The composer’s own favourite seems to have been Valse nonchalante, which he orchestrated in 1913 for a ballerina called Napierkowska. ‘She’s not a Russian dancer’, he explained, ‘she’s a Parisienne with a Polish grandfather. She has great talent and amazing suppleness.’ Dancing the Valse nonchalante—with its relaxed tempo and seductive melodic style reminiscent of the Parisian café-concert waltz, its fluid D flat major harmonies and its echoes of Chopin in the more agitated sections—Mlle Napierkowska must have been perfectly cast. She might even have been talented enough to compensate for the inevitable absence in the orchestral arrangement of the discreet pedal-effect sonorities to be heard towards the end of the piano version.
from notes by Gerald Larner © 2009