Nocturnes, Op15 #1 and #2, Valse Op64 #1 by Frederic Chopin
Transcribed by Paul Taffanel
Flute part edited by Philippe Bernold
Originally for Piano
Duration: 10 min
These three Chopin pieces are undoubtedly among his most famous compositions. The two Nocturnes for piano were composed in 1830-31. The influence of Italian bel canto shows through in the very expressive, improvisation-like melodic line in the right hand over delicate, often arpeggiated left-hand accompaniments. In Taffanel's remarkable transcription, the melodic line in the flute part enhances the vocal character of the pieces. The Waltz in Db Major, Op64 #1 is well known all over the world. It is said that Chopin got his inspiration for “The Little Dog Waltz” (as it is sometimes called) as he was watching a small dog chase its tail!
Paul Taffanel may have decided to transcribe these three Chopin masterpieces in order to expand his collection of popular encores (he often played the Nocturne, Op15 #2 as an encore to Mozart's concertos) or simply to add superb compositions to the flute repertoire. In the Nocturnes, flute-players must deal with typical Chopin rubato. And the well-known and virtuostic “waltz” makes great demands on breath control.