Paris ... Londres ... Leipzick[!]: Maurice Schlesinger ... Wessel, et Cie ... Breitkopf et Haertel [PN M.S. 1599], [1834-42].
Folio. Unbound. 1f. (recto title, verso blank), [i] (blank), 2-9, [i] (blank) pp. Engraved.
Several performance markings in pencil.
Publisher's facsimile signature handstamp to lower right corner of title.
Slightly worn, foxed, browned, and soiled; impression to title light.
A variant of the earliest recorded issue of the first French edition, with the quarter-note rest on the first beat in the bass line of the 12th measure not present in the original. Chomiński-Turło 207. Fuld pp. 257-8. Grabowski-Rink 18a-1-Sm. Hoboken 4, 251. Platzman p. 85.
"Strauss brought the Viennese waltz indoors, transforming it from a simple Austrian pastoral dance into the sophisticated ballroom music we know today. Out of these visits [to Vienna] arose one of Chopin's own best waltzes, in E-flat major, op. 18. It was not the first waltz he had composed, but it was the first that he allowed to be published, in 1834.
The influence of Strauss is not hard to detect, particularly in the way the episodes are deployed, providing not only thematic but key contrast as well. The first episode, presented in the subdominant key of A-flat major, requires the fingers of a virtuoso, to say nothing of a piano with an excellent repetition action, a quality we assume Chopin's Graf piano did not lack.
As the waltz unfolds, the ear is constantly refreshed by such contrasts. One of the later episodes, in the remote key of B-flat minor, mimics the "'sleigh bell' effect that is found in numerous Strauss waltzes. When placed on the piano keyboard, the device acquires a special charm as the stream of acciaccaturas jostle against the main notes of the melody, almost dislodging them, and creasing a frisson of dissonance." Walker: Fryderyk Chopin. A Life and Times, p. 200.
"[Chopin] combined a gift for melody, an adventurous harmonic sense, an intuitive and inventive understanding of formal design and a brilliant piano technique in composing a major corpus of piano music. One of the leading 19th-century composers who began a career as a pianist, he abandoned concert life early; but his music represents the quintessence of the Romantic piano tradition and embodies more fully than any other composer’s the expressive and technical characteristics of the instrument." Jim Samson in Grove Music Online
Perhaps the best-known of Chopin's waltzes, op. 18, dedicated to his pupil Laura Horsford, was the composer's first published waltz for solo piano; he had written a number of other waltzes earlier that were either destroyed or published posthumously.
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