Frédéric Chopin

Waltz for piano No. 11 in G flat major, Op. 70/1, CT. 217

    Description by John Palmer

    The waltzes of Chopin's Op. 70 were not composed as a set. The earliest of them, No. 3 in D flat major, dates from 1829; No. 1, in G flat major, is from 1833. Eight years later, Chopin composed No. 2, in F minor. The three waltzes were assembled under one opus number and published in Berlin in 1855, six years after Chopin's death.

    On the whole, Chopin's waltzes are harmonically simpler than his other works, and their triple meter is always clearly articulated. Also, Chopin rarely ventures from the ternary form (ABA) that is the basis for his dance-inspired works. We do not find the great expansions of formal structure that exist in some of the mazurkas or scherzos. However, we do find a few characteristics associated with Chopin's mazurkas and polonaises scattered throughout the waltzes.

    The first theme of the Waltz in G flat major, Op. 70, No. 1 contains a rising arpeggio similar to some of the "rocket" gestures in the polonaises. After this, upward leaps produce a mazurka-like accent on the third beat of the measure, generated by both the very high register and the length of the note. The eight-measure first theme, which is heard twice, is really a four-measure idea with a slightly varied repetition that remains firmly in G flat major. The second theme of the A section, which develops the arpeggio figure of the first theme, is constructed along the same lines, although the harmonic center shifts to the dominant.

    Chopin creates contrast in the B section through nearly every musical device except harmony. The section opens in G flat, resolving the dominant harmony of the preceding phrase and bringing us back to the tonic, but the melody could not be more different from those of the A section. Stepwise motion is the rule, the constant descent providing a foil to the rising leaps and arpeggios of the first section. Furthermore, repeated notes, dotted rhythms and a quiet dynamic leve create an atmosphere and inward intensity completely absent from the previous material.

    Typically, the reprise of section A is truncated; in this case Chopin abandons the secondary theme entirely, settling for a literal repeat of both statements of the first theme and an abrupt close.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Janis Eleven Enterprises JEE 002CD
    2018 Universal Music
    2017 IBA [Idil Biret Archives] 8501503
    2017 Classic FM / Decca CFMFW 123
    2017 Gramola 99146
    2017 Janis Eleven Enterprises JEE 001CD
    2016 Erato 555255
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795404
    2016 Guild Historical GHCD 2421
    2015 K-Tel 136143
    2015 K-Tel 136155
    2015 Chandos CHAN 10852
    2014 AAO Music / Imperial Classics UMMC81282
    2014 APR (Appian) APR 7401
    2013 K-Tel 93256
    2013 Decca
    2013 Doremi Records DHR 79945
    2013 Warner Classics 2564651479
    2013 Fim / First Impressions 87
    2013 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099901924
    2012 Warner Classics 695496
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099970490
    2012 Warner Classics
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 Nimbus / Nimbus Alliance NI 6184
    2012 Zephyr Z 137-10
    2012 EMI Classics 02898
    2011 EMI / Warner Classics 5099908288929
    2011 Newton Classics 8802076
    2011 Pro Piano PPR 224507
    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099908518620
    2011 Opus KURA 7054/5
    2011 Cembal d'amour 156
    2011 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD000020
    2010 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 5099945851
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099996711
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099968858
    2010 Decca
    2010 Hyperion 55381
    2010 Harmonia Mundi 2901927
    2010 Fryderyk Chopin Institute 5
    2010 EMI Classics 659302B
    2010 Teldec
    2010 Naxos 857809092
    2010 Graham H. Jackson Music GHLM 005
    2010 Opus KURA 7056
    2009 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music Classics and Jazz 001382602
    2009 EMI Classics
    2009 Documents / Membran 232582
    2009 Documents 222913
    2009 Denon Records
    2008 Buena Vista / Walt Disney 000169702
    2008 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 826690
    2008 EMI Classics / EMI Classics France 8266582
    2008 ZYX Classics 100522
    2008 EMI Classics 5628192
    2008 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099920731
    2008 Harmonia Mundi 2908238
    2008 Naxos 8503204
    2008 Warner Classics & Jazz 2564 695498
    2008 Madacy Entertainment 53749
    2008 Sony Classical Essential Classics 731846
    2007 K-Tel 1033
    2007 APR (Appian) 5573
    2007 Classic Mania 93320
    2007 Decca
    2007 Urania 4258
    2007 Ionian Productions 3324
    2007 Vanguard Classics 6700
    2007 Decca
    2007 Decca
    2006 Brilliant 99802
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 4762158
    2006 Harmonia Mundi 901927
    2006 Warner Classics
    2006 VAI Audio 1251
    2006 Doremi Records 7743-5
    2006 Aca Digital 20089
    2006 RCA 67892
    2006 St. Clair 5092/20
    2005 MDG 6031296
    2005 CFP 568969/70
    2005 Transart Live 123
    2005 MSR Classics 1133
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 58025
    2005 Doremi Records 7862
    2005 Opus KURA 2003
    2005 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243586826
    2004 Decca 4762741
    2004 EMI Music Distribution 62820
    2004 LML Music 181
    2004 Prima Music Productio 615545
    2004 EMI Music Distribution 585246
    2004 Naxos 8558117
    2004 St. Clair 31292
    2004 Arbiter ARBITER141
    2004 St. Clair 31342
    2004 Naxos Historical 8 110679
    2003 Decca 000054802
    2003 Arabesque 6757
    2003 Forlane 126817
    2003 Essential Classics / St. Clair 31002
    2003 Philips 475029
    2003 Decca 000477
    2003 Dynamic 298
    2003 Naxos 8110688
    2003 IDIS 6397/9
    2002 Centaur Records 2791
    2002 Belart/Karussell 450000
    2002 Sony Classical 89846
    2002 SPJ Music 90509
    2001 Bescol 72
    2001 Pearl 0102
    2001 Pearl 0142
    2001 Pierian 0003/0004
    2001 BCI-Eclipse Distribution 40028
    2001 Decca
    2001 Forlane 16785
    2001 Angel Records 74283
    2001 Aura Classics 0187
    2000 Pearl 0080
    2000 Camerata Records 28CM586
    2000 Channel Crossings 15998
    2000 Sony Music Distribution 89266
    2000 Pearl 0091
    2000 Pearl 0077
    2000 EMI Classics 65166
    2000 Americus Records 19991009
    1999 Madacy 9507
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 66956
    1999 Opal 9861
    1999 Philips 462232
    1999 Pearl 9962
    1999 Lifestyle Classics 1758
    1999 Philips 456778
    1999 Intersound 1754
    1998 Penguin Classics 460614
    1998 Decca 4603222
    1998 Teldec 21089
    1998 Dante 053
    1998 Enterprise 264
    1998 Philips 462 699-2PM2
    1998 Intersound 3847
    1997 Eclipse Records 64354
    1997 Intersound 1728
    1997 Teldec 0630-12361-2
    1997 Intersound / Lifestyle Classics 1729
    1997 Intersound 1727
    1997 Arkadia 78501
    1996 EMI Music Distribution 56196
    1996 Intersound 2523
    1996 Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 289
    1996 London 444830
    1996 Quintessence 2107
    1995 Madacy 5650
    1995 Madacy 5642
    1995 SCD / Special Music 4964
    1995 Seraphim UK / Warner Classics 7243569028
    1995 APR (Appian) 7016
    1995 Madacy 9116
    1995 Madacy 501
    1995 Madacy 0503
    1994 Sony Classical 64057
    1994 Intersound 3609
    1994 Erato 92887
    1994 Madacy 1036
    1994 BMG 62533
    1994 Madacy 3617
    1993 Deutsche Grammophon
    1993 Deutsche Grammophon 439519
    1993 Vox Cameo Classics 8756
    1992 Decca
    1992 Decca / London 436389
    1992 RCA 61265
    1992 Madacy 56424
    1991 EMI Music Distribution 767163/5
    1990 Decca / London 4177982
    1990 Laserlight 512
    Labor Records
    Arkadia 510
    RFCM Symphony Orchestra
    Seraphim UK 69591
    London 417690
    Intersound 824
    CBS Masterworks 39455
    EMI Classics 14124
    Erato 45213
    Forlane 16550
    Lontano
    Sirio 530014
    EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 7224222
    Pro-Arte Records 918
    Brilliant 99802/7
    Water's Edge 101
    Decca 417045
    EMI Classics 66222
    EMI Music Distribution 69802
    Teldec
    David Wasser Records
    Valmonte Records
    Graham H. Jackson Music GHJM 005
    Sony Music Distribution 61987
    MSR Records 1188
    Selene 980945
    The Piano Library 227
    APR (Appian) 7020
    Pearl 0105
    Stradivari 6045
    Naxos 8572115
    APR (Appian) 7014
    Naimara 860889
    Classical Records 017
    Golden String 14
    Biddulph Recordings 08182
    Madacy Entertainment 53750
    DRG 32922
    Decca 475 8091DB5
    Dante 065
    Dante 056
    Excelsior Recordings 4802