Live Broadcast, Tuesday at 4:00 pm
Strauss waltzes were the ultimate party mix; the kind of song set one would imagine for Cinderella in glittering gemstones and long, white gloves. It was a hundred years later in 1939 (and a dark time in Vienna) when Clemens Krauss started a tradition: an annual concert of these 19th century dances to celebrate the New Year.
Viennese waltzes come from a gilded age in which fashionable ladies and elegant gentlemen wearing powdered wigs toasted a new world order, “Long live Champagne the First!”
In fact Vienna’s golden age was short-lived. By the time Strauss II set that line, “Long live Champagne the First!” for Die Fledermaus, the Vienna Stock Exchange had collapsed sending the European economy into a tailspin. By its premiere in 1874, the champagne no longer flowed; Fledermaus was a piece of nostalgia. Perhaps that’s what makes music by the Strauss family ideal for a New Year’s celebration: it looks to better times—and lots of champagne.
Hear a live broadcast from the College of DuPage on Tuesday at 4:00 pm; the program includes a host of favorite waltzes and polkas. Kirk Muspratt conducts. The Ryan Opera Center’s Emily Birsan is soloist.