Frédéric Chopin

Waltz for piano No. 13 in D flat major, Op. 70/3, CT. 219

    Description by John Palmer

    The waltzes of Chopin's Op. 70 were not composed as a set. The earliest of these, 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, in his waltzes, Chopin rarely ventures from the ternary form (ABA) that is the basis for his dance-movement pieces. We do not find the great expansions of formal structure that exist in some of the mazurkas or scherzos. However, we do hear a few characteristics associated with Chopin's mazurkas and polonaises scattered throughout his waltzes.

    Chopin's Waltz in D flat major, Op. 70, No. 3, composed in 1829, is one of the composer's earliest essays in the genre. Only Op. 69, No. 2, and the Waltz in A flat major of 1827 precede it. Polyphony is at the heart of the D flat major Waltz. Over a typical accompaniment in the left hand Chopin writes a melody in the highest register further accompanied by a slithering chromatic line of running eighth notes. Both of these parts are to be played with the right hand. In the seventh measure, however, the stepwise melody shifts from the higher of the two lines to the lower, the top line leaping upward decoratively just before the end of the tune. Subtle voicing details such as this make Chopin's music both beautiful and difficult to perform. Chopin repeats the eight-measure first theme before moving on to a more aggressive contrasting idea that tends toward the dominant (A flat major).

    In the middle section, Chopin abandons the persistent chords that articulated the triple meter throughout the A section. This, coupled with a move to G flat and a new melody that moves slowly in the left hand, creates a striking contrast to the first part of the piece. The quiet second half of section B looks back to the contrasting theme of section A, both in harmony and melodic figuration. Chopin rounds off the B section with a full return of its first melody, leading to a literal reprise of section A that closes the piece.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2019 Hyperion CDA 68273
    2018 Menuetto Classics
    2018 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 18041
    2017 IBA [Idil Biret Archives] 8501503
    2017 Classic FM / Decca CFMFW 123
    2017 Gramola 99146
    2016 Erato 555255
    2016 Compass Productions 52954
    2015 Chandos CHAN 10852
    2014 AAO Music / Imperial Classics UMMC81282
    2014 K-Tel 135917
    2014 Melodiya MELCD 1002237
    2013 Decca
    2013 Doremi Records DHR 79945
    2013 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099901924
    2012 Nimbus / Nimbus Alliance NI 6184
    2012 Zephyr / Zephyr Records Z 13610
    2012 The Entertainment Group 1149
    2012 Melodiya MYD 1001626
    2012 Masterworks
    2011 Newton Classics 8802076
    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099908518620
    2011 Opus KURA 7054/5
    2011 Danacord 687
    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 Decca
    2010 Hyperion 55381
    2010 Harmonia Mundi 2901927
    2010 Fryderyk Chopin Institute 5
    2010 EMI Classics 659302B
    2010 Teldec
    2010 Naxos 857809092
    2010 Opus KURA 7056
    2010 Marco Polo 8225226
    2009 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music Classics and Jazz 001382602
    2009 EMI Classics
    2009 Documents / Membran 232582
    2009 Documents 222913
    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 Madacy Entertainment 53749
    2008 Sony Classical Essential Classics 731846
    2007 Scandinavian Classics 220561205
    2007 Decca
    2006 Brilliant 99802
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 4762158
    2006 Harmonia Mundi 901927
    2006 Warner Classics
    2006 Music & Arts 1189
    2006 St. Clair 5092/20
    2005 CFP 568969/70
    2005 Transart Live 123
    2005 MSR Classics 1133
    2005 Time/Life Music 201832
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 58025
    2005 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243586826
    2004 EMI Music Distribution 62820
    2004 EMI Music Distribution 585246
    2004 Bridge 9154
    2004 St. Clair 31292
    2004 St. Clair 31342
    2003 Forlane 126817
    2003 Essential Classics / St. Clair 31002
    2003 Philips 475029
    2003 IDIS 6397/9
    2002 Centaur Records 2791
    2001 Angel Records 74283
    2000 Camerata Records 28CM586
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 73830
    2000 Aura Classics 2000
    2000 Pearl 0077
    2000 EMI Classics 65166
    2000 Americus Records 19991009
    1999 Naxos 501501
    1999 Naxos 554539
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 66956
    1999 Philips 462232
    1999 Philips 454987
    1999 Philips 456778
    1999 Philips 456970
    1998 Forlane 16780
    1998 Teldec 21089
    1998 Deutsche Grammophon 457992
    1998 Philips 462 699-2PM2
    1998 Music & Arts 1020
    1997 Eclipse Records 64354
    1997 Russian Compact Disc (RCD) 16288
    1996 Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 289
    1995 Camerata Records 30CM369
    1995 Madacy 5642
    1995 APR (Appian) 7025
    1995 LightYear 75061
    1995 Madacy 9116
    1995 Vox 8787
    1994 Erato 92887
    1994 Madacy 1036
    1992 Madacy 56424
    1991 EMI Music Distribution 767163/5
    EMI Classics 14124
    Erato 45213
    Forlane 16550
    Historical Performers 13
    Notes 11031
    Lontano
    Sirio 530014
    EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution 7224222
    Brilliant 99802/7
    Water's Edge 101
    Decca 417045
    EMI Music Distribution 69802
    EMI Classics 66222
    Teldec
    Aura Music 204
    MSR Records 1188
    Madacy Entertainment 53750
    Excelsior Recordings 4802