Frédéric Chopin
Waltz 19 (Sostenuto)
in A Minor, B. 150

This is one of the more introspective and melancholy of Chopin’s waltzes, likely composed in his final year.

ID: 2693
Frédéric Chopin - Waltzes:

Waltz 19 (Sostenuto)
B. 150

Key: A Minor
Year: 1849
Level: 5
Period: Early Romantic
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Chopin’s last waltz?

Although this Waltz is unusually low-key and almost austere in its very simple harmonic and formal design, it is not exactly a gloomy piece. Motifs and figurations move upward in a kind of hopeful manner, and although the key is A minor, the main theme ends in the relative key C major except at the last repeat. The atmosphere is best captured if the Allegretto marking is adhered to. The middle section offers some, if subtle, contrast to the main mood. The arpeggio in bar 21 offers a welcome moment of typical chopinesque embellishment, and the grace notes in this section can be performed more brilliantly than those in the outer sections.


This Waltz was composed near the end of the Chopin’s life, perhaps even as late as 1849, the year he died. It was unearthed in the 1950s, together with another previously unknown waltz in E flat major (no 18) by the American pianist Byron Janis, at Chateau Thoiry near Paris, France. A few years later he repeated his discovery at the Yale University, where he found two other unknown versions of the same Waltzes!

Practice & Performance Tips:

As in any piece by Chopin, focus on a cantabile playing and make use of the tempo rubato.

Many of Chopin's waltzes are in an ABA form - they have 3 sections, which many times are punctuated by repeat signs. Find these sections and add capital letters (A) and (B) at the beginning of each section. Then use the directions listed below to practice each section.

1 – Practice the left hand only first.
a) Play the downbeats only (bass notes) going from one measure to another. Note the pattern outlined by this bass line and memorize it, speaking the note names as you play.
b) Likewise, play the second beat only (chords) going from one measure to the next. Note the pattern outlined by these chords and note the voice leading. Can you play the chords lightly, with firm fingers and a supple wrist?

2 – Practice the right hand only.
Following the phrasing correctly gives continuity to your playing. Note the slurs - Chopin was very specific with markings - and make sure that the notes under these slurs are played legato.
Do not forget to add shape to your lines and to breathe between phrases.

If you play the ornaments lightly, your lines will sound smoother. Besides, you will add finesse and... Sign up for a Gold membership to read the practice tips.

Forum posts about this piece:

I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin by mramateur
I've learnt Chopin's A minor waltz, and I'm looking for other waltzes of similar difficulty not written by Chopin ( as you can see in the title). Actually, I wouldn't mind...

Repetoire Suggestions by palmtigre
I just started the piano 4 days ago, so far I've practiced 68 hours, not including today. I have memorized the C major scale, B flat scale, A minor scale, ect. I'm currently starting to finish up on...

beginner repertoire suggestion by tamaaa
Hi, im a beginner with less than 1 years of playing (9 months to be exact), below is my recent repertoire (from early 2020): Chopin Waltz in A minor Sonatina Op 36 No 1 Chopin Prelude Op 28 No....

Pieces before Chopin Waltz in A minor B150 Opus Posth.? by iknownothing999
Hi guys! I started to study about 2 months ago. I studied the C major Bach prelude and Burgmuller Arabesque (op. 100 no 2) by now. I know it will take time before studying it, but do you have any...

What should I learn next? by alvaritooo13
Hi there! About a month ago I finished the Nocturne in C# Minor by Chopin as well as the Waltz in A minor and the Valse d'Amelie and I was wondering what to play next. I want something harder enough to...

On teaching RUBATO by dinulip
Hi there,  Do you have any suggestion on how to explain rubato a gifted 11-year-old child how to play 'rubato'?  She is now playing Chopin's easy Waltz in A minor (Posthumous)!  A...

Progress after two years of piano study by fuzzy1
Hello Piano Street, I'm new here, in fact it's my first time ever posting, so please bear with me if my post is not in the right form, or if my question is not a good one. I am a parent of...

How to play without looking at the keys? by richardparkokay
My teacher has recently introduced me to Chopin music, starting me off with the Waltz in A minor(Opus Posthumous) Quite disappointed because I really wanted to go on the Bach Inventions. Oh well  8)

Question about chopin's waltz in a minor pedaling by vykintazo
So I'm pretty beginner at piano and I'm now learning waltz in a minor, and I'm a bit confused abaut it's pedaling. There's the pedaling in my edition:

pieces with 2 against 3 by zillybug
I am looking for pieces that have a lot of 2 against 3 in them at the intermediate level. To give you an idea of my level, I have played or am presently working on the following- Bach inventions no 1 and...

Pedal and fingering with Frédéric CHOPIN: Waltz in A minor (Op. Posth.) [v01] by goodtone
Hi, I'm around about the grade III level of ability and self taught. I have the ABRSM book of some of Chopins "easier pieces :)".  I noticed that there are no pedal marks displayed but...

Help-Ornaments in Chopin Waltz in A Minor by albertf1
Can someone tell me how to play the ornaments in measures 35, above the C#, and 51 above the E in the Waltz in A minor by Chopin. Thanks for any...

Members who like this piece have also downloaded:

Waltz Op. posth. in A Minor from Waltzes by Frédéric Chopin - piano sheet music to download and print instantly.
Waltz in A Minor - Op. posth. is a piano piece by the early romantic composer Frédéric Chopin who lived between the years 1810 and 1849.
It is written during the Early Romantic era and is included in Waltzes by Chopin.

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