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Liszt Valses Oubliées

1881 - 1884

  • Valse oubliée
  • Deuxième Valse oubliée
  • Troisième Valse oubliée
  • Quatrième Valse oubliée

Liszt's Valse Oubliées (forgotten waltzes) might equally be called 'Vaguely Remembered Waltzes'.

Wwitten when Liszt was in his 70s, they contain snippets of the style of waltzes taht helped make him the darling of the concert halls and salons in his youth. However these waltzes seem to be remembered with a mix of nostalgia and irony. None of the snippets manages to blossom into a full-blown waltz before the next seemingly unrelated theme pushes its way in.

Here was a man who had been master of his craft of virtuoso pianist, self-marketer and composer for over half a century with nothing to prove to anyone and playing as if no-one was listening.

"In those days you could always start out like this . . . throw in a bit of this - they loved that . . . try a bit of the serious stuff, but not too much mind you . . . then back to . . . I remember this time when . . . and she was pretty smitten with me too . . . and a passage like this always worked a treat because the others on the circuit couldn' manage that sort of thing . . . and then you'ld find yourself thinking 'why am I playing this silly frilly stuff for people I don't like anyway and maybe I could throw in a few chords like this to really give thwm something to think about, but I haven't been paid yet'"

The nostalgia and irony seem to come in nearly equal parts and all this is filtered through a musical mind that had become, in his older years, one of the most forward-looking and avant-garde of any composer of the late 19th century. As a result, several of the waltzes end hanging in the air with no conventional harmonic ending. One waltz is in duple time, and a sugary sweet passage in the 2nd waltz suddenly curdles into confronting harmonies not known at the time.

Of the four waltzes, only the first has found a regular place in the concert hall which is a real pity because they give us a glimpse into the mind of a remarkable mind contemplating the early 19th century and looking onwards to the 20th century.

Some forthcoming performances of Liszt Valse Oubliées:


___________________  White Hat  ___________________

Selected Sheet Music of Liszt Valse Oubliées

  • Liszt - Valse Oubliees No.1
  • Liszt - Valse Oubliees No.4