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Emil Waldteufel

As pianist to Empress Eugénie of France and Musical Director of the Court Balls, composer Emil Waldteufel normally provided at least some portion of the music for each such event. It isn't surprising, then, that the composer's catalogue is comprised mainly of dances for orchestra -- more than 250 -- and that among them at least one has endured. Fetchingly simple and eminently hummable, Waldteufel's Skater's Waltz once enjoyed a popularity rivaling that of the works of his near contemporary, Johann Strauss, Jr. Of about seven minutes' duration, the Skater's Waltz is cast in three distinct sections. Statements of the familiar melody surround a more leapingly active center section; the work ends with a graceful, typically grand coda.