Main content

Whatever Happened to the Waltz?

Tom Service explores why the waltz swept through the musical world, what happened to it and why we love to dance to music in triple metre. With Darren Royston and Katie Derham.

A hotbed of vice, immorality, and social meltdown... or a musical embodiment of gilded nostalgia and conservatism...

The sounds of an empire at whirling play in Vienna... or the final soundtrack to the end of a musical and political world order...

Tom Service invites you to dance through history in three-time, and whirl through waltzes both wonderful and weird.

With dance historian Darren Royston and dancing queen Katie Derham.

Available now

29 minutes

Music Played

  • Alfred Schnittke

    Agony : Concert suite

    Performer: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. Performer: Frank Strobel.
    • CPO.
  • Haydn Wood

    Joyousness

    Performer: Pro Arte Orchestra. Performer: George Weldon.
    • EMI.
  • Johann Strauss II

    Wiener Blut

    Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Performer: Herbert von Karajan.
    • DG.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Symphony no. 10 (Op.93) in E minor, 3rd movement; Allegretto

    Orchestra: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Vasily Petrenko.
    • Naxos.
  • Maurice Ravel

    La Valse

    Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Performer: Pierre Boulez.
    • DG.
  • Anon.

    Violin - La Volta

    Orchestra: Early Music Consort of London. Conductor: David Munrow.
    • Erato.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven & Antonín Kubálek

    6 Minuets (WoO.10) vers. for piano, no.2 in G major

    • Dorian.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Symphony no. 41 (K.551) in C major "Jupiter", 3rd movement; Menuetto

    Performer: English Baroque Soloists. Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
    • Philips.
  • Josef Lanner

    Karlsbader Sprudel Waltz, Op. 50

    Orchestra: Blaserensemble des Niederosterreichischen Tonkunstlerorchesters. Conductor: Werner Hackl.
    • Divertimento.
  • If I Can Dream

    • Edel Records.
  • Johann Strauss I

    Die Vier Temperamente - waltzes for orchestra (Op.59)

    Orchestra: Biedermeier Ensemble Wien. Conductor: Helmuth Puffler.
    • Denon.
  • Johann Strauss II

    Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald - waltz (Op.325)

    Performer: Vienna Philharmonic. Performer: Herbert von Karajan.
    • Decca.
  • Carl Maria von Weber

    Invitation to the dance - rondo brillant, orch. Berlioz [orig. for piano]

    Performer: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Performer: Neville Marriner.
    • Phillips.
  • Hector Berlioz

    Symphonie fantastique (Op.14), 2nd movement; Un Bal (Valse) (Allegro non troppo)

    Performer: Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. Performer: Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
    • Philips.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Symphony no. 6 (Op.74) in B minor "Pathetique", 2nd movement; Allegro con grazia

    Orchestra: Mariinsky Orchestra. Conductor: Valery Gergiev.
    • Philips.
  • Maurice Ravel

    La Valse

    Performer: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Performer: Pierre Boulez.
    • DG.
  • Johann Strauss II

    Morgenblatter [Morning papers] - waltz (Op.279)

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Georges Prêtre.
    • Decca.
  • Donna Summer

    Hot Stuff

    • Hot Stuff.
    • Sony.
  • Survivor

    Eye Of The Tiger

    • Survivor.
    • Sony.
  • Johann Strauss II

    An der schonen, blauen Donau - waltz for orchestra with chorus ad lib. (Op.314)

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Willi Boskovsky.
    • Decca.

Broadcasts

Six mind-expanding music podcasts to download in 2019

Six mind-expanding music podcasts to download in 2019

Love music? Looking for new ear-fodder for your commute? We've got you covered.

Why do we call it 'classical' music?

Why do we call it 'classical' music?

Tom Service poses a very simple question (with a not-so-simple answer).

Six of the world's most extreme voices

Six of the world's most extreme voices

From babies to Mongolian throat singers: whose voice is the most extreme of all?

How did the number 12 revolutionise music?

How did the number 12 revolutionise music?

How Schoenberg opened a new cosmos for composers and listeners to explore.

Why are we all addicted to bass?

Why are we all addicted to bass?

Bass is everywhere, but why do we enjoy it? Join Tom Service on a journey of discovery.

Watch the animations

Watch the animations

Join Tom Service on a musical journey through beginnings, repetition and bass lines.

When does noise become music?

When does noise become music?

We like to think we can separate “noise” from “music”, but is it that simple?

Podcast