Maurice Ravel

(1875 - 1937)

piano version

orchestral version

This work, like Mother Goose (1908-10), consists of an original version for piano, and orchestral transcription, and a ballet version as well.  According to Ravel, “the title Valses nobles et sentimentales sufficiently indicates my intention of writing a series of waltzes in imitation of Schubert.”  

The model is indeed the Schubertian waltz, with its lilting rhythm, rubato, balanced phrases, straightforward form, and unexpected harmonic subtleties. Note the extremely complex harmonies at the outset (heard best in the piano version).  This is quite characteristic of mature Ravel. His daring harmonic sense and complete command of complex harmony were two of his most important characteristics.

Valses nobles et sentimentales


piano version / orchestral version