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Trois valses romantiques (2014) are three waltzes composed over a number of years, in their original forms for a variety of instrumental forces, before being grouped together as this set of three piano pieces. The first of the three, '...valse sentimentale...', was written for clarinet in B flat and piano in 1989, while the composer was a still a student, and subsequently arranged for piano solo in 2014. '...valse vermillon...' was composed in 2008 along with a number of other pieces as part of an album for learner pianists; it was further revised in 2014. The third, '...valse oubliée...', was originally written for three-octave wire-strung harp in 2011 as a commissioned work, before being arranged for piano solo in 2014 to complete the set. It also exists in a version for three-octave toy piano.
Each of the three waltzes has its own particular flavour, the first and third looking back to the romantic ideal of the nineteenth century European waltz. '...valse sentimentale...', with its bold sweeping melodic lines and expansive accompaniment evokes this bygone era, hence its title. While doing so it nonetheless contains allusions to jazz and thereby references other musical memories and associations. '...valse vermillon...', marked ‘Ironic’, features an off-beat ostinato accompaniment and triadic and seventh-chord harmonies that never quite seem to settle. In ...valse oubliée... which is titled after Franz Liszt’s pieces for piano of the same name, fragments of dance-like melodies centred round several tonal centres move freely within various textures. These half-suggested melodic lines relate to musical memory, and how certain motives or phrases can take us to half-remembered places from long ago. For this reason I gave it the title '...valse oubliée...' or '...forgotten waltz...'
I. ...valse sentimentale...
II. ...valse vermillon...
III. ...valse oubliée...