Chopins Waltz

Albert Giraud / Pierrot: 'Chopin's Waltz', 1884.

Image: 'Pierrot', by Mrs. Mabel Dearmer (1872 - 1915)
From: 'The Studio' (magazine)
Volume 11, page 262, 1897

The Arts are inseparable from the phenomenon of synaesthesia. For all who drink deeply at the fount of the muses, the many streams flow into one great over-arching flood of sensation. Images can have a smell, music a color, and so forth. This phenomenon can develop even more deeply into moral and aesthetic metaphors; the more one allows oneself to dwell in such reveries.


Here then, is the impression (as our old friend Albert Giraud describes) that a waltz by Chopin leaves upon the sensibilities of our old, heartbroken ‘son of the moon’, Pierrot…



Valse de Chopin 


Comme un crachat sanguinolent, 

De la bouche d'une phtisique, 

Il tombe de cette musique 

Un charme morbide et dolent. 


Un son rouge - du rêve blanc 

Avive la pâle tunique, 

Comme un crachat sanguinolent 

De la bouche d'une phtisique. 


Le thème doux et violent 

De la valse mélancolique 

Me laisse une saveur physique, 

Un fade arrière-goût troublant, 

Comme un crachat sanguinolent. 



Albert Giraud, ‘Pierrot Lunaire: Rondels Bergamasques’, 1884.




Chopins Waltz 


Like spit with blood imbued, 

From the mouth of a consumptive falling, 

This music still is calling

With morbid, mournful mood. 


A red sound – within a white dream 

Pale gown with scarlet galling

Like spit with blood imbued, 

From the mouth of a consumptive falling


Soft theme, violently hued;

This waltz melancholic 

Infuses with a physical flavor; 

Disturbing aftertaste I savor, 

Like spit with blood imbued. 



Albert Giraud, ‘Pierrot Lunaire: Rondels Bergamasques’, 1884.

[Traduction Anglaise : Sardonique Schadenfreude Rictus / Dr. Bathybius, 2008]