Mar 6th, 2008 by bkr
Hear Artistic Director Arthur Greene play this brilliantly conceived Waltz in A-flat (Op. 42) live in a Chopin Project performance.
A case may be made for the Op. 42 as Chopin’s most perfect valse. After the first measures of trill, a call to the dance, there is a melody with a rare lilt composed in double time, with the triple time of the waltz in the left hand. Schumann remarked that “like his earlier waltzes it is a salon piece of the noblest kind.” The composition, Schumann feels, should be danced to only by “countesses at least.” This waltz is the most demanding technically of the series.
Chopin’s official title for the piece is the Grande Valse Nouvelle pour le piano, Op. 42. There’s a fascinating detail of its publication history available at Chopin First Editions Online.