About this work
Frédéric Chopin's Deux Valses, Op.69, were not published during his lifetime, and in fact are products of his earlier days. A rather clear distinction can be made between those of the composer's waltzes that could potentially be used for actual dancing purposes and those which serve more purely musical functions. In the Opus 69 publication, only the latter category is represented. The Valse in A-flat major, Op.69, No.1 (deemed by some nineteenth-century writers to be in the key of F minor) dates from the year 1835. It is sometimes referred to by the nickname "L'Adieu", as it was presented to Marie Wodzinska shortly before Chopin departed from Dresden, where the work was composed, for Paris. Chopin had fallen deeply in love with "Mlle. Marie", as her name appears in the work's dedication, and had even proposed marriage; his status as a poor musician, however, caused Marie's parents to reject Chopin as a suitor. It is an expressive, Lento-tempo work, with a middle section that has something of the mazurka about it. By comparison with many of the other waltzes composed during the mid-1830s (those of Opus 34, for instance), Op.69, No.1 is not particularly striking, and one can easily understand the composer's decision-probably made for reasons both professional and personal-not to publish it.
Curated by Maria Nemtsova, Pianist