Lincke, Paul: Wedding Waltz (Valse) ‘The Titanic Waltz’


Lincke’s Wedding Valse is now also known as the ‘Titanic Waltz’ as it was played on the ill-fated liner and featured in the 1997 film.  Here arranged for wind quintet and piano.

  • Instruments : Fl., Ob., Cl. (in Bb), Hn., Bsn., Pno
  • Difficulty : C/D – approx. ABRSM Grade 5-6
  • Duration : 11’15
  • ISMN : 979-0-708141-39-6
  • Portus Press reference : PPQP19


Unlike so many other composers, Paul Lincke (1866 – 1946) not only survived the Nazi regime but flourished: he was awarded the Silver Medal of Honour in 1937 and the freedom of the city of Berlin in 1941. Amidst the WWII Allied bombing Lincke left Germany for the Czech Republic in 1943.  Lucky that he did as his house (and his music publishing business) were bombed.  After the war ended Lincke strove to obtain the necessary approval of the Allies in order to return to his beloved Berlin.  With the help of a sympathetic American General he moved first to Bavaria but, suffering worsening health, he moved again to Hahnenklee, where he died shortly before his 80th birthday.

More recently Lincke’s seemingly ordinary Wedding Dance of 1905 (also known as Hochzeitsreigen) received attention through its use in James Cameron’s epic Titanic movie of 1997: it was played in several scenes by the ship’s orchestra and is now often dubbed The Titanic Waltz.  The piece was indeed played on the ill-fated ship as it is listed in the White Star Line Songbook, from which first-class passengers could call for requests.  The band members played throughout the ship’s sinking in an effort to keep the passengers calm as the crew loaded the lifeboats.  None survived.

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