When learning the Viennese Waltz it can be difficult to locate Viennese music of the proper tempo with which to practice. Most classical recording of Strauss waltzes are at concert tempos that are too fast and irregular for waltzing, let alone learning to dance. Conversely, most ballroom dance recordings are pop or easy listening arrangements that would cause anyone with classical music sensibilities to cringe.
Consequently, I have posted several piano recordings of Strauss waltzes and polkas that were performed at uniform tempos for students who are learning the Viennese waltz and polka. Each of these recordings is at a successively faster tempo, except of the last waltz, which has a gradual tempo acceleration from the beginning to the end.
Although these are not concert quality performances, they should be more than adequate for those who wish to practice coming up to tempo.
Please feel free to download and make copies of these mp3 files for your personal use. You may also freely share these with others.
The above music was performed by Christopher Hubbard on a Samick Baby Grand at Magic Closet Studios. The piano was miked with a pair of Neumann KM184s in ORTF configuration - seven inches apart and 110 degrees splayed, just inside the lid, about 2 feed up, aimed at the center of the strings. A small amount of reverb was later included to add a ballroom sound, and the graphic equalizer was adjusted to boost the left hand.
Mont Christopher Hubbard has studied classical piano for over 18 years. He has worked in the Portland area as a composer/musical director for local theater, church accompanist, high school music teacher, and private piano instructor. He is a graduate of Reed College, where he studied composition and conducting. He also plays in a few local bands (Scotland Barr and the Slow Drags, the Scott Fisher Band), and does occasional studio work.
Are you a member of an ensemble that performs Viennese music? We would be happy to include contact information about your group, and would also be happy to post a sample recording.