Episode 98: Invitation to the Waltz

Waltz in F minor, Op. 70, No. 2

rc-invitation-200“They incorporate a range of moods from melancholy to effervescent but retain an air of sophistication suited to aristocratic salons.”

There is something irresistible about a Chopin Waltz. Perhaps more than any other type of piece that Chopin wrote, they seem to step right out of a Parisian drawing-room.

The Chopinmusic website calls the Waltz in F minor, Op. 70, No. 2 “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.”

Failed perhaps, but “entreaty” may be what lies at the heart of this little Waltz. Where some bachelors might present a card or fresh bouquet of flower, Chopin’s gift of choice to a passing fancy was a manuscript, tied up in brightly-colored ribbon. He had no problem recycling, either…This Waltz in F minor, composed in 1842, was dedicated to “Madamoiselle Elise Gavard.” At least, that’s what the manuscript says in the French National Library. But a few sheaves down, there’s another copy, presented to “Mademoiselle Marie de Krudner.” 20 miles away, in the archives of the Royaumont Abbey, the very same manuscript turns up, dedicated to “Mademoiselle La Casse Esterhazy.” Yet another one is in Vienna, which Chopin presented to Madame Caroline Oury, along with the words, “As for this little Waltz which I have the the pleasure of writing for you, please, I beg you, keep it for yourself: I should not like it to be made public.” In his scholarly collection “Chopin: Pianist and Teacher,” editor Jean-Jaques Eigeldinger speculates: “Chopin knew well which of his compositions would suffer worst by being oversentimentalized – a fate from which these Waltzes certainly have not escaped.”

Or was Chopin merely trying to keep it dark to escape from jealous girlfriends? - Benjamin K. Roe

Radio Chopin Episode 98: Invitation to the Waltz

Waltz in F minor, Op. 70, No. 2