REVIEW: Johann Strauss Gala, City Hall

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LONG, long before Strictly Come Dancing dominated many people’s Saturday nights Vienna society was regularly doing it as a way of life.

And soundtracking their stylish endeavours was the rhythmic ambrosia of the ‘Waltz King’ and others in the Strauss family – once again celebrated here in this enduring and unique classical show of 30 years standing.

Led from the violin by suitably charming musical director David Juritz, the Johann Strauss Orchestra rewarded Sunday afternoon ears with a programme of music familiar and less so, with period costumed dancers adding icing to the visual cake as all conspired to transport us back to the Viennese ballrooms.

While the glorious Blue Danube Waltz stood as the most famous piece, others mixed stomp, fluidity and playfulness – both in sound and activity – as the orchestra delivered Radetzky March, the Pizzicato Polka, the Tritsch Tratsch Polka, The Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus and Wiener Blut.

Arriving at the end of a 30 plus-date tour, there was no indication of road weariness as Juritz and his team – including fresh-faced soprano Amy Freston - shared skill, warmth and japes to again prove classical music needn’t be starched.

A timeless show that continues to imbibe young and old.