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Valses nobles et sentimentales is a suite of waltzes written by Maurice Ravel, and published in 1911 for piano, and in 1912 in an orchestral version. The title was chosen in homage to Franz Schubert, who had released collections of waltzes in 1823 entitled Valses nobles and Valses sentimentales. The piano edition is published with a quotation of Henri de Régnier: "…le plaisir délicieux et toujours nouveau d'une occupation inutile" (the delicious and forever-new pleasure of a useless occupation). The suite contains an eclectic blend of Impressionist and Modernist music, which is especially evident in the orchestrated version. The orchestrated ballet version of the Valses nobles et sentimentales was named Adélaïde, ou le langage des fleurs (Adelaide: The Language of Flowers). Those who are familiar with the world of opera will notice a striking resemblance between this story and the plot of Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata based upon the novel and play La Dame aux camelias by Alexandre Dumas. A performance of the whole set takes about 15 minutes. The orchestral arrangement of the piece is written for an orchestra consisting of two flutes, two oboes, english horn, two clarinets (in B-flat and A), two bassoons, four horns (in F), two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, tambourine, cymbals, snare drum, glockenspiel, triangle, bass drum, celesta, two harps, and strings.
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