Waltz No.8

Frédéric Chopin

Waltz No.8 in Ab major

Op. 64/3, B. 164/3

About this work

The Trois Valses, Op.64 (published in 1847) were the last set of such works to be published during Frédéric Chopin's lifetime, and were among the very last works sketched by his prodigious pen before his disease rendered further work impossible. Each of the three is among the shortest of his entries in the waltz form (making them entirely unsuitable for effective use in the ballroom--a use that, at this stage in his life, would have been unthinkable to the composer); they are, rather than actual dances, dance-poems that reflect the weakened composer's attitudes from three very different points of view. It is as if Chopin's latter-day musical personality were put through a prism, with the light of the resulting, rather distinct persona cast upon three separate sheets of music-paper. Chopin's final waltz, the Valse in A-flat major, Op.64, No.3, is a piece of delicately-poised, Moderato- tempo beauty. It offers neither the whirling glee of Op.64, No.1 nor the melancholy of Op.64, No.2, but rather a musical item in which the more pure expression of perfect structural and harmonic balance is paramount. The central section (in C major) is a dialogue between two melodic voices.