Jean Sibelius - Sad Waltz (Valse triste) Op.44 Herbert von Karajan - Berliner Philharmoniker
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Glacialul si severul, dar cat de fragil in acest vals al mortii, finladenzul Sibelius.
Valse triste (Sad Waltz), Op. 44, No. 1, was originally part of the incidental music he composed for his brother-in-law Arvid Järnefelt's 1903 play Kuolema (Death), but is far better known as a separate concert piece.
Sibelius wrote six pieces for the 2 December 1903 production of Kuolema. The first was titled Tempo di valse lente - Poco risoluto. In 1904 he revised the piece, which was performed in Helsinki on 25 April of that year as Valse triste. It was an instant hit with the public, took on a life of its own, and remains one of Sibelius's signature pieces
"It is night. The son, who has been watching beside the bedside of his sick mother, has fallen asleep from sheer weariness, Gradually a ruddy light is diffused through the room: there is a sound of distant music: the glow and the music steal nearer until the strains of a valse melody float distantly to our ears. The sleeping mother awakens, rises from her bed and, in her long white garment, which takes the semblance of a ball dress, begins to move silently and slowly to and fro. She waves her hands and beckons in time to the music, as though she were summoning a crowd of invisible guests. And now they appear, these strange visionary couples, turning and gliding to an unearthly valse rhythm. The dying woman mingles with the dancers; she strives to make them look into her eyes, but the shadowy guests one and all avoid her glance. Then she seems to sink exhausted on her bed and the music breaks off. Presently she gathers all her strength and invokes the dance once more, with more energetic gestures than before. Back come the shadowy dancers, gyrating in a wild, mad rhythm. The weird gaiety reaches a climax; there is a knock at the door, which flies wide open; the mother utters a despairing cry; the spectral guests vanish; the music dies away. Death stands on the threshold."