July 3, 2014

An unfulfilled will

In the first half of the nineteenth century, the waltz became the most popular dance of all. Works by composers like Strauss and Joseph Lanner were the ‘hit records’ of their day. Frédéric Chopin composed a number of celebrated waltzes too, and in spite of their traditional form and conventions, these are immediately recognizable as the work of the superstar himself.

The standard Chopin canon comprises fourteen waltzes, yet only eight of these were published during his lifetime. It is said that in 1849 Chopin on his deathbed instructed his publisher and friend Pleyel to destroy all of his unpublished works. Luckily for us, Pleyel did not comply and the fourteen waltzes finally appeared as a collection in 1868.

The three waltzes of Op. 64 were written in 1846-7. According to Wikipedia, the second waltz, in C sharp minor, is the most famous of all Chopin’s waltzes. (Source: Wikipedia)

Years ago I had a company producing bathroom accessories. I remember a product that my marketing manager wanted us to produce. I did not approve production, because I hated its design. Yet after months of discussions and his constant badgering, I relented and said yes.

It was to become the company’s biggest-selling product.

Not everything that you have created but do not like is bad. Ask others if it is good. Potential buyers of your company might enjoy listening to the projects that you thought of, but never got around to producing. Just as we appreciate Chopin’s unwanted waltzes.

To listen to Op.64-2 please click here.

The oldie of the week: Gazebo – I Like Chopin (1984)

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