Sunday, December 9, 2012

Émile Waldteufel - The Skater's Waltz, Op. 183

We're surrounded by great music that we've very likely heard before - perhaps often before, where we find ourselves humming along - even though we don't know who wrote it or when.  This is one of those.

When we think of the great 19th Century Walzes, we think of Strauss.  Most have never heard of Émile Waldteufel who was born on this day in 1837.  This is odd, because Waldteufel was incredibly famous in his day, performing frequently for the French President and brought to London by no less than the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) to perform for Queen Victoria.

Perhaps it's that his name is misdirection - Waldteufel is German (from the Alsace region of France) even though he was French through and through.  Hailing from a musical family, he established his reputation in Paris at the Conservatory.  This piece, Les Patineurs, was composed after watching skaters at the rink in the Bois de Boulogne.  He was inspired by their moves, likening them to the dancers in a waltz.

You've very likely heard this before, and (like me) attributed it to Strauss. 


bluesun said...

"You've very likely heard this before, and (like me) attributed it to Strauss. "

I like how high your opinion of my classical music knowledge is!

libertyman said...

Always a favorite, and truly captures the pace of ice skating.

Windy Wilson said...

I have an LP from sometime before 1962 with that as the cover tune.
Dang! Now I have to look for that just to see for myself.
Beautiful tune, no doubt about it.