Tribute to Strauss

The Johann Strauss Gala promises the definitive tribute to the ‘Waltz King’ Johann Strauss and his sparkling legacy.

A showcase celebrating the most popular music dance and song from the Strauss family, the gala has been captivating audiences for more than 30 years.

Music director David Juritz is looking forward to his third stint with the show which tours to the Brighton Dome on Sunday, February 5 at 3pm (01273 709709).

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The night captures 19th-century Vienna at a time when it was awash with opulent parties, as people became hypnotised by the latest dance craze, the waltz.

The waltz started life as a peasant folk dance, but it was soon adopted by the urban classes - and the market was cornered by Johann Strauss Snr, the grandfather of light music composers.

Within a matter of years, the Strauss family held a monopoly on the waltz and polka, as they fed the demand of Vienna’s dancing enthusiasts.

“It’s just absolutely wonderful music,” David says. “And the dancers are just such fun to work with. The waltz music is fantastic in itself, but when you have people dancing, it really brings it to life. And I am told that the girls have got new frocks for this year!

“I spend most of my time in the rather more serious classical music world, but there is such a strong link between the two sides, with Strauss being on the popular side. He was the equivalent of stars today going around doing stadium shows. He was the Frank Sintra of his day, at the very least. When he went to Boston, he played to 50,000 people. I was astounded to learn it!

“There is a lot of emotional depth in the music. I think a lot of popular music is there to really resonate with people’s emotional states and to maintain those emotional states. That’s why it works really well for parties and for clubs if you are in the groove.

“But I think that with the really great artists, what appears to be going on on the surface is one thing, but underneath that there is a huge amount going on. Most of the music is very lively and it is quite frothy, but there is also all sorts of different undercurrents, and that’s what makes it so fascinating.”