COMPOSITIONS compositions

Waltz in G flat major [Op. 70 No. 1] incypit

Genre: Waltz

Key: G-flat major

Opus/WN: [Op. 70 No. 1]

Creation date: 1832

Acc. to Fontana: 70 nr 1

Acc. to Paderewski: IX/11

Acc. to Turło: 217

Instruments: piano


The Waltz in G flat major was composed in Paris. Of the two extant sketched manuscripts of the work, one bears the date 1832, the other 1833. It was supposed to be printed together with the ‘Grand’ Waltz in E flat major, and they appear together in the same manuscript. For reasons unknown, Chopin ultimately decided against publishing it. The E flat major Waltz was printed separately, whilst the G flat major remained on the shelf.

This Waltz has the form of a dance with trio. The principal theme first receives its complement, and later its contrasting theme. That main theme rouses us to dance a Parisian waltz: quick, lively and sparkling. Chopin did not omit to call this Waltz ‘brillante’. The complement to the main theme is equally dazzling. It proceeds in D flat major, at the same tempo, and so molto vivace. In the trio, meanwhile, Chopin has the melody sung out expansively. It is an unforgettable tune, led in parallel thirds, tender and harmonious. The slowing of the tempo and the change of character suggest a transition from a swirling to a swaying dance, from ludic amusement to lyrical reverie.

It is hard to believe, but Chopin did not consider this lyrical dance miniature – unparalleled of its kind – worthy of publication. Or perhaps, when giving the manuscript to some lady not known to us today, he quite simply forgot... about the lady and the waltz.

Author: Mieczysław Tomaszewski
[Cykl audycji "Fryderyka Chopina Dzieła Wszystkie"]
Polish Radio, program II


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