Score and part included.
Commissioned by Stephanie Wendt.
We tend to forget that any Strauss waltz—the Blue Danube, for instance—is not one, but many waltzes, varying in theme, key and texture, prefaced with an introduction and strung together as a garland. Valentines is a similar posy of three almost-waltzes in the spirit of Fritz Kreisler, the great Austrian violinist who gave us such gems as Liebesfreud and Liebesleid. In the present work, a sentimental theme with a prominent aspiring sixth (so Viennese!) is the vine that twines between the other bitonal and bluesy sections.
I was delighted when my dear piano teacher Stephanie Wendt suggested bartering piano lessons for a short concert work to play with her Australian countryman Dale Barltrop on a Valentines Day recital. They gave the work its premiere on Valentines Day, 2009 on the Bethlehem Music Series, in Minneapolis, Minn.