Great Strauss Waltzes

Over the years, several composers captured the spirit of old Vienna and its charm and atmosphere.

The music composed by Johann Strauss, Jr. is synonymous with Waltz music from Vienna. During the time before WWII, Austrians mostly lived a life of culture, good food, good wine, and few cares. The music reflects these times.

From the standpoint of interpretation, the playing of a Viennese waltz requires a unique accompaniment that the Austrian orchestras originated.

Instead of the boring 3-beat “Um-Pah-Pah”, the Viennese interpretation shortens the first beat and lengthens the second beat. This gives the accompaniment a “swing-like” rhythm that enhances the charm of any waltz.

We get to hear the following:

Strauss, J, II: An der schönen, blauen Donau, Op. 314

Kronungslieder – Walzer, Op. 184

Wiener Blut Waltz, Op. 354

Kaiser-Walzer, Op. 437 Sphärenklänge,

Waltz, Op. 235 Tausendundeine Nacht, Op. 346

Performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Willi Boskovsky conducting.

To illustrate my point about accompaniment, listen please to the following:

Here is Johann Strauss’ Viennese Spirit (Viennese Blood – “Wiener Blut”), and you can hear the accompaniment that I described beginning on 02:35  


And next, please explore Johann Strauss “Kaiser Walzer”, op.437; you will hear the typical accompaniment begin at 02:23  


Tags: Johann Strauss, Kaiser – Walzer, Waltz, Vienna, “Wiener Blut”, Vienna Blood, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Willi Boskovsky