CHOPIN Waltzes

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. Chopin started writing waltzes in 1824, when he was fourteen, and continued until the year of his death, 1849. There are thirty-six separate compositions that are of interest to students of the Chopin waltzes. Chopin published eight waltzes in his lifetime. A further five were published with posthumous opus numbers in the decade following his death, and since then a further seven have been published, without opus numbers. Of these, two are considered doubtful. This brings the total to eighteen canonic waltzes, although often these are not numbered past the first fourteen. The eighteen 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. Probably the most famous is the so-called Minute Waltz in D-flat major of 1847, part of the last set of waltzes Chopin published (Op. 64).


VIDEO: Ashkenazy plays the Piano Works of Chopin 

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