featuring Elizabeth Schwarzkopf

And the greatest of all waltzes, On the Beautiful Blue Danube, Op. 314 (1867) featuring Vladimir Malakhov.


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