Émile Waldteufel (1837–1915) owes his German surname to his Strasbourg origins, but he lived virtually his whole life in Paris, where he became conductor of the balls of the Second Empire and Third Republic. He was the most widely successful waltz composer after Johann Strauss, his masterpiece being Les Patineurs
(‘The Skaters’, 1882). In it one readily detects the skaters testing the ice, gliding around, and trying some daring leaps. Sleigh-bells enhance the wintry scene.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 1998