Due Valzer sul Nome di Bach (Circus Waltz, Valzer Carillon)

Category Chamber Music


The two waltzes composed in 1975 (the manuscript contains the date 24 May 1975) are both constructed on the famous musical cryptogram "BACH" whose notes — as is generally known — correspond to the German notes B, A, C and H [Engl.: BE♭, A, C and B].

The titles Circus Waltz (Circus-Valzer) and Waltz Carillon (Valzer-carillon) provide a clear description of the individual character of both compositions. The first waltz is almost reminiscent of a circus procession whereas the second with a hypnotic character displays similarities with a Berceuse. During the year of their composition, Federico Fellini, at that time in the process of filming Casanova, had requested Nino Rota to create a number of pieces which he would subsequently be able to use during filming. This explains how the Due Valzer sul nome BACH became integrated into the soundtrack of Fellini's Casanova and even advanced to become the principle element of the film music.

While the Circus-Valzer contains the notes of the name "BACH" in their original order which are also recognisable as such, they are presented in many possible different combinations in the Valzer-Carillon, thereby creating a series of "anagrams" of the original fragment.

The manuscript additionally contains a sketch for a third waltz, incomplete and untitled, which bears the tempo indication "Tempo di valzer espressivo".

Bruno Moretti, Translation: Lindsay Chalmers-Gerbracht, from preface to Schott sheet music ED 22707)

Arrangiamento / Arrangement: pianoforte o organo

Durata / Duration: 00:03:30

See also:

Orchestral Music

Sheet Music

Discography (Due Valzer)

Discography (Circus Waltz)

Date 1975