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EMILE WALDTEUFEL  

(1837 - 1915)

Like Johann Strauss, Emile Waldteufel came from a family of dance musicians. Patriarch, Louis (1801-84) led a highly regarded band, and brother Leon (1832-84) was a respected musician.Emile Waldteufel was born in Strasbourg on 9 December 1837, just seven weeks after the elder Johann Strauss gave his first concert on French soil in that very city. When he was seven, the family moved to Paris for his brother Lon to take up a place as a violin student at the Paris Conservatoire. Emile Waldteufel was to live in Paris for the rest of his life.He in turn studied piano at the Conservatoire with Marmontel from 1853 to 1857, where Massenet was among his classmates.

Meanwhile the family dance orchestra was becoming one of the best known in Paris, increasingly in demand for society balls during Napoleon III’s Second Empire. In 1865, Waldteufel was appointed court pianist to the Empress Eugnie in succession to Joseph Ascher (composer of ‘Alice, where art thou?’), performing at Court functions not only in Paris but also in Biarritz and Compigne. From 1867 the Waldteufel orchestra played at Napoleon III’s magnificent Court balls at the Tuileries.

After the Franco-Prussian War the orchestra again presided at the Presidential balls at the lyse. Yet, so far only a relatively limited Society audience had known Waldteufel's dances. By the time international fame came he was almost forty. In October 1874 he happened to be playing at a soire attended by the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII. The Prince complimented him on his waltz Manolo and agreed to help launch his music in England. The result was a long-term publishing contract with the London firm of Hopwood & Crew. Since the firm was half-owned by Charles Coote, director of Coote & Tinney’s Band, the premier London dance orchestra, this also gave access to the musical programmes of Queen Victoria’s State Balls at Buckingham Palace. For several years Waldteufel’s music dominated the programmes there, generating for him worldwide fame as he turned out a string of works that enjoyed huge popularity—including his best-known work Les Patineurs (‘The Skaters’) in 1882. His French publisher Durand, Schoenewerk was now forced to buy the French rights to these works from Hopwood & Crew. So later did the German firm of Litolff, in whose editions the works sometimes appeared under slightly different German names. In addition, to suit Germanic custom, in 1883 Litolff retrospectively began an opus numbering system. This began at 101 to make arbitrary allowance for early works, and for various reasons many works were numbered out of chronological sequence, thereby providing a source of much confusion ever since.

Waldteufel appeared in London in 1885 and Berlin in 1889, and in 1890 and 1891 he conducted at the Paris Opra Balls. His orchestra continued to provide dance music for Presidential Balls, as well as for other Society functions, until 1899, when he retired. He continued to compose, but his style was by then outdated. He died in Paris on 12th February 1915 at the age of 77. His wife, a former singer Clestine Dufau, whom he married in 1873 and who bore him two sons and a daughter, had died the previous year.

Waldteufel was recognised as a good-natured person, with a ready sense of humour—characteristics that are readily perceivable in his music. Unlike the music of Johann Strauss, Waldteufel’s perhaps scales no great architectural heights, but rather seeks to enchant by the grace and charm of his melodies and their gentle harmonies. By comparison with Strauss’s very masculine creations, there is undoubtedly more of a feminine feel about Waldteufel’s waltzes. Unlike Strauss, he conducted with a baton rather than a violin bow, and he composed at the piano, his works being orchestrated later. The standard Waldteufel orchestration was for strings, double woodwind, two cornets, four horns, three trombones and ophicleide (or tuba), plus timpani and percussion.

Box Set Release Catalogue Number
The Seasons Naxos 8.504038

Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
101 CLASSICS - The Best Loved Classical Melodies Naxos
8.508004
Orchestral
A NEW YEAR'S CONCERT Naxos
8.571097
Orchestral
CENTRE (THE), Vol. 2 Naxos
8.554903-04DX
Orchestral
CLASSICAL MOMENTS 4: Classical Music for the Home Naxos
8.555360
Orchestral
EIDE, Leo: Whistling Virtuoso BIS
BIS-NL-CD-5001
Instrumental
FANGA DAGEN (Seize the Day) Naxos
8.578216
Orchestral
GOLDEN AGE OF SALON MUSIC (The) (Schwanen Salon Orchestra, G. Huber) Naxos
8.578003-04
Chamber Music
Great Waltzes Naxos
8.553337
Orchestral
GREAT WALTZES (The) - The Essential Collection Naxos
8.578041-42
Orchestral
Joy To The World Naxos International
8.990013
Orchestral
KARAJAN, Herbert von: Philharmonia Pop Concert (1953-1955) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80003
Orchestral
KLASSISKA FAVORITER, Vol. 2 Naxos
8.550554
Orchestral
NAXOS SELECTION: Highlights Naxos
8.571000
Orchestral
Salon Orchestra Favourites, Vol. 1 Naxos
8.554756
Chamber Music
SALUT D'AMOUR - SALON ORCHESTRA FAVORITES Naxos
8.571087
Chamber Music
STOR MUSIK FOR SMA ORON Naxos
8.570395
Orchestral
STOR MUSIK FOR SMA ORON (Big Music for Little Ears) - Children's Music Compilation Naxos
8.503156
Orchestral
STRAUSS II, J. / LEHAR, F. / TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Great Waltzes Naxos
8.571076
Orchestral
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND STROLLING STRINGS: Strolling Strings 50th Anniversary (The) Altissimo
75442261172
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND: Season of Hope, Vol. 2 Altissimo
75442271262
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE STRINGS: Winter Reflections Altissimo
75442259802
Orchestral
Viennese Favourites, Vol. 2 Naxos
8.553282
Orchestral
WALDTEUFEL, E.: Famous Waltzes (Slovak State Philharmonic, Walter) Naxos
8.553956
Orchestral
WALDTEUFEL: The Best of Emile Waldteufel, Vol. 1 Marco Polo
8.223433
Orchestral
WALDTEUFEL: The Best of Emile Waldteufel, Vol. 10 Marco Polo
8.223688
Orchestral
WALDTEUFEL: The Best of Emile Waldteufel, Vol. 2 Marco Polo
8.223438
Orchestral
WALDTEUFEL: The Best of Emile Waldteufel, Vol. 3 Marco Polo
8.223441
Orchestral
WALDTEUFEL: The Best of Emile Waldteufel, Vol. 4 Marco Polo
8.223450
Orchestral
WALDTEUFEL: The Best of Emile Waldteufel, Vol. 5 Marco Polo
8.223451
Orchestral
WALDTEUFEL: The Best of Emile Waldteufel, Vol. 6 Marco Polo
8.223684
Orchestral
WALDTEUFEL: The Best of Emile Waldteufel, Vol. 7 Marco Polo
8.223685
Orchestral
WALDTEUFEL: The Best of Emile Waldteufel, Vol. 8 Marco Polo
8.223686
Orchestral
WALDTEUFEL: The Best of Emile Waldteufel, Vol. 9 Marco Polo
8.223687
Orchestral
WALDTEUFEL: The Best of Emile Waldteufel, Vol. 11 Marco Polo
8.223692
Orchestral
WINTER Naxos
8.557726
Orchestral




 
 
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9:28:04 PM, 23 November 2014
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