Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2 - Fryderyk Chopin

The Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2 by Fryderyk Chopin stands as a quintessential example of the Romantic period's influence on solo piano compositions. Composed and published in 1847, this piece continues to enchant audiences with its intricate melody and dynamic expressiveness. The Waltz’s structure, blending technical virtuosity with emotional depth, showcases Chopin’s innovative approach to the piano, making it a staple in the repertoire of pianists worldwide.

Historical Context and Publication

Chopin composed the Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2 in 1847, during a particularly creative period in his life. Despite his deteriorating health, Chopin's output in the late 1840s exhibited his maturing compositional style. The waltz was published in 1847, alongside two other waltzes in Op. 64, and dedicated to Countess Delfina Potocka, highlighting Chopin’s connection to the Polish aristocracy and his enduring appreciation for his patrons.

The release of this work coincided with a period of great innovation in piano manufacturing, which allowed composers like Chopin to explore new expressive capabilities of the instrument. The nuanced dynamics and pedal techniques that are integral to the Waltz in C-sharp Minor's performance are a testament to these technological advancements.

This waltz, like many of Chopin’s compositions, was influenced by the political climate of the time, with Poland’s struggle for independence echoing subtly through his works. The melancholic undertone of the piece may reflect Chopin’s own sense of loss and nostalgia for his homeland.

Music Theory Analysis

The Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2 is constructed using a ternary (ABA) form, typical of the waltz genre but imbued with Chopin's unique stylistic elements. It begins with a lilting melody in the key of C-sharp minor, which is both haunting and poignant. The A section introduces thematic material that is rich in chromaticism and marked by its rhythmic flexibility.

In the B section, Chopin transitions to the relative major key, E major, providing a luminous contrast to the piece's predominantly minor character. This section features flowing arpeggios and a melody that soars above them, showcasing Chopin’s skill in creating an expansive sound palette.

The harmonic complexity of the Waltz is notable, with Chopin employing modulations that enhance the emotional depth of the piece. The use of pedal points and innovative chord progressions contribute to the waltz's enduring appeal and demonstrate Chopin's mastery of the piano.

Enduring Popularity

The Waltz in C-sharp Minor has captivated audiences and performers alike with its blend of technical prowess and expressive depth. Its popularity can be attributed to its remarkable balance between virtuosity and accessibility, making it attractive to both seasoned pianists and those newer to Chopin's repertoire.

An additional factor contributing to its enduring appeal is the piece's capacity to evoke a wide range of emotions, from melancholy to exuberance, within a relatively brief duration. This emotional versatility speaks to Chopin's genius in capturing the complexities of the human experience through music.

Furthermore, the waltz has been featured in numerous films, television programs, and other media, thereby reaching audiences beyond the concert hall and embedding itself in popular culture. Its recognizability has facilitated its role as an ambassador for classical piano music to the wider public.


The Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2 by Fryderyk Chopin embodies the technical and emotional capabilities of the solo piano. Through its historical significance, intricate musical composition, and widespread popularity, the piece has secured its place as a beloved jewel in the crown of piano literature.

As both a technical achievement and an emotional voyage, this waltz continues to inspire pianists and delight audiences, ensuring its legacy for generations to come.

Publication date: 28. 02. 2024