It’s from the Suite for Variety Orchestra. by Dmitri Shostakovich. It’s a perfectly glorious little waltz. I love the saxophones on the first iteration of the first theme. He has a little Guy Lombardo vibe going there for just a bit. My dad used to refer to ballroom dances (waltz, foxtrot, etc.) as “clinch dancing” — no telling where he came up with the term, probably from boxing. You practically have to be a reenactor to do a proper waltz in public any more (You gotta have the floor length dress with at least three petticoats!) No secret, though, that I do love a good waltz, and this one is as good as any the Strausses could come up with.
While we’re waltzing, this scene from the film Van Helsing, one of the choicer bits from that film (apart from Hugh Jackman in that coat). Dracula with a cape (and a ponytail!), check. Grand staircase, check. Beautiful clothes, check. And that red dress on Kate Beckinsale, double check with an exclamation point. And that bit when you see the reflection in the mirror, and she’s dancing all by herself because, of course, mirrors don’t reflect vampires. If I don’t already have a copy of that film, I may just have to get one. . .
And even though this next one is a musical repeat, watching Bert Lancaster and a very young Sean Bean waltz, and getting an eyeful of Alain Delon . . . It’s a mix of scenes from movies The Leopard (Il Gattopardo) by Luchino Visconti from 1963. Anna Karenina by Maurizio Millenotti from 1997, Anna Karenina by Joe Wright from 2013, Fanfan & Alexandre by Alexandre Jardin from 1993, War and Peace TV series from 2007, The Young Victoria by Jean-Marc Vallée from 2009, and The Waltz of Dagmara and Artur (their first wedding dance) from 2011.
And while we’re talking Russian waltzes, here’s Sergei Prokofiev’s Cinderella Waltz.
And from Aram Khachaturian, the waltz from his Masquerade suite.
Did you think I’d leave out Tchaikovsky? Perish forbid! No, it’s not one of the ones you’ve heard hundreds of times. Bet you’ve never heard this one before! Lovely violin!