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On demand: Ravel's La Valse

KonserthusetPlayRecorded at Konserthuset Stockholm: Stora Salen, Stockholm, Sweden

The working title of this music was initially Vienne; the composer then changed it from the French spelling to the German, Wien, before finally deciding instead that the piece would be entitled La valse.

Ravel was fascinated with the waltz as an art form and in 1911 he had composed his Valses nobles et sentimentales; he continued his explorations in La valse. At that point, the idea had developed further into a “choreographed poem for orchestra” which had its world premiere in Paris in 1920. It was intended as music for a ballet by the notorious choreographer Diaghilev, but Diaghilev felt that La valse was not music for a ballet, but ‘only like a portrait of ballet’. Ravel disagreed entirely and ended his friendship with Diaghilev.

Watch it performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by multitalented Nathalie Stutzmann.  

Filmed in May 2017. 

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