The Waltzing Cat by Leroy Anderson:   official website, complete reference

Composition: "The Waltzing Cat"
Composer: Leroy Anderson
Copyright: © 1950 Woodbury Music Company LLC
Completed: February 21, 1950
Instrumentation: Orchestra
First Performed: September 11, 1950, Leroy Anderson, conductor, Recording session [analog monaural] Decca Records, New York, New York.
First Recording: September 11, 1950, Leroy Anderson, conductor, Recording session [analog monaural] Decca Records, New York, New York.
Recorded by Leroy Anderson: September 11, 1950 [analog monaural] Decca Records, New York, New York.  June 11, 1959 (stereo) Decca Records, New York, New York.
Length: 2:41
Transcriptions by Leroy Anderson: Band; Piano; Violin, cello and piano.

About the music:

 Leroy Anderson's first recording of "The Waltzing Cat" on September 11, 1950 has neither the cat hiss (cat snarl) nor the dog bark in the recording.  The second recording of "The Waltzing Cat" that Leroy Anderson made on June 11, 1959 includes both the cat snarl and the dog bark.  The printed music includes the notation for snarl and dog bark.

That the "cat snarl" and "dog bark" were not in the 1951 recording means that the these elements were not in the music. Anderson was very precise in scoring his music and in performing it as he wrote it. That the printed music later included both of these notations explains why Anderson included them in his 1959 recording.

Whether it was the effect of the dog bark in terms of the audience reaction or the composer's own pleasure in achieving this musical joke, both "cat snarl" and "dog bark" have been part of the Conductor's score since 1959.

Without looking at the original 1951 manuscript which is at the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library at Yale, we cannot know for certain when these notations were added to the score.

Leroy Anderson would often record his compositions before submitting them for publication. He said that after listening to the recording of his new piece, he could then, if necessary, make a small adjustment before sending the music to the publisher. He explained that the time and expense involved in printing music was such that he wanted to be absolutely certain that he was satisfied with the score. It was easier to be certain, he explained, after hearing the recording. Once the music is published, he said, it is too late to make changes. This also explains Anderson's order regarding his compositions: (1) completion, (2) first performance, (3) first recording, (4) submission for publication.

This and the change in the repeats for "Sandpaper Ballet" are two instances where Leroy Anderson made changes between his monaural and stereo recordings.

Generally, Leroy Anderson's family does not object to an ensemble performing "The Waltzing Cat" without the "cat snarl" and "dog bark". Just as we have heard performances of "Sleigh Ride" without the "whip crack" or without the "horse whinny". But effects should never be added to an Anderson composition just because the conductor has heard similar musical effects in other Anderson pieces. Whether for a humourous effect or not, Anderson's music was always scored precisely and with intention.

For the stereo recoring in 1959, there were: 18 Violins, 6 Violas, 5 Celli, 2 Basses, 2 Flutes, 1 Piccolo, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns, 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, and 3 Drums.

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Copyrights to the music of Leroy Anderson
are held by Woodbury Music Company LLC.
For information concerning the use
of Leroy Anderson's music,
contact the Leroy Anderson family at:

Also visit the official website
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Leroy Anderson Foundation
established by his family.