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Spring Awakening

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: How can you NOT want to dance in the spring?

Long before disco, the Electric Slide, and even the Macarena, the biggest dance craze to hit Europe was the dance music of Johann Strauss, Jr. This composer seemed to have the gift of writing one dance hit after another during his long and celebrated career. 19th-century Europe was simply humming and dancing along to this composer’s catchy tunes. This piece, the Voices of Spring Waltz, was originally written in 1882 in a version for soprano and orchestra to showcase a talented coloratura soprano who had made herself a star in Vienna. Strangely, Voices of Spring was ill-received at its Viennese premiere, which must’ve troubled Strauss very much. It didn’t become a big hit until it was performed several years later in a concert in Russia. Nowadays, both versions of the Voices of Spring waltz remain some of Strauss’s most well-loved creations.

Music Heard On This Episode

Johann Strauss, Jr. : Voices of Spring Waltz
Vienna Philharmonic; Lorin Maazel, conductor — The Four Seasons: A Musical Calendar of Favourite Classics (DG Imports, 2003)
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