"Favorite French Waltzes"
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MUSIC: Waldteufel: Skaters Waltz, Op. 183 [Musical Heritage Society MHS 11164K, track 5] [under the following] [8:28]
Welcome to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide Fred Flaxman.
The waltz is so associated with Vienna and with Johann Strauss, Jr., that when I ask people to name their favorite French waltzes, they often draw a blank. And yet French composers have produced quite a few very famous waltzes which you'll undoubtedly recognize when you hear them, whether or not you can name the composers. We are going to listen to several of these during the next hour, starting with the one in the background now.
The theme for this hour is "Favorite French Waltzes" and I asked one of my very favorite French friends, Simon Corley, to e-mail me a list from Paris of which pieces he would pick for this program. We haven't the time to play all of his recommendations, but we shall listen to waltzes by Waldteufel, Berlioz, Offenbach, and Ravel.
Can you remember the name of the piece that's playing right now? Can you name the composer? Stay tuned and I'll give you the answers at the end of the piece.
MUSIC: comes up and continues until the end of the piece
The Skaters Waltz -- Les patineurs -- by the French composer Emile Waldteufel [Ay-MEEL VAHL-toy-fuhl]. The orchestra of the Vienna Volksoper was conducted by Franz Bauer-Theussl. In his lifetime, Waldteufel was almost as famous for his waltzes as was Johann Strauss, Jr., but that certainly isn't the case now.
Waldteufel was born in Strasbourg in 1848. His mother was Bavarian. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire and became court pianist to Napoleon III and director of the court balls. He gained international fame when the Prince of Wales introduced his music in London in 1874. He died in Paris in 1915, during World War I, which brought to an abrupt end the huge demand for this type of music. The Skaters Waltz lives on, I suppose, in skating rinks throughout the world.
We'll listen to more "Famous French Waltzes" in a few minutes. But first I want to give you the opportunity to put your money where your ears are by helping to support Compact Discoveries and classical music in general on this, your local public radio station. This requires a simple, short telephone call on your part. Here's the number to call.
LOCAL BREAK 1: Give phone number and information encouraging listeners to call and support classical music public radio. This membership break lasts 6 minutes. Announcer should end with "and now back to Compact Discoveries." [6:00]
You are listening to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman, and in this hour we are featuring "Favorite French Waltzes" as selected by Simon Corley in Paris.
Lots of waltzes are written as separate dance pieces, but not all. Sometimes waltzes are part of larger symphonic works designed for listening rather than for dancing. That is certainly the case with this next waltz. Can you name the composer and the piece that it comes from?
MUSIC: Berlioz: "Un Bal" ("A Ball") from Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paavo Järvi [Telarc CD-80578, track 2] [6:18]
The second movement, marked "Un Bal -- A Ball: Valse: Allegro non troppo," from Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14, by Hector Berlioz. Paavo Jaärvi [YEHR-vee] conducted the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on a Telarc compact disc.
You are listening to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman, and this is your local public radio station's on-air membership drive -- the perfect time to show your support for the broadcaast of classical music. Here's the number to call.
LOCAL BREAK 2: Give phone number and information encouraging listeners to call and support classical music public radio. This membership break lasts 6 minutes. Announcer should end with "and now back to Compact Discoveries." [6:00]
You are listening to "Favorite French Waltzes" on Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman. So far we have heard waltzes by Waldteufel and Berlioz. Next I've edited together a suite of waltzes by the same composer, all taken from the same ballet. Can you name the composer? Can you name the ballet?
MUSIC: Offenbach/Rosenthal: Waltzes from Gaîté Parisienne with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal conducted by Charles Dutoit [London 411 708-2, excerpts from tracks 6,7 and 8]
Waltzes from the ballet Gaîté Parisienne. Charles Dutoit conducted the Montreal Symphony Orchestra on a London compact disc. The music was by Jacques Offenbach as arranged by Manuel Rosenthal. Actually, Offenbach never wrote a ballet or anything else called Gaîté Parisienne. Manuel Rosenthal extracted all the music for the ballet from operettas that Offenbach did write: La vie parisienne (Parisian Life), Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in Hell), La belle Hélène (The Beautiful Helen), Les contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) and others.
Coming up, one more magnificent waltz with which to conclude this hour of "Favorite French Waltzes." You might call it the waltz to end all French waltzes. But first, everyone at this public radio station would like to hear from you with your call of financial support for this station, for classical music, and for this Compact Discoveries series. Here's the number to call:
LOCAL BREAK 3: Give phone number and information encouraging
listeners to call and support classical music public radio. This
membership break lasts 6 minutes. Announcer should end with "and
now back to Compact Discoveries." [6:00]
Welcome back to Compact Discoveries and this hour devoted to "Favorite French Waltzes." So far we have brought you the Skaters Waltz by Waldteufel, the waltz movement from the Symphonie fantastique by Berlioz, and waltzes from Gaîté Parisienne by Offenbach as arranged by Manuel Rosenthal.
I mentioned at the beginning of this hour that the waltz as a dance is associated with Vienna and particularly with Johann Strauss Jr. Well we're going to end the hour with a waltz by a French composer, Maurice Ravel, which is really a tribute to the Vienese waltzes of Johann Strauss. In fact it was originally conceived as a symphonic poem to be titled Wien -- Vienna. But it ended up called simply La Valse -- The Waltz.
MUSIC: Ravel: La Valse performed by the Orchestre de Paris conducted by Baniel Barenboim [Deutsche Grammophon 400 061-2, track 3] [13:14]
Maurice Ravel's La Valse. Daniel Barenboim conducted the Orchestre de Paris on a Deutsche Grammophon compact disc recording.
This is Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman, and I've devoted this hour to "Favorite French Waltzes" as selected by one of my favorite French citizens, Simon Corley in Paris.
I hope you've enjoyed listening to these pieces as much as I have. Please let me know! You can contact me, Fred Flaxman, through the Compact Discoveries website: www.compactdiscoveries.com. The website has short descriptions and complete scripts for each Compact Discoveries program. There are also articles, a list of stations carrying the program, and a section for listener response. The website address again is www.compact-discoveries.com.
Compact Discoveries is a registered trademark and production of Compact Discoveries, Inc. This program is made possible in part by the members of WXEL-FM, West Palm Beach, Florida.
[length of program is designed to come out at 58:36, but depends on the exact time lengths of the live studio membership breaks]
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