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La Valse

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Score Cover

Maurice Ravel (trans. Joseph Kreines)


General Info

Year: 1920 / 2005
Duration: c. 13:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Aeolus Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $100   |   Score Only - $50.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Piccolo
Flute I-II-III-IV
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II-III-IV
Bb Solo Clarinet I-II (in A or B-flat)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Eb Contra-alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
Alto Sax I-II
Tenor Sax I-II
Baritone Sax
Trumpet I-II-III-IV
French Horn I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass I-II
Timpani
Glockenspiel
Harps (2)
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Castanets
  • Cymbals (crash) (2)
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

In a letter written in 1906, Ravel spoke of plans to compose a waltz that would pay tribute to Johann Strauss and be “an apotheosis of the Viennese waltz.” He titled his rough sketch Wien: Poème Symphonique (Vienna: Symphonic Poem). By 1920, the work had evolved to its finished form and its final title: La Valse: poème chorégraphique. This is no typical waltz; it is a surreal parody, an apocalyptic view of wartime Vienna, familiar to Ravel through his service as an ambulance driver during World War I.

In Ravel's version we are meant to see, as through a mist, an imperial palace of the mid-19th century, a grand ballroom filled with dancers, a scene alive with light and colour, an “impression of a fantastic and fatal whirling.” It is a waltz with one foot planted solidly in classical waltz traditions, with the other balanced uncertainly on the shaky ground of the new, the avant-garde, the modern. Rarely performed as a ballet, it is often programmed as a concert work, the absence of visual “busyness” helping to free the palette of the mind’s eye to imagine the surrealism of Ravel’s vision. Ravel dedicated his waltz to his long-time friend Misia Sert, a woman who was held in high esteem by many influential personalities of the day. It was in her home that Ravel first performed a piano reduction of the work for Sergei Diaghilev, Igor Stravinsky, and Francis Poulenc.


Program Note by Nikk Pilato


Media

(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Jason K. Fettig, conductor) – 1 May 2016
  • Florida State University Wind Orchestra (Richard Clary, conductor) - 7 March 2013 (ABA Convention, Tampa)
  • Cleveland Winds (Cleveland, Ohio) (Birch Browning, conductor) - 18 October 2010
  • Volga Band - Saratov, Russia (Birch Browning, Conductor) - 14 November 2009


Works for Winds by This Composer


Resources

None discovered thus far.