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Classical 101

Classical Haiku: Johann Strauss Jr.

Whipped cream and cordials cannot equal your music’s bright whirling laughter. Have you ever longed to get gussied up in waistcoats or skirts with voluminous fabric and float around a gilded ballroom sparkling with crystal chandeliers? There was a reason why the Viennese of the 1800s loved their waltzes: dancing around all that shiny dinnerware and satin fabric must have been delicious. You must have been able to hear the rustle of dresses and the clinking of glasses. Although set in 1900s Salzburg, not nineteenth-century Vienna, The Sound of Music gives us a taste of the type of glittering soiree that happened frequently in the days of Johann Strauss. They don't call Strauss the Waltz King for nothing. He wrote hundreds of waltzes, knowing that virtually all of them would be danced to sooner or later. Waltzing was just what the Viennese did. The waltz is a simple, light dance that mostly everyone could do reasonably comfortably. Just take three steps before changing directions and swirl away. I'm not sure when the waltz's popularity began to wane. With today's Classical Haiku I issue a call to revive the waltz. The spirit of Johann Strauss will smile on you, and the dancing will make you smile back.

Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.