Everybody knows a waltz, right? Like Johann Strauss Jr.’s On the Beautiful Blue Danube.
ONE two three, ONE two three, ONE two three…a waltz! Three beats to a measure, with the emphasis on the first beat.
But Fryderyk Chopin’s Waltz in A-flat major, opus 42 begins with a trill, then ONE two, ONE two, ONE two, ONE two, but there's also a ONE two three, ONE two three in there as well.
This cross-rhythm that opens Chopin’s “2/4 Waltz” isn’t the only clever touch that make this waltz a stand-out.
Robert Schumann, struck by how sheer a fabric Chopin weaves in the work, remarked, “it must never be danced—unless, at least, it were to be danced by a countess.”
Chopin biographer James Huneker hears in it “charms beyond compare”… “echoes of evening,” “coquetry, hesitation, [and] passionate avowal”…
From the delicate trill that invites the dancers to the floor - to a breathless and undeniable statement of what transpired between them, you could say that Chopin’s “2/4 Waltz” holds special…sway in its genre. - Jennifer Foster