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romantic dance in moderate triple time. It evolved from the German Ländler and became popular in the 18th cent. The dance is smooth, graceful, and vital in performance. The waltz in Vicente Martin's opera Una cosa rara, produced in Vienna (1776), is regarded as the first Viennese waltz. This type was later made famous by the two Johann Strausses, father and son. The younger Strauss composed the Blue Danube Waltz, the most popular of the Viennese style. The waltz was introduced in the United States via England in the early 19th cent. Mozart, Chopin, Berlioz, Brahms, Richard Strauss, and Ravel have also composed waltzes.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a dance for couples based on a smooth circling combined with a forward movement.

The waltz is accompanied by music with a 3/4 measure (more rarely 3/8 or 6/8) and a moderately fast tempo. It originated from peasant folk dances of southern Germany, Austria, and Bohemia. In the last quarter of the 18th century, the waltz began to appear in the city. Because of the ease, simplicity, and elegance of its movements, as well as the rich expressive possibilities of the music—passionately elevated, tenderly lyric, or brilliant and elegant—the waltz became the most popular dance of all strata of European society in the 19th century, as well as a very widespread musical genre. The Viennese waltz was particularly famous because of the work of J. Lanner, J. Strauss the Elder, and J. Strauss the Younger. Their waltzes were joined in cycles of miniatures (Walzer-Kette—“chain of waltzes”). An important step in the poetization of the waltz was made by Schubert. Eventually, waltzes began to appear in the form of larger instrumental compositions usually written for piano or symphony orchestra and close to the genre of the romantic poem (C.M. von Weber, Chopin, and Liszt). This symphonization of the waltz was especially characteristic of Russian music (M. I. Glinka, Tchaikovsky, A. K. Glazunov, and S. S. Prokofiev). Waltzes also continued to be composed in the form of lyric miniatures, sometimes arranged in cycles (Schumann, Brahms, and Grieg). The waltz can be the basis of an art song or operatic aria or part of cyclical compositions such as suites and symphonies (Berlioz and Tchaikovsky). It has been widely used in ballets, operettas, incidental music for plays and films, and so forth.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a ballroom dance in triple time in which couples spin around as they progress round the room
2. a piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Or, si on retrouve ici les oppositions binaires, notamment entre les enchainements du theme melancolique et dramatique de la << valse >> et du theme non-dramatique de l'<< hymne >>, la fin tend clairement vers des elements dysphoriques tres intenses a partir du theme pastoral << euphorique >> de depart.
In contrast to Ravel's La Valse, Concerto by Khalife had an interesting mix of Western and Arabic elements in his composition.
Puri takes seriously the possibility of trading Ravel's music as queer art, and searches for resonances between camp aesthetics and pieces such as feux d'eau, Valses nobles et sentimentales, and "Noctuelles" ("Moths") from Miroirs.
"Raymonde Linossier" is a "Valse triste" that laments the death of a dear friend.
He insisted on enlisting in the military despite an initial medical deferral, he spoke about the war with passion, and in 1919 he wrote a two-piano work, La Valse, (existing, though less frequently performed, in a solo version) that arguably goes farther than any other toward capturing Vienna's tailspin from grace.
It added that the antique was handed over to the Iraqi Ambassador by the State Minister for Cultural Affairs of Germany's Righnland Valse State, during a celebration organized by the German-Romanian Museum in the State.
He released his first album "La Valse Des Monstres" in 1995.
Zank contends that irony connects these aspects and analyzes it within works such as Gaspard de la nuit, La valse, Le tombeau de Couperin, Jeux d'eau, Rapsodie espagnole, and other pieces, as well as within the context of earlier examinations by Roland-Manuel, Vladimir Jankelevitch, and other studies.
The spirit of La Valse and many of those superb dance movements from the piano works is never far from this suite, where the composer's consummate orchestration skills are always on show, and Petrenko made sure the RLPO made the most of what the score had to offer, although the opening waltz felt just a little strident at times.
State Finance Minister Dilip Valse Patil will present the budget in the Assembly this afternoon.
Three Policemen, Isabel Valse, Grande valse brillante, Etude, Petite suite, Rapsodie, Bagatelles, Dance of the Puppet, Spring Wind, Bugatti Step
The programme will feature Brahm's Violin Concerto, Sibelius' Valse Triste, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 2 and Leonard Bernstein's Facsimile.