Naila Waltz

1867; originally written as an addition to Adolphe Adam's ballet Le corsaire; subsequently used in a revival of the Delibes/Minkus ballet La source, ou Naila of 1866

It was my mother who introduced me to the Naila Waltz, arranged by Ernö Dohnányi (1877–1960) from a ballet by Léo Delibes. How I loved its heady pianism as a fifteen-year-old! The piece was popular, too, with Golden Age pianists like Rachmaninov, Wilhelm Kempff and Lev Pouishnov. The title, though, is somewhat misleading. The ballet it supposedly comes from is called La source (‘The spring’; Naila is the name of one of the leading characters, a nymph), its music composed in 1866 not only by Delibes, but also by Ludwig Minkus. However, the ballet didn’t originally include this waltz. Delius composed it a year later as part of an additional divertissement (known either as Le jardin animé or Le pas des fleurs) for a revival of Adolpe Adam’s ballet Le corsaire. The music was then apparently pinched from Le corsaire for a later production of La source that used mainly Delibes’ music (considered more worthwhile than Minkus’s), given under the title Naila—hence Dohnányi’s transcription becoming known as the Naila Waltz.

from notes by Piers Lane 2013


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Studio Master: CDA67967Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


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