Chaminade’s third Valse brillante
, in A flat, shows her economical control of form. The music grows with perfect naturalness out of an opening two-note figure, with an upward spiral of Chopinesque chromatics. A clear-cut, aspiring idea provides effective contrast. After a climax comes an E major dolce central section; its elegiac, falling tune is soon enwrapped in passionate figuration. The second idea is used to construct a powerful return to the opening music, and at the waltz’s culmination the dolce tune returns transformed, tutta forza, to provide an ardently rhetorical apotheosis.
from notes by Calum MacDonald © 1996