Birthday Waltz

Chopin's Waltz in D♭ Major, Op. 64, No. 1 is titled Valse du petit chien, but is better known as the Minute Waltz. I decided to try to record it for my mom's birthday.

I guess I started a tradition last year when I recorded the Gigue from Bach's Partita No. 1 for my mom's birthday last year. So far I've been able to resurrect pieces I used to play when I was a teenager, so I've still got a couple more years to expand on that.

I took a quick listen to my 1976 recording of this piece, and the tempo is pretty much the same,although I slowed down in the middle part. What's funny is when I first started to pick up the piece again, my tendency was to play the middle part slowly, but a metronome quickly pointed out that's what I was doing. I decided to keep the middle section closer to the actual tempo, since I feel I can bring out the melody a bit more at that pace.

The 1976 recording was technically cleaner, which isn't surprising; this recording has quite a few dropped and wrong notes, although I can say that I did the recording after I had been playing a bit and felt more attempts wouldn't get better. That's my story, anyway.

Even though the nickname is the Minute Waltz (and pronounced like the unit of time), it was never the intention for the piece to be played in one minute. This track is about a minute and a half, so it would need to be quite a bit faster. The intention was that this be thought of as a "small" waltz, which makes sense since it isn't very long. Chopin's title, Valse du petit chien, translates as "The Little Dog Waltz". He got the inspiration for the piece from watching a small dog chase its tail.

You can look at all the birthday piano posts.