Waltzes (Chopin)

Last updated

Frédéric Chopin’s waltzes are pieces of moderate length adhering to the traditional 3/4 waltz time, but are remarkably different from the earlier Viennese waltzes in that they were not designed for dancing but for concert performance. Some of them are accessible by pianists of moderate capabilities, but the more difficult of them require an advanced technique. Carl Maria von Weber's Invitation to the Dance was an early model for Chopin's waltzes.

Contents

Chopin started writing waltzes in 1824, when he was fourteen, and continued until the year of his death, 1849. He wrote 36 in total, of which 20 are numbered.

Probably the most famous are the Minute Waltz in D-flat major and the C-sharp minor waltz of 1847, two of the last set of waltzes Chopin published before his death (Op. 64).

Background

Chopin published eight waltzes in his lifetime and because he was very critical he asked not to publish the unpublished works. However, Chopin's sister Ludwika and Julian Fontana decided to publish the waltzes 9-13. Another six waltzes (composed 1826-1831), present in the Paris home, were preserved but later destroyed in a fire in 1863 in Ludwika's house. Publication of the waltzes 14-19 occurred later. Chopin had given them to related persons and had not guarded the manuscripts.

The waltzes include a piece that was untitled; it is in 3/4 time with the tempo indication Sostenuto, and it has some of the characteristics of a waltz, so it is often (but not universally) catalogued with the waltzes. (In addition, the last variation of his Variations on a German Air, op. posth., is in the form of a waltz.)

In addition, there remain:

  1. Extant waltzes in private hands and unavailable to researchers.
  2. Waltzes believed destroyed.
  3. Waltzes believed lost.
  4. Waltzes of which documentary evidence exists but the MSS are not known to be extant.

List of waltzes by or attributed to Chopin

Series
number
KeyComposedPublishedOpus NumberBrownKobylańskaChominskiDedicationNotes
1 E-flat major 18331834 (June)Op. 18B.62Laura Horsford Grande valse brillante ; used in Les Sylphides
2A-flat major18351838Op. 34/1B.94Josefine von Thun-HohensteinThe three waltzes, Op. 34 were also published as Grandes valses brillantes, but this title is usually reserved for the Waltz in E-flat major, Op. 18
3A minor18311838Op. 34/2B.64Baroness C. d'Ivry
4F major1838 or earlier1838Op. 34/3B.118Mlle. A. d'Eichthal
5 A-flat major 18401840Op. 42B.131Grande valse; sometimes called the 2/4 waltz since the main melody sounds as if in 2/4 time against a 3/4 bass.
6 D-flat major 1846-1847XI 1847Op. 64/1B.164/1 Countess Delfina Potocka Valse du petit chien is the title Chopin gave this waltz, which is popularly known as Minute Waltz
7 C-sharp minor 1846-1847XI 1847Op. 64/2B.164/2Baroness Nathaniel de Rothschild (= Charlotte de Rothschild)Used in Les Sylphides and Secret
8 A-flat major 1846-1847XI 1847Op. 64/3B.164/3Countess Katarzyna Branicka (or Bronicka)
9 A-flat major 1835 (24 September)1855Op. posth. 69/1B.95Charlotte de Rothschild, Mme Peruzzi and Maria Wodzińska L'adieu
10 B minor 18291852 (Krakow)Op. posth. 69/2B.35Wilhelm Kolberg
11G-flat major18331855Op. posth. 70/1B.92Used in Les Sylphides
12F minor/A-flat major1841 (June)1852 (Krakow)Op. posth. 70/2B.138Marie de Krudner, Mme. Oury, Élise Gavard & Countess Esterházy
13D-flat major1829 (3 October)1855Op. posth. 70/3B.40
14 E minor 18301868Op. PosthB.56KK IVa/15P1/15No autograph exists
15 E major 18291861 Lviv,Ukraine-B.44KK IVa/12P1/12No autograph exists
16A-flat major18271902-B.21KK IVa/13P1/13Emilia Elsner [note 1] [note 2]
17E-flat major18271902B 46KK IVa/14P1/14Emilia Elsner [note 3]
18E-flat major18401955-B.133KK IVb/10Émile GaillardHeaded "Sostenuto"; not always classified as a waltz.From 1938 present in the "Conservatoire Paris "
19 A minor 1847–49 ( ? )1955, 1958Op. PosthB.150KK IVb/11P2/11Charlotte de Rothschild or daughterUnedited edition pub. Paris 1955; ed. Jack Werner 1958. From 1901 present in the "Bibliotheque du Conservatoire de Paris "
20F-sharp minor1838 (?)1932-KK Ib/7A1/7Not by Chopin; first published in 1861, and in 1986 published under the name Valse mélancolique by Stanislaw Dybowski on the bi-weekly "Ruch Muzyczny", but in 2012 discovered by Luca Chierici to be a shortened version of a piece by Charles Mayer named Le Régret, op. 332.
-C major1824 (?)--KK Vb/8Lost
-A minor1824---KK VfCountess LubienskaLost
-C major1826--KK Vb/3MS destroyed; copy of first line made by Chopin's sister Ludwika is extant
-A-flat major1827--KK Vb/4MS destroyed; copy of first line made by Chopin's sister Ludwika is extant
-D minor1828--KK Vb/6La Partenza; MS destroyed; copy of first line made by Chopin's sister Ludwika is extant
-A minor1829--Discovered 1937; was in possession of H. Hinterberger of Vienna, but now believed destroyed
-A minor1829 (?)----Sketches for a brief prelude and main theme
-A-flat major1829–30 (by 21 December 1830)--KK Vb/5Mentioned in a letter from Chopin to his family, 21 December 1830; MS destroyed; copy of first line made by Chopin's sister Ludwika is extant
-E-flat major1829–30--KK Vb/7MS destroyed; copy of first line made by Chopin's sister Ludwika is extant
-C major1831--MS destroyed; copy of first line made by Chopin's sister Ludwika is extant
- ?1845 (by)---KK Ve/12Mentioned in diary of L. Niedźwiecki
-B major1848 (12 October)--B.166KK Va/3Madame ErskineAccording to a letter of Arthur Hedley (March 10 1960)

manuscript in a private collection (London)

-E-flat major1829-30--KK Vb/7Mentioned in letters from Breitkopf to Izabela Barcińska in 1878
- ? ?---KK Ve/10Listed in auction catalogue, Paris, March 1906
- ? ?---KK Ve/11Mentioned in letters from Breitkopf to Izabela Barcińska in 1878
- ? ?---KK VfSeveral waltzes; lost

See also

Notes

  1. Emilia Elsner kept an album of Chopin's manuscripts, which was destroyed during World War II. [1] :29
  2. First published in 1902, from a manuscript in the possession of the family of Jósef Elsner, by F. Hoesick in Warsaw and Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig. [2] :132
  3. This Waltz was published together with the Waltz in A-flat Major (see above, No 16). [3] :133

Related Research Articles

Frédéric Chopin Polish composer and pianist

Frédéric François Chopin was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period who wrote primarily for solo piano. He has maintained worldwide renown as a leading musician of his era, one whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation."

Powązki Cemetery

Powązki Cemetery, also known as Stare Powązki, is a historic necropolis located in Wola district, in the western part of Warsaw, Poland. It is the most famous cemetery in the city and one of the oldest, having been established in 1790. It is the burial place of many illustrious individuals from Polish history. Some are interred along the "Avenue of the Distinguished" - Aleja Zasłużonych, created in 1925. It is estimated that over 1 million people are buried at Powązki.

<i>Minute Waltz</i> Waltz

The Waltz in D-flat major, Op. 64, No. 1, sometimes known as Valse du petit chien, and popularly known in English as the Minute Waltz, is a piano waltz by Polish composer and virtuoso Frédéric Chopin. It is dedicated to the Countess Delfina Potocka.

Piano Sonata No. 2 (Chopin) Sonata by Chopin

Frédéric Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35, is a piano sonata in four movements. Chopin completed the work while living in George Sand's manor in Nohant, some 250 km (160 mi) south of Paris, a year before it was published in 1840. The first of the composer's three mature sonatas, the work is considered to be one of the greatest piano sonatas of the literature.

Piano Sonata No. 1 (Chopin)

The Piano Sonata No. 1 in C minor, Op. 4 was written by Frédéric Chopin in 1828. It was written during Chopin's time as a student with Józef Elsner, to whom the sonata is dedicated. Despite having a low opus number, the sonata was not published until 1851 by Tobias Haslinger in Vienna, two years after Chopin's death. This sonata is considered to be less refined than the later 2 sonatas, and is thus much less frequently performed and recorded.

The Études by Frédéric Chopin are three sets of études for the piano published during the 1830s. There are twenty-seven compositions overall, comprising two separate collections of twelve, numbered Op. 10 and Op. 25, and a set of three without opus number.

Waltz in A-flat major, Op. 69, No. 1, is a waltz composed by Frédéric Chopin. It is also called "The Farewell Waltz" or "Valse de l'adieu".

Ostrogski Palace

Ostrogski Palace, or Ostrogski Castle, is a fortified mansion in the city center of Warsaw, Poland, on Tamka Street. The castle was originally constructed for the powerful Ostrogski family in the 17th century. It currently houses the Fryderyk Chopin Society and the Fryderyk Chopin Museum.

Karol Radziwonowicz

Karol Mikołaj Radziwonowicz is a Polish pianist.

<i>Berceuse</i> (Chopin)

Frédéric Chopin's Berceuse, Op. 57, is a lullaby to be played on the piano. He composed it in 1843/44 as variations in D-flat major. Chopin originally called his work Variantes. Berceuse was first published in Paris in 1844 by Jean-Racine Meissonnier, dedicated to Élise Gavard, and appeared in London and Leipzig the following year.

Józef Turczyński

Jozéf Turczyński was a Polish pianist, pedagogue and musicologist who exercised a powerful influence over the development of piano teaching and performance, especially in the works of Frédéric Chopin, during the first half of the 20th century. He was in a large part responsible for a performing edition of the Complete Pianoforte Works of Chopin which is still considered definitive.

Chopin University of Music

The Chopin University of Music, located at ulica Okólnik 2 in central Warsaw, Poland, is the oldest and largest music school in Poland, and one of the largest in Europe.

Nicolas Chopin Polish educator; father of Frédéric Chopin

Nicolas Chopin was a teacher of the French language in Prussian- and Russian-ruled Poland, and father of Polish composer Frédéric Chopin.

Ambroży Mieroszewski (1802–1884) was a Polish painter who was Frédéric Chopin's first known portraitist.

Paul de Schlözer or Paweł Schlözer was a Polish pianist and teacher of German descent. He was possibly also a composer, but the only two works attributed to him may have been written by Polish composer Moritz Moszkowski.

Fryderyk Chopin Museum Biographical museum in Warsaw, Poland

The Fryderyk Chopin Museum is a museum in Warsaw, Poland, established in 1954 and dedicated to Polish composer Frédéric Chopin. Since 2005, the Museum has been operated by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute.

Yulianna Avdeeva Musical artist

Yulianna Andreevna Avdeeva is a Russian concert pianist.

Henryk Opieński

Henryk Opieński was a Polish composer, violinist, teacher, administrator and musicologist. His writings on, and collected letters by, Frédéric Chopin, were considered of paramount importance in Chopin studies of the time.

Chopin family parlor

The Chopin Family Parlor was a branch of the Fryderyk Chopin Museum. It was located in the south annex of the Czapski Palace at 5 Krakowskie Przedmieście in Warsaw, Poland. It was the largest room of the former Chopin family apartment where Frédéric Chopin lived with his parents and sisters until he left Poland in 1830.

Biographies of Frédéric Chopin

By the first decades of the 21st century, over a hundred biographies of Frédéric Chopin had been published.

References

  1. Orga, Ateş (2015). Fryderyck Franciszek Chopin. London, New York, Sydney: Omnibus Press. p. 192. ISBN   978-1-78038-444-3. [Tomasz] Nidecki married Elsner's daughter Emilia (by his second marriage). Chopin contributed seventeen pieces to her autograph album, destroyed in World War II.
  2. Paderewski, Ignacy J., ed. (1949). Fryderyk Chopin Complete Works IX Waltzes. Warsaw: The Fryderyk Chopin Institute. This Waltz was published for the first time in 1902, from a manuscript in the possession of the family of Jósef Elsner, by F. Hoesick in Warsaw and Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig (as a supplement to the collected edition of Chopin's works, Klav. Bibl. No. 23 183 II). The Warsaw Musical Society has in its collections an autograph manuscript of Chopin dedicated to Madame Le Brun (Chopin, His Life and Work, Warsaw 1904, p. 533).
  3. Paderewski, Ignacy J., ed. (1949). Fryderyk Chopin Complete Works IX Waltzes. Warsaw: The Fryderyk Chopin Institute. This Waltz was published together with the Waltz in A-flat Major (see above, No. 16).