Dohnányi did not publish his transcription of Schubert’s Valses nobles
until 1925, but it entered his repertoire several years earlier, most likely as an encore that he improvised onstage. Like the paraphrase on the ‘Valse lente’ from Delibes’ Coppélia
, Dohnányi takes the twelve waltzes that comprise Schubert’s Valses nobles
merely as a starting point to which he adds clever countermelodies and delightful harmonic twists. While Schubert’s original work is merely a collection of dissimilar waltzes, the young Dohnányi once again demonstrates his talent for crafting expansive forms by omitting the seventh, ninth and eleventh Valses nobles
and repeatedly bringing back the first waltz as a refrain. The opening waltz returns again at the very end of the transcription in a flurry of virtuosic passagework that brings the piece to a rousing conclusion.
from notes by James A Grymes © 2013