Hyperion Records

La coquette – valse brillante
composer
1900

Recordings
'The Maiden's Prayer' (CDH55410)
The Maiden's Prayer
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55410  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
Details
Track 17 on CDH55410 [3'02] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

La coquette – valse brillante
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Victor Herbert (1859–1924), one of the great names of American light music, is remembered today (if at all) for his light operettas, the most successful of which were Babes in Toyland (1903), inspired by The Wizard of Oz, and Naughty Marietta (1910) which includes the deathless ‘Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life’. In his earlier career, the Dublin-born composer had been a virtuoso cellist. Herbert’s playing of his Cello Concerto No 2 (1894) was an event which directly inspired Dvorák to write his own concerto masterpiece for the instrument.

Few, though, will ever have heard Herbert’s instrumental works. Heifetz was attracted to his À la valse, recorded in the 1940s, and another violinist, Maud Powell, made a disc of another Herbert waltz—Petite Valse (originally for cello)—in 1916, the year after its composition. Otherwise little has ever been committed to disc. Here is a third waltz, one of Herbert’s twenty-four compositons for solo piano. La coquette – valse brillante was written in 1900, light relief after a string of ten full-length stage works written in the space of six years. It’s an attractive morceau (in A flat with a central section in C major) that makes one curious to hear others, especially the intriguingly titled La Ghazel, Marion Davies March, Get Together, On Your Way and Valse à la mode, the last three written under the pseudonym of Nobel MacClure.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2003

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