Valse triste (Sad Waltz), Op. 44, No. 1, from Kuolema

In 1903 Jean Sibelius composed incidental music for his brother-in-law AvoJärnefelt’spsychological play Kuolema (Death). Järnefelt’s drama was a failure; however, Sibleius would later cerate independent works from pieces taken from his incidental music. He first transcribed the music for the first act of the play and presented it under the title Valsetriste (Sad Waltz) in 1904. The five-minute piece became very popular and is today regarded as one of Sibelius’s most typical and emblematic works.
In the first act of the drama a boy watches by the bedside of his sick mother. The woman hears music in her dream and sees dancing people who begin to fill the room. She joins the dance but soon becomes weary. When the guests leave she summons her last strength and begins a dances by herself. There is a knock at the door – it is Death in the form of her deceased husbandwho has come for her. In a staggeringly realistic way, Valsetriste conjures up this scene, the first dance, the woman becoming weary, and the last flare, a waltz that becomes more and more passionate until the fast end…

100 évesek vagyunk