Strictly Strauss - Johann I, Johann II, Josef and Eduard. Ken Bruce turns genealogist as he presents a history of the amazing Strauss Family. Viennese whirl anyone?
Strictly Strauss - Johann I, Johann II, Josef and Eduard. Ken Bruce turns genealogist as he presents a history of the amazing Strauss Family.
First came Johann Strauss the father and then Waltz King himself - Johann Strauss II and his brothers - Josef and Eduard. The Strauss Family - they remain unrivalled in the world of Viennese music. Mazurkas, polkas and above all the waltz. Johann Strauss II wrote over 500 dance pieces and his work was much admired by Brahms and Wagner.
When it first appeared in the late 18th century the waltz was considered scandalous. In a gavotte you stand side by side but in a waltz couples are in close hold - they bodies touching. Goodness Gracious! The best selling pamphlet of the time was by German critic Salomon Jakob Wolf whose "Proof that Waltzing is the Main Source of Weakness of the Body and Mind of our Generation" sold out twice. The waltz was first seen in Britain at the Prince Regent's grand ball of 1816. The Times reported on "the indecent foreign dance called the waltz" and "the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs" Even Lord Byron (not known for his defence of high morals) criticised the dance.
Tonight's concert will include many Strauss family favourites performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Stephen Bell - The Blue Danube; Tales from the Vienna Woods; Bahn Frei!; Die Libelle and the Radetsky March. Our guest coloratura soprano will be Friday night star Rebecca Bottone - who will perform Village Swallows and When the Lemon Trees Bloom.
During the interval - writer Peter Kemp looks at the life of the forgotten Johann Strauss - Johann Strauss III
Time to roll back the carpet and brush up on your fleckerls, your canter pivots, hesitations and left whisks.
Viennese whirl anyone?
This programme was first broadcast in May 2018