THE MINUTE WALTZ Op.64 No.1 arr.Lawson
Goodmusic Concert Classics GMCL226
Catalogue Number: GMCL226
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 [3 players: Triangle, Snare Drum, Cymbals (clashed), Tambourine, Bass Drum, Glockenspiel]
Strings (Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass)
This well-known favourite is the first of three waltzes, the last to be published in Chopin’s lifetime, dating from 1847, two years before his untimely death. It has always been by far the most widely performed - even street organs used to play their helter-skelter versions of it. For many years it has been broadcast by the BBC in the UK and the World Service as the signature tune to the popular panel game Just a Minute.
It was published as Valse du Petit Chien, the little dog in question being that of the novelist Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, better known by her masculine pen name, George Sand. The dog, named Marquis, amused Chopin by continually chasing its tail one night at Sand’s home in the Square d’Orleans in Paris. Sand suggested that Chopin should put it to music - which he indeed did - and from the very opening, the musical figurations go round and round in rapid, circular fashion.
It is nowadays known as the Minute Waltz on account of its brevity, though in fact, it takes about two minutes to play. Chopin gave it a charming middle section before the ‘chasing’ resumes, leading to a breath-takingly rapid descent to end in a flourish. Without doubt, a masterpiece in miniature! 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 2 minutes
This arrangement is also available as the first of THREE WALTZES Op.64 - GMCL225