Waltz No.14

Frédéric Chopin

Waltz No.14 in E minor

B. 56

About this work

This waltz is contemporary with the First Piano Concerto and was among the last works Chopin wrote before departing his beloved Poland -- never, as it would turn out, to return. It came also at a time when the composer had fallen in love with Konstancja Gladowska, a young soprano. Thus, it is easy to understand this waltz's perkiness and playful demeanor, as well as its dreamy, charmed middle section.

The main theme is graceful in its nervous jauntiness, but turns reflective in typical Chopin style in the latter part, as it descends bracingly. Its lively manner and playfulness do seem to have an anxious undercurrent, as if the composer had already begun to realize that his relationship with the young singer was doomed. Following the lovely middle section the main theme returns but only partially, Chopin dispensing with its more reflective half, ending the piece rather abruptly. This waltz lasts just under three minutes in a typical performance.

Done