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13 Waltzes for piano

Aldo Ciccolini,

The waltz has inspired many composers. From the romantic era to the twentieth century, Aldo ciccolini’s recording offers a very wide-ranging survey of the genre, while nonetheless reserving a special place for the French composers, both famous and less well known, that he has served with passion ever since the start of his career.


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With this disc, Maestro Ciccolini has produced the most varied programme of his entire recording career: thirteen works and thirteen composers. His recital is organised around two pillars, the most extended pieces on the programme, two waltzes that are extremely difficult and at the same time of great interest: Fauré’s third Valse-Caprice op.59, which propels us into the environment of a certain Parisian aristocracy, and Gabriel Pierné’s suite Viennoise, very different in character, which comes very close to the world of the Folies Bergère.

“One shouldn’t be impatient in life, certain things demand a gestation period. I’m not impatient to play something, I need the time to find myself”, says Aldo Ciccolini. More than just a CD, this new recording is testimony to the art of a living legend. Now 88 years of age, the master’s source of wonder and appetite for music remain intact!


13 Valses


  • Emmanuel Chabrier – Feuillet d’album 2’18
  • Frédéric Chopin – Waltz in A minor, op. 34 n° 2 6’11
  • Gabriel Pierné – Viennoise (suite de valses et cortège-blues) op. 49 bis 10’21
  • Edvard Grieg – Souvenirs, op.71 n° 7 2’09
  • Erik Satie – Je te veux 6’18
  • Déodat de Séverac – Valse romantique 2’42
  • Franz Schubert – Richard Strauss – Waltz waltz for piano in G flat major „Kupelwieser-Walzer“, D. Anh. I/14 2’43
  • Claude Debussy – La plus que lente 4’45
  • Jules Massenet – Valse très lente 4’17
  • Jean Sibelius – Valse triste, op. 44 4’41
  • Gabriel Fauré – Valse-Caprice n°3 in G flat major, op. 59 7’51
  • Johannes Brahms – Valse in the a flat major, op. 39 n°15 1’46
  • Germaine Tailleferre – Valse lente 2’18


The distinguished Italian-born French pianist and pedagogue, Aldo Ciccolini, began piano lessons at a very early age. At 9, he was granted entrance to the Naples Conservatory, where he studied piano with Paolo Danza, taking 1st prize in 1940. He also took 1st prize in composition there in 1943.

In 1941 Aldo Ciccolini made his debut as soloist in Frédéric Chopin’s F minor Concerto at the Theater San Carlo in Naples. In 1947 he became Professor of piano at the Naples Conservatory. In 1949, he was co-winner of the Grand Prize in the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud competition in Paris. In November 1950, he made his USA debut as soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and subsequently pursued a notable international career. He became a French citizen in 1969 and was professor at the Conservatoire de Paris from 1971 to 1988. On December 9, 1999 he celebrated a career in France spanning 50 years with a recital at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris.

Aldo Ciccolini maintained a comprehensive repertoire, which extended from J.S. Bach to contemporary composers. His virtuoso technique was enhanced by a particularly refined lyricism. He was a celebrated interpreter and advocate of the piano music of the French composers Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy and Erik Satie as well as that of less prominent composers such as Déodat de Séverac, Jules Massenet, Charles-Valentin Alkan, and Alexis de Castillon. He was also known for his playing of the music of Franz Liszt.

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