[B] and Other Works
Another album of Series B dedicated to Waltzes contains more than the nine pieces of the genre published after the composer’s death. Their short duration created an opportunity to supplement the recording repertoire of the National Edition cycle by the pieces which were missing before: Impromptu in C sharp minor, No. WN 46, from the Various Works volume and the Andante spianato and Polonaise in E flat major, Op. 22, in the version for one piano. In addition to those compositions, the album also contains selections made by the performing artist: Waltzes in A minor, Op. 34, No. 2, D flat major and C sharp minor, from Op. 64.
The Waltzes belong to those pieces which are most frequently published and highly appreciated.[…] Chopin’s waltzes go back to a number of models, with the earliest reaching out to the waltz tradition existing in Poland. One can say that Chopin’s generation „grew up” in the rhythm of the Viennese waltz in its native issue. The characteristics of that issue, which was a popular dance at that time called the walcerek, included frequent use of the lendler rhythms, next to the rhythmics of the oberek and the mazurka. Chopin frequently heard waltzes of the popular, urban or court types, played at balls or social meetings. He was also well abreast with the Austrian and Viennese traditions. […]Chopin divided his waltzes into two separate groups: social and concert waltzes. All the pieces published after the composer’s death belong to the former group, which hardly depreciates their value, the more so as the boundaries between the two types are often blurred.
The first five pieces recorded on our album originate from Chopin’s Warsaw period, while the remaining four were written in Paris. The Warsaw Waltzes were probably composed in 1829 [the dates of origin are quoted here after the National Edition]. The Waltzes in E major, No. WN18, and A flat major, No. WN 28, were the first attempts at trying out the dance form convention, with a separated trio, representing usable music formed in accordance with the Polish model mentioned before (Waltz in A flat minor, in particular). The next three waltzes composed in Poland and most certainly after Chopin’s first stay in Vienna (1829), reveal Chopin’s personal stylistic idiom. The middle part of Waltz in B minor, No. WN 19, similarly to the trio of Waltz in D flat major, No. WN 20, saturated with passion, proclaim the mature lyrics of the Paris Waltzes. Our selection of waltzes is adorned by Waltz in E minor, No. WN 29, of 1830, one of the most precious manifestations of Chopin’s invention of that time. According to some specialists, the composer left far behind the striking waltz stylisation of Weber’s Invitation to Dance. Chopin’s waltz was probably the first concert waltz, with an introduction and a coda, full of pianist glitter and swing. Behind the waltz’s virtuoso faćade, there is a new expression with a strongly Romantic nature. In fact, that is a ballade-waltz, with the theme suggesting a colourful poetic story supplemented by a contrast of unique brightness in the trio, being a unique anticipation of the later dance poems.
Translation by Henryk Zwolski