Valse triste (Sad Waltz), Op. 44, No. 1, is a short orchestral work in waltz form by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. It was originally part of the incidental music he composed for his brother-in-law Arvid Järnefelt’s 1903 play Kuolema (Death), but is far better known as a separate concert piece.
Sibelius wrote six pieces for the 2 December 1903 production of Kuolema. The first was titled Tempo di valse lente - Poco risoluto. In 1904 he revised the piece, which was performed in Helsinki on 25 April of that year as Valse triste. It was an instant hit with the public, took on a life of its own, and remains one of Sibelius’s signature pieces.
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