Why are Chopin’s Waltzes so perennially appealing to pianists? The folks at the boutique label Brana Records offer a clue: nicely: “They incorporate a range of moods from melancholy to effervescent but retain an air of sophistication suited to aristocratic salons.”
This Waltz in F minor, in fact, steps right out of a Parisian drawing-room. It’s one of two works dedicated to Elise Gavard (she was also the dedicate of the Berceuse in D Flat major, Op. 57 – more on that in a later post). It was composed in 1842, but was not published until 1855, six years after Chopin’s death. Indeed there’s some scholarly speculation that Chopin didn’t really want it to circulate very much. The Chopin Music site calls it a work of beauty amidst lost longing:
This dance is a gloomy song of failed entreaty. Its melody glances slightly at that which it temporarily enjoyed. The central section is one of absolute beauty, characterizing its style almost perfectly.