Johann Strauss Waltzes on the occasion of school graduation

We owe the origin of the beautiful of graduate proms to the prominent Russian reformer Emperor Peter the Great. The first graduation party in the history of Russia is believed to be held in Moscow at the School of Mathematics and Navigation in 1718. Graduation proms were later celebrated at the Naval Academy and other educational institutions. Decades later, the students of the Page Corps were demonstrated great resourcefulness at organizing proms: they ordered rings with identical symbol. This allowed pages that graduated in various years identify each other. With the opening of Smolny Institute of Noble Maidens, the first female graduates and graduation traditions appeared in our country. Graduates received a badge as a presentation gift when they graduated from the Institute. This unpretentious jewellery item had the form of a white bow with metal monogram atop. Not everyone got it -- only the best and most deserving! For the prom, by the rules of the Institute all graduates were wearing identical white dresses, pure and unpretentious.

Of course, maidens mostly appeared at graduate proms as guests. Parents were shopping around for an eligible bachelor for their young beauties. With mass appearance of young ladies at graduate proms in the 19th century appeared traditions of balls and dancing parties. In the early days of Soviet power, balls were treated as survival of bourgeois views -- a phenomenon that was fought grimly at the time. It was not until the 1930s that this tradition revived, but not for long: the years of war and post-war devastation were no time for festivities.

A Graduate Prom nowadays is the unofficial festive part of the graduate prom, when the pupils have already received their secondary school diplomas and the concert, in which pupils, teachers and parents took part, has ended. A graduate waltz is always the pinnacle of the festivity that symbolizes a farewell to bygone school years and beginning of an adulthood. A dance that was performed in royal courts looks touching as young children say goodbye to school years.

Dear friends, for school Graduation Сeremony we have prepared a selection of well-known waltzes recorded from rare music media from the museum Sound Library. Our new music album features waltzes by Johann Strauss II:

Waltz "Roses from the South", composer Johann Strauss II, performed by Zac Erna, accompanied by choir and orchestra. Digitized from the metal disc that was created in 1900. The musical instrument on which this disc can be played back is Musical long-case clock "Polyphon No. 63"  that were produced by Polyphon Musikwerke AG in Leipzig, Germany, circa 1900.

Waltzes “The Treasure” and “You and You" from the operetta “Die Fledermaus”, performed by the orchestra conducted by Harry Horlick are digitized from Polydor Records gramophone record (two sides).

People say that when a waltz is sounding the hearts are singing and the dreams come true. We fully agree to these words. Our congratulations to all graduates, their parents and teachers!

Musical selection "Waltzes of Johann Strauss for the Graduate Prom" is posted in the museum Phonothèque.

Let the melodies from this album set a wonderful summer mood!

On the cover "Ball in the Winter Palace on 9 February 1889" by Mihai Zichy (1827-1906), Russian Empire, Saint-Petersburg. 1889 (fragment).