La Valse d'Amélie - Yann Tiersen

La Valse d'Amélie - Yann Tiersen

La Valse d'Amélie is one of the most iconic and beloved pieces of music composed by Yann Tiersen in 2001. It has gained an international reputation and continues to be popular with classical, jazz, and pop music fans. Released in 2001, this track appears in the eponymous French film, Amélie, with Audrey Tautou as the leading lady. The piece has been described as ‘soaring, sparkling and bittersweet’ – summarising the story of the film perfectly.


La Valse d’Amélie is a romantic and melancholic piece of music that combines lyrical violin, flute and vocal lines. It follows a traditional French waltz form and is written in the key of D major. Its gentle tempo and melancholic tones encapsulate the emotions of the film’s protagonist, Amélie.


Yann Tiersen has revealed that the original inspiration for La Valse d'Amélie comes from his visits to Montmartre, a neighbourhood in Paris. He was inspired by the “atmosphere and the people”, particularly the elderly folks walking around, discovering them to be “so old but so alive”. He was inspired to write a waltzing piece with a dreamy feel - thus, La Valse d'Amélie was created.


The instrumentation of La Valse d'Amélie consists of a solo flute and violin, which play against each other in a romantic texture of swirling laments. The melody is captivating, further adding to the melancholy atmosphere of the piece. The song quickly builds up its intensity to a more lively section which is repeated four times, creating a sense of nostalgia. The music serves as an iconic reminder of the emotions felt by Amélie in the film.

History and Significance

Since its release in 2001, La Valse d'Amélie has gone on to be one of the most popular pieces of music composed by Yann Tiersen. It has become a cult favourite, renowned for its lush atmosphere and captivating melody. The piece has been covered by multiple artists, arranged for various different ensembles and even experienced a resurgence in popularity after being sampled by popular hip-hop producer Flying Lotus. La Valse d'Amélie continues to be an iconic piece of music treasured by musicians, film enthusiasts and people alike.

Publication date: 17. 02. 2023