KN12 Valse des Fleurs 
pour piano à 4 mains – Blumenwalzer für Klavier vierhändig – Valse des Fleurs for piano duet
Remarks: On 30th August 1914 Strawinsky composed a Valse des Fleurs for two pianos in Clarens. The piece must have lived up to his claims because he gave it to Robert Craft in 1949 for a public performance (presumably New York Town Hall, 26th February 1949, played by Soulima Strawinsky and Beveridge Webster). Afterwards, the manuscript was registered as being lost. Boosey & Hawkes took the copyright in 1979. In 1983 Craft published a two-page facsimile in A Strawinsky Scrapbook 1940–1941 by Thames & Hudson in London. A neat copy is kept in the Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel. The publishers, Boosey & Hawkes, published the work in 1997 as the fifth piece of an 11-page collected volume Strawinsky for Piano. A Collection of Miniatures and Arrangements for Piano Solo and Duet (Plate number 10631) on pp. 10–11 in a further print run. In the preface to this it says among other things: “Although various authorities indicate that the scoring is for two pianos, the disposition of the players at upper and lower sections of the keyboard respectively, with minimal hand-crossing between them, clearly suggests that one instrument is intended.“ According to this statement, only one instrument is required to play the piece, but it was written for two players. The little waltz is one of the four-handed compositions that Strawinsky conceived for his children. In the left hand of the secondo part, only a long C is played in crochets at the beginning of the bar, followed by two crochet rests, after which the right hand plays a chord of E with C1 twice on each of the two subsequent crochet beats, and this continues throughout the entire piece. The extremely simple waltz framework can be played by children even if they can’t read music. If the second player is shown where to put his two fingers on the piano, he plays the rhythm a few times through and then the prima completes the rhythmic scheme to the accompaniment of the marked ground bass which is being played by the child, with a simple melody which is sometimes in contrary-motion. This can be played on a second piano but it is just good, if not even better, if it is played on one instrument because playing in closer contact to the certainly enthusiastic child is more fun and enables small and humorous asides. The composition is end-dated with Clarens 30th August 1914 but in serious Strawinsky literature, the date is given as Clarens 12th November 1914.
K Catalog: Annotated Catalog of Works and Work Editions of Igor Strawinsky till 1971, revised version 2014 and ongoing, by Helmut Kirchmeyer.
© Helmut Kirchmeyer. All rights reserved.
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