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Explosions-Polka, op. 43, is a polka written by Johann Strauss II in 1847. The title was inspired by a discovery of guncotton or nitrocellulose by German scientist Christian Friedrich Schönbein in 1840. The Viennese press eagerly reported this discovery many years later in 1846, describing many products that can then be made 'explosive'.

True to Strauss' pedigree for writing novelty pieces, he captured on the vogue for the word 'explosions', of which the Viennese press frequently pressed for a waltz with such a title and nature. The result was the disarmingly charming polka Explosions-Polka, which he wrote for the benefit concert entitled 'Lust-Explosionsfest' (Joyful Explosions Festival) held in the Sträussl-Säle of the Josefstädter Theater on 8 February 1847.

The polka incorporates many explosion effects throughout the piece, and is one of Strauss' most popular pieces as a young composer. It has ever since retained its popularity up to today.


Based on original text by Peter Kemp, The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain. Used with permission.