Since I started dancing, I've always found it a little dissapointing that the classics of Viennese waltz literature - from the musicians' perspective - are essentially never heard at dances.
Obviously, a lot of this is because the standard performance of something like "The Blue Danube" today is in a concert setting, with tempo ranging ALL over the place. But this music did original grow out of a dancing tradition.
So how was it that musicians and dancers found a compromise? Did orchestras play at stricter tempos? Did dancers use different figures at different speeds?
I'm with you. Very few of the contemporary Viennese Waltzes have the charm, beauty and musicality of the classic ones, but the classics (due to their very musicality) do not always adhere to the strict tempo required in International style. But you can find a few beautiful classics, in strict tempo, by the usual ballroom orchestras. I don't have the CD names, but can find them for you, if you want: 1- The Blue Danube exists in a fine version by Joe Loss Orchestra. 2- Uber den Wellen by Werner Tauber Orchestra. 3- Vogelhandler by Werner Tauber. 4- Mignonette Waltz, and I don't know the Orchestra, but I know this one is from Casa Musica label. 5- Faust Walts by Hugo Strasser Orchestra. And the really, really gorgeous ones: 6- Fuehlingstimmen waltz, don't know the orchestra. 7- The Second Waltz, Andre Rieu Orchestra. 8- Die Moldau, Klaus Hallen Orchestra. Then there is the more modern, but still in the classic style: 9- Skaters Waltz (Mantovani Orchestra), still in the classic style; and two of my favorites: 10- Once Upon a December, Deana Carter (on Ballroom Swing CD). 11- Anniversary Song (also I think on Ballroom Swing). And, to answer your question, I'm guessing people could dance to music that varied in tempo, since dancing was a social, not athletic, activity, and no judges were standing by.
quote:Originally posted by Samba One: I love Flora's Secret but have had a heck of a time getting others to accept it.
Wow - that is a nice song. The only thing is I find the downbow accent on 1 a bit strong in Enya's recording - it's a nice folksy feel, but to actual dance to it almost feels like someone is counting to help you. Of course there is a time and place for that - and at around 50 mpm this could be good practice material.
Or re-recorded in the 58-60 range with a slightly less accented downbeat to give a more flowing feeling... perhaps the version on them mentioned ballroom CD has already been thus treated?
This is such an interesting topic. I am no dancer but I have the same disappointment when it comes to the classic Viennese waltz. We should try to adapt this music to dance too. I am glad you guys shared these songs, I was hoping I could find some free downloadable beats too. Any ideas?