Johann Strauss II - Kaiser-Walzer (Emperor Waltz), Op. 437

Strauss often played in the glittering Imperial balls, conducting the orchestra and playing the first violin at the same time.   The majestic launch of this fascinating waltz presents the backdrop of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the hegemony of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph in 1888. Johann Strauss II was Music Director of the Dance Hesperides of the Imperial Court from 1863 to 1872 and composed on occasion for the celebration of an imperial anniversary. The ingenuity of the melody of the Emperor Waltz, which was originally orchestrated for a full orchestra, is such that it was easily adapted for the four or five instruments of a chamber ensemble by the Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg in 1925. This waltz is a tender and somewhat melancholic work, which at times turns its gaze nostalgically to the old Vienna. The waltz praises the majesty and dignity of the old monarch, who was fully devoted to his people. It begins with a majestic, magnificent march, which soon re


Polka is a dance of Czech origin and has a lively 2/4 rhythm. It appeared in the early 18th century in rural areas and then spread over the course of the century in Europe and America, about at the same time as the waltz.

Very lively, the polka is characterized by a typical half step that closes every meter, giving the movement of the couple who dances it a graceful svelte.

Very famous polkas of J.Strauss II are Tritsch-Tratsch and Pizzicato.

An also well known polka is from Smetana's comic opera The Bartered Bride.

Jaromir Weinberger's Polka from Schwanda, the Bagpiper is also a very well known polka.

Polka's popularity declined in the early 1900s with the emergence of American dances at the rate of contrattempo. Polka howerer, retains a prominent place in the world repertoire.