Frederic Chopin arr.Peter Lawson
GRANDE VALSE BRILLANTE for orchestra
Goodmusic Concert Classics GMCL221
Catalogue Number: GMCL221
Difficulty level: D What's this?
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4 Horns in F (3 & 4 optional), 2 Trumpets in Bb, 3 Trombones, Tuba
Timpani, Percussion (2 or 3 players: Triangle, Snare Drum, Cymbals, Tambourine, Bass Drum)
Strings (Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass)
Frederic Chopin (1810 - 49), born in the Duchy of Warsaw of a Polish mother and a French father, wrote, arguably, as many as 35 waltzes, all for himself and others to play on the piano, purely for pleasure and to delight audiences. Only about 14 of these are widely known and beloved by amateur and professional pianists, the others being early efforts, lost or destroyed, or of questionable authenticity. The Grande Valse Brillante was the first of these 14, written in 1833 and published in the following year as Chopin’s opus 18. Confusingly, the next three waltzes, Op.34, were also published as Grandes Valses Brillantes, but, nowadays, the title tends to only apply to this substantial first waltz. Pre-empting the many orchestral waltzes of Johann Strauss Junior, it sparkles with immediately-memorable melodies in its contrasting sections.
Chopin’s orchestral music is virtually confined to the two piano concertos. I have attempted to give this orchestration more of the colourful flavour of Johann Strauss rather than that of the concertos - where the orchestra serves in more of an accompanying role, thus allowing the piano to tell the story. It has often been said that Chopin’s waltzes are dances 'of the soul' rather than pieces to be danced to, which would require more regimentation of speed!
Alexander Glazunov orchestrated this waltz as part of the ballet Les Sylphides, first performed in 1909. Free of the shackles of having to keep strict tempi for the dancers’ sakes, I have attempted to include elements of the rubato which pianists use, to convey the music’s originality and charm. The editorial suggestions are in square brackets and are solely intended as a guide. This should not in any way deter the conductor and players from interpreting the music in their own manner. Peter Lawson
A PACK includes a full score plus a full set of wind, brass and percussion parts plus strings 4/4/3/4/2.
Duration 6 minutes