Valse Melancolique for Flute and Harp by Clemence de Grandval
Edited by Ellen Huntington and Lillian Lau
Valse Melancolique is a short, charming work featuring graceful and expansive melodies in the flute and idiomatic figures in the harp, including cascading arpeggiations, glissandi, and harmonics for added color. The piece was written for flute Paul Taffanel and harpist Adolphe Hasselmans and premiered on April 4, 1891, on a concert of the Societe National de Musique in Paris. It is one of the earliest surviving works written for flute and harp in the late 19th century after an extended lull in compositional activity for the duo. In contrast to refined sonatas, virtuostic fantasies, and theme and variations works that dominated the flute and harp repertoire in the first half of the 19th century, Valse Melancolique demonstrates a new style of writing in France that persisted throughout the first part of the 20th century.