Contemplazione Alfredo Catalani
To celebrate the release of our new album Waltzing Classics, you can download dance steps for the waltz here
Waltzing Classics is the brand new album from Classic FM, available now from hmv. It’s the perfect album to relive your dancing days, whether you’re a seasoned professional, or whether you just like to waltz around the kitchen.
To celebrate the release, we’re going Waltz-crazy here at Classic FM, with some downloadable dance steps to accompany the album.
Here is some background information on the Waltz:
- There are several representations of a sliding or gliding dance, including from French philosopher Montaigne, who wrote of a dance he saw in 1580 in the Bavarian city of Augsberg, where dancers held each other close enough that their faces nearly touched
- Peasants of Bavaria, Tyrol and Styria began dancing a dance called Walzer, around 1750, alongside a dance called the Schleifer, a Austro-Bohemian dance in 3/4 time that spread from the countryside to the cities of the region
- Shocking many when it was first introduced, the waltz became fashionable in Vienna in the 1780’s, and at the time, Don Curzio wrote, ‘The ladies of Vienna are particularly celebrated for their grace and movements of waltzing of which they never tire.’ Slow and quicksteps were developing at this time
- It became fashionable in Britain during the Regency Period, and was described as ‘riotous and indecent’ by the Oxford English Dictionary as late as 1825
- Many styles of the waltz have developed from the traditional ‘Viennese’ version, including ‘American’, ‘Hesitation’, ‘Cross Step’, and ‘Cajun’
- Music of the waltz is most often in 3/4 beat, typically with one chord per measure, and playing the root of the chord on the first beat and upper notes on the second and third beats, also known as an ‘oom-pa-pa’ beat
- The Viennese Waltz is usually danced at around 180 beats (60 measures) per minute, with couples turning continuously while travelling counterclockwise around the floor, following each other. A true Viennese waltz consists only of turns and change steps
- Composers traditionally supplied music for dancing when required, although some were written for concert performance. At one time the waltz held so much importance that celebrated composers received the title of ‘Waltz King’ and a decorated silver baton which was passed from musician to musician. Johann Strauss II received the title frequently