Recorded on 12/31/1969, uploaded on 11/04/2009
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
The waltz was a somewhat foreign musical form to Chopin. During his brief stay in Vienna, at which time the waltz was particularly fashionable, Chopin wrote home to his parents, “I have acquired nothing of that which is specifically Viennese by nature, and accordingly I am still unable to play waltzes.” Nevertheless, Chopin acquired a sufficient proficiency in their composition, writing about twenty of them throughout his career. Designed for concert performance instead of as accompaniments to the actual dance, Chopin’s waltzes progressed from an imitation of what he likely heard in the Viennese ballrooms to a unique form infused with Chopin’s own Polish background. Whereas in the early waltzes the dance’s form and rhythms are presented in their purity, in the later waltzes the dance serves as only the canvas for Chopin’s imagination to fill. As a result, the tempos of these waltzes often exceed the boundaries of the dance proper and the rhythms occasionally encroach upon those of the Mazurka.
Second in his opus 64 set and companion to the famous Minute Waltz, the Waltz in C-sharp minor is a fine example of the character and mood of Chopin’s later waltzes. Beginning with a poignant sigh in the opening leap upward of a minor sixth and subsequent semitone fall, the first theme of the waltz has somewhat of a presentiment of despair hanging over it. The rhythm of the Mazurka makes its appearance in third and fourth bars with the accent of each measure’s motif naturally falling on the third beat. The waltz’s second theme adopts a faster tempo (Più mosso) and a melody of running eighth notes. Occupying the central position of the waltz, the third and last theme, a lyrical dolce melody, changes to the key of the tonic major and returns to a slower pace. Amid graceful ornamentations and syncopations in both melody and harmony, this central theme disguises an intense yearning heightened by frequent chromatic harmonies. This section inevitably gives way to the return of the Più mosso theme. The return of the opening melody and a final restatement of the second theme then conclude the arch-like structure of the waltz. Joseph DuBose
is this a crackly sample? it certainly is for me
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