New year's concert 2020
George Gershwin, Cuban Overture
Georges Bizet, Carmen : suite (excerpts from the Suites I & II)
Giacomo Meyerbeer, The Skaters (excerpts)
Charles Gounod, Waltz from "Faust"
Johannes Brahms, Hungarian Dances Nr. 1
Johann, Jr. Strauss, Pizzicato Polka
Johann, Jr. Strauss, Kaiser-Waltz, op. 437
Alexander Borodin, Prince Igor : Polovtsian Dances
Aram Khachaturian, Adagio from the "Spartacus" Suite
Aram Khachaturian, Waltz from the "Masquerade" Suite
Aram Khachaturian, Lezginka from the "Gayane" Suite
The nineteenth century was a turbulent time in Europa. For example, in just one hundred years, France evolved from a monarchy to a republic, to become an empire and finally a republic again. The rich Parisians, however, preferred to concentrate on other matters: “People spoke of nothing else, but balls and glittering soirees”, according to the flamboyant fashion journalist Octave Uzanne. A popular dance during these festivities was the waltz: the lively, whirling dance in ¾ time. Composers sometimes wrote them specifically for these occasions or as part of an opera or ballet.
And so Paris waltzed on. Despite all these troubles on the national front, France continued to expand its power aggressively on the world scene, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. The power of the waltz makes us briefly forget the horrors of the real world. But beware if someone asks you to dance: forgetfulness soon turns to denial.